Dagbon to hold funeral for 2 Ya Nas … C’ttee of Eminent Chiefs recommend to govt

President Akufo-Addo with members of the Abudu and Andani Royal Gates

President Akufo-Addo with members of the Abudu and Andani Royal Gates

The funerals of the two former Overlords of the Dagbon Traditional Area, Ya Na Mahamudu Abdulai and Ya Na Yakubu Andani are expected to be performed in December this year and January next year respectively to pave way for the installation of a new Ya Na.


The Committee of Eminent Chiefs leading the Dagbon peace process, made up of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Yagbonwura, Tuntumba Boresa Sulemana Jakpa I, and Nayiri, Naa Bohogu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga made this recommendation in its progress report on the chieftaincy dispute.


The Dagbon Traditional Area has not had an overlord for the past 16 years following the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani. The death sparked a feud between the Abudu Royal Family and the Andani Royal Family.


The committee’s report, which was presented to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in Accra yesterday, recommended that the funeral rites of Ya Na Abdullai, who died in the 80s, should be held from December 14 to 28 this year while that of Ya Na Andani takes place from January 4 to 18 next year.


“We hopefully believe that after the 18th of January, the oracles will start and after few days we will have a new Ya Na,” Otumfuo Osei Tutu II said when he presented the committee’s report to President Akufo-Addo.


Otumfuo Osei Tutu II gave the assurance that the committee would continue to engage the two factions to develop modalities for both funerals to make the process and subsequent installation of a new overlord for the area a success.


Present at the presentation ceremony were representatives of the Abudu and Andani Royal Families, the Peace Council, among other traditional and eminent personalities but absent, however, were the Regent of Dagbon and the Kuga Na, both key stakeholders in the peace process.


The Asantehene did not hide his fury over their absence.


“I cannot countenance anyone holding Dagbon or this country to ransom because of their personal issues. Dagbon is at peace at the moment, all the others are here,” he said in a rather stern tone and indicated that he would not allow anyone to derail the progress made so far.


He said the committee, together with all the stakeholders, appointed the Regent of Dagbon and added that the committee would, therefore, not allow him to disrupt the process.


“You cannot benefit from the committee’s decisions and still refuse to appear before the committee. That cannot be allowed,” he said.


“There were times that the Abudus accused the committee and me of not listening to their concerns and there was a time the Andanis also accused me of not listening to them. But I told them that I am a father to all of them and I need to be fair.”


“The Yagbonwura and Nayiri are your fathers too and we don’t benefit in anyway. I have relations with Dagbon and they know that one of their leaders married an Ashanti princess and that is how come they are my children.”


“And therefore they know that I seek to benefit from peace in Dagbon, and not supporting one family because they are all my children,” he said.


Otumfuo Osei Tutu II told President Akufo-Addo that the committee went by the customs and traditions of the people of Dagbon to develop the current roadmap and indicated that all the stakeholders were prepared to move on and would, therefore, not allow few people to hold the process to ransom.


The committees work, he said, had been free from political interference in the past 16 years and noted that the Eminent Chiefs had worked from the era of President J.A Kufuor, through Presidents J.E.A Mills and J.D Mahama to President Akufo-Addo.


President Akufo-Addo, who was wearing a local print which signified unity, on his part, said the time had come for Dagbon, which had been scarred by decades of conflict, to be restored to its former glory and greatness.


“The conflict in Dagbon has dragged on for so long that many Ghanaians, including some sons and daughters of Dagbon, had become skeptical about the ability to resolve the matter, and secure enduring peace in Dagbon.


“I was never one of the skeptics. I have an unshakeable faith in the capacity of the Ghanaian people to resolve their own problems. That faith has paid off,” he said.


Describing the roadmap as an important milestone in the decades old search for a permanent solution to the Dagbon problem, the President congratulated the people of Dagbon for this achievement, as well as the three Eminent Chiefs, Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Nayiri, Naa Bohugu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, and Yagbonwura, Tuntumba Boresa Sulemana Jakpa, for their tenacity and resilience, and for not giving up on the Dagbon people.


“Upon becoming President of the Republic, on January 7, 2017, I was determined to help bring finality to the matter, and, in the process, witness the enskinment of a substantive Ya Naa for the people of Dagbon.


“I did indicate, in October 2017, that I wanted to celebrate the Damba festival with the people of Dagbon, with a new Ya Naa sitting in state, before the end of 2017. Alas, that was not to be. Nonetheless, I am fully expectant that, soon, I shall be celebrating Damba with the people of Dagbon in the presence of a substantive Ya Na,” he said


President Akufo-Addo urged the people of Dagbon to give peace a chance, adding that “it is attainable, in my view, if there is a will, and a readiness to compromise.”


As an expression of their love for their people, President Akufo-Addo urged the Kampakuya Na and Bolin Lana to help in the effective implementation of the roadmap to ensure lasting peace to Dagbon, and lay the basis for its rapid development.


“The overwhelming majority of the people of Dagbon, especially the youth, are tired of this age-old conflict, and just want the opportunity to enhance their lives in normalcy and security,” he added.


The President reiterated the commitment of government to provide the requisite financial, material, moral, physical and security resources necessary for the sustenance of the peace process that has been embarked on.


Even though government had already spent a huge amount of money and resources in maintaining peace in Yendi these last 16 years, he assured that Government will not relent in its determination to help foster, again, peace and unity in Dagbon.


As I have said on many occasions, I am not a Dagomba, and I, therefore, cannot be an Andani or Abudu. I have no candidate for the office of Ya Na. That is a matter for the people of Dagbon. I am just an ordinary Ghanaian who wants to see the peace, progress and prosperity of all parts of our beautiful country, without any discrimination or differentiation,” President Akufo-Addo noted.


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