Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development CDD-Ghana Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh has argued that ban on the wearing of smocks in Bawku as a mere to deal with the reemergence of conflict in the area raises grave constitutional problems and sets a precedent for the banning of traditional Ghanaian clothes and costume for the sake of maintaining security.
The Upper East Regional Security Council banned the wearing of smocks ( fugu) in the Bawku area with the explanation that the smocks can be good for the concealment of weapons hence the ban.
But Prof Prempeh has wondered about the Constitutional bases and the soundness of such a move by the council.
“Seriously? So if smock is all you have or like to wear, then what? You are banned from the public square? Must everyone in or entering Bawku own other clothing beside a smock? How so? Effectively, the smock has been criminalized in Bawku, based on a statement of the REGSEC. This “ban” raises multiple grave constitutional problems. It also sets a precedent for banning all Ghanaian traditional clothing or custome in “security” situations, because all of our traditional clothing are good for concealing weapons! Is that where we want to go?” He quizzed.
Bawku has been placed under curfew with smocks banned following sporadic gunshots and tension in the area linked to the persistent chieftaincy conflict in the area.