Hundreds of Muslims in Bole in the Savannah Region were forced abandon their Eid-Ul-Fitr prayers Wednesday morning following the firing of gunshots at the event grounds as a result of a chieftaincy dispute in the area.
Men, women and children were seen fleeing the prayer grounds on foot and motorbikes as some youth stormed the area allegedly firing gunshots to prevent an alleged illegitimate chief from praying with the Imams of the town.
Our correspondent reported that the incident stemmed from a lingering chieftaincy dispute between Abdulai Issahaku Kant who is said to be the rightful claimant to the Bole skin, and Abudu Abubakar the favourite of the Yagbonwura.
The incident happened at about 9:00am when the Eid prayer was about to take place.
No causalties were recorded but two houses belonging to one of the feuding chiefs, Abubakar, have been burnt and one vehicle for an opinion leader in the town, Alhaji Malik, has also been vandalised by the irate youth.
What triggered the attack?
Abudu Abubakar who relocated to Damongo because of the dispute, returned to Bole Tuesday amidst high security to participate in the Eid prayers marking the end of the Ramadan, our correspondent reported.
The Savannah Regional Minister, Adam Salifu Braimah, met with the two feuding chiefs of the area who assured him of peace during the festive season.
Youth of the area were said to have received information about the return of Abubakar who they deem as illegitimate and consequently planned to disrupt his participation in the Wednesday morning prayers.
“Nobody knew how he got into Bole, that raised the tension” the Minister told 3news.com after the near-bloody incident.
Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that just when the prayers were about to begin, the youth arrived at the area and started firing shots, causing the military in to quickly move in amidst firing of gunshots from another angle.
As at this afternoon, Abudu Abubakar had returned to Damongo, but it is unclear whether he will return to Bole.
“It’s a tricky situation but it is also under control now. It’s not tensed… everything is under control now,” he told 3news.com.
But our correspondent reported this evening that the house of a former DCE for Bole, Abudu Sampson, who is now the Tingawura, has been vandalised.
Early this year, a misunderstanding between the feuding chiefs of Bole led to the death of one person and several others injured.
That incident was said to have forced Abudu Abubakar, who was allegedly enskined by the Yagbonwura, to relocate to Damongo.
His rival, Abdulai issahaku Kant, who is the favourite of the people, was declared by the Northern Regional House of Chiefs and a High Court as the rightful owner to the skin.
Abdulai Issahaku Kant was subsequently enskined as Bolewura.