The ‘Dark Cities’ In Ghana:Remembering The ‘Curfewed’

Several towns in Ghana are currently under curfew and they have been under curfew for numerous years without the nation’s attention being drawn to it. The following are the curfewed towns;

Even though the imposition of curfew is regulated by law, it has diverse implications on the human rights of the people guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

This decision has led to the alteration of the socio-economic lives of some of the people in those communities especially those who operate the night economy such as those who sell food and operate shops in the evening. Others who also use the night to socialize and familiarize themselves with friends and family have been restrained.

Furthermore, an activity like hunting which is done at night can no longer be carried out as well as farming at dawn.

Nightlife, which appears to be a very productive time for many in these towns has thus been truncated for all these years.

How do we expect the towns to function effectively amid these restrictions?

Curfew has certainly affected every aspect of peoples’ lives. It has also affected their religious practices such as night celebrations of festivals.

Surprisingly, the Minister for Interior keeps on passing new Executive Instruments(E.I.) to renew the curfews without any assurance of an end in sight.

For the past 15 years, the renewal of curfews have formed the majority of Executive Instruments(E.I.) published by the Assembly Press.

A further check at the Website of the Ministry of Interior will confirm the above assertion that the majority of announcements of the Ministry happen to be related to the renewal of curfews of these towns.

You can check on these E.I.s on the Dennislaw database here.

It does appear from the tracing of the history of the rationale behind the passing of the E.I. to impose a curfew that most of the cases are linked to chieftaincy disputes, tribal and land disputes among others.

Ironically, these same matters also exist in urban towns. However, when issues happened, the curfews that were imposed on these urban towns were immediately lifted after the same had been dealt with by the security agencies. Towns like Kasoa, Nungua, Teshie, Tafo in Kumasi, Koforidua, and Akropong in the Eastern Region among others have also faced chieftaincy, tribal, and land issues at one point or the other.

It is time for Ghanaians to know about these dark towns and for the Members of Parliament to ask the Executive serious questions as to why they keep making these towns dark in this modern era.

Notwithstanding, you may want to watch out for these towns when driving around to share their plights.

It is worth noting that cumulatively, the total number of years that these towns have remained under curfew, is 15 years when put together.

As we highlight these towns, it will be appropriate for one also to know the basis for the imposition of curfews on them highlighted below;

Alavanyo and Nkonya

The curfew at Alavanyo and Nkonya can be traced to an ethnic clash that dates as far back as the 18th century. Despite the various curfews imposed and appeals made at redressing the subject matter, there has persisted a series of conflicts between them till today, and remain under curfew thus nothing has changed.

Chereponi and Saboba

Further to the above, the 30-year-old recurring feud in Saboba was renewed in May this year, which resulted in the burning of several properties. This, therefore, led to the renewal of their curfew hours thus remaining under curfew. Available records indicate that an outbreak of violence in 2019  arising from clashes between Konkombas and Chokosis led to the further imposition of curfew on Chereponi and Saboba.

Doba and Kandiga

Also, a 12-hour curfew was imposed on the Doba and Kandiga communities in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality and the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region after six persons were killed and 12 houses torched over a renewed land dispute between the people of Doba and Kandiga in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and Kassana-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region.


Moreover, violence broke out between two feuding factions in a chieftaincy dispute at Kpatinga last year, which led to the arrest of five accused persons in connection with the violence and placed before a Tamale District Magistrate Court. According to Police prosecutors, the accused persons were wielding firearms at the time of their arrest. This, therefore, led to an imposition of curfew by the Ministry of Interior.


Additionally, there were clashes between two chieftaincy gates at Bimbila in 2017. Sporadic shooting in the area claimed two lives, returning the township to one of its many dark days of chieftaincy conflicts. Apart from the two deceased persons, several others sustained varying degrees of injuries. The conflict in Bimbila came despite an existent 12-hour curfew imposed on the area.

Drobo, Japekrom, Bibianiha, Kwaibourkrom, Mpuasu, Basekrom, Kojokesekrom, and Katakyiekrom in the Jaman South Municipality in the Bono Region visibly remain glare on the list. In October 2018, the Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery, by an Executive Instrument imposed a curfew on  Drobo, Japekrom, and six other communities in the Jaman South Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region, following a shooting incident that took two lives and injured several others.