President Challenges Dagbon

President President John Dramani Mahama has challenged the people of Dagbon to help find a lasting solution to the protracted chieftaincy dispute that has bedeviled Northern Region for over a decade.

“We cannot allow the chieftaincy disputes to continue to divide us and hamper the progress of development in the area; we need to bury our differences and forge ahead in unity,” he said

President Mahama threw the challenge when he joined the people of Dagbon on Saturday to celebrate the Damba festival in Yendi, traditional capital of Dagbon.

It was the first time in the history of Dagbon that a sitting President had participated in the Damba festival with the chiefs and people of Dagbon.

The festival, which was on the theme, Taking inspiration from our common heritage and culture in the struggle for peace and development, was celebrated by both Abudus and Andanis, the two factions in the Dagbon conflict.

President Mahama said the protracted Dagbon chieftaincy dispute was a thorn not only in the flesh of all citizens of Dagbon, but the entire northern sector, hence the need to find a permanent solution to the problem.

“All persons of northern heritage have been affected by the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute and this is making some people believe we are war mongers and people who hate peace,” he said,

He urged both gates to restore the dignity of the Dagbon Kingdom by taking active steps to give peace, reconciliation and unity a chance.

“Focus on the compromise that will sustain peace to make Dagbon attractive to investors; carry on and sustain your rich cultural heritage; live together peacefully, successfully and make Damba a central event to attract investors,” he said

President Mahama hinted that the three eminent chiefs under the chairmanship of Otomfuo Osei Tutu II who would be resuming mediation on the Dagbon matter, next month.

He said the government was very much committed in trying to find permanent solution to the chieftaincy problem and called on the people to continue to support the government not only to maintain peace in the area but to assist in the accelerated development of the area.

The Regent of Dagbon Kambakuyanna Abdulai Yakubu Andani, asked the President to quicken the pace in bringing the killers of the overload of Dagbon Ya Na Yakubu Andani II to book.

He said the continuous delay in identifying the killers was a threat to the peace and unity not only to Dagbon but the Northern Region as a whole.

“It is often proclaimed that where wrong is overlooked, people practice wrong with impunity,” he said

The Kambakuyanna said the failure of the government to find the perpetrators of the heinous crime had led to the murder of other prominent chiefs in the area such as the Bimbilla Naa Dasana Andani, Sakungunaa,Tigu Iddrisu and Ganaga-Lanlana

The Regent said the blatant impunity in the area must stop and that the state agencies ought to find an antidote to gruesome murders of the chiefs in the country.

The Kambakuyanna commended the government for the numerous developments springing across the length and breadth of the region.

He, however, entreated the government to initiate action to address the falling standard of education in the north, stressing that if the trend was allowed it could worsen the poverty situation in the area.

He also urged the assembly to find solution to the frequent bush fires in the area which were causing havoc to farmers.

President Mahama was enskined as Zoo-magunaa by the Dagbon Traditional Council.

The Minsiter of Road and Highway Inusa Fuseini, the Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, the Minsiter of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah and the Northern Regional Minsiter, Alhaj Limuna Mohammed Muniru joined the President to observe the Damba festival.

From: Yakubu Abdul-Majeed, Yendi

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