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27.09.2002 Feature Article

Yendi Conflict: Trouble Started in NLC Era - Acheampong Fuelled It

By Press
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(Chronicle) -- WHILE THE Dagbon traditional area in the Northern Region is still smarting under curfew imposed by Government following the Yendi conflict, which led to the death of the Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, the Abudu family yesterday, declared that it would not compromise the slot of the Ya-Naa with the Andanis, saying "to do so will be to sacrifice fair play and justice." "The Andani gate has had its turn at the slot of the Ya-Na, and the next chance should go to an Abudu. On that there is no compromise." Mr. Amadu Kaleem, spokesman for the Abudu gate declared yesterday at a press conference in Accra. "Ghana is bigger than anybody and any group, including Dagbon." he said, "Let it therefore not be said sometime later that it was the belligerent activities of some misguided people in Dagbon that created a security problem in Dagbon and Ghana in general." The contention over the successor to the Ya-Na's slot has come at the time, the Justice Wuaku's Commission, the body investigating the Yendi conflict, is still conducting its inquiry to establish the perpetrators of that act. The Andani gate, it is said, was the first to introduce the element of chieftaincy into the conflict when they insisted to Mr. Joseph Henry Mensah who led a government delegation to Dagbon that the successor to the late Ya-Na Andani should come from their gate. This according to Mr. Kaleem, was one of the reasons for the Andanis' boycott of the commission. Tracing the root of the Yendi conflict, Kaleem alleged that the chieftaincy problem in Yendi gained prominence during the National Liberation Council (NLC) regime after Ya-Na Abdullah, an Abudu, died and his funeral was performed and Miaow Andani, the late Ya-Na's father, from a village near Yendi, (Miaow) moved to the palace. This was not the Progress Party regime as being narrated by the Andanis, he said and continued. "At that time Ibrahim Mahama was the Commissioner for Information and he got to announce on national radio that Miaow Nana Andani had been installed as a Ya-Na." "The King makers then protested that they never installed him as a Ya-Na, and so they petitioned the then NLC Government and the Atikuley Commission was set up; they asked Miaow Andani to move out of the palace. He refused, Kaleem explained, and recruited people from Tamale; they attacked the police and soldiers and 19 people were killed. And before the commission completed its inquiry Miaow Andani died. "So the NLC government said that the kingmakers should go ahead and install whom so ever they wanted to make the Ya-Na. Thus Mahama Abdullah was made a Ya-Na," Kaleem said. "But when Acheampong made his 1972 coup," Kaleem narrated, "the Andanis also went and petitioned the Acheampong regime and he set up the Ollennu Commission, saying, "that Mahama Abdullah was a regent and for that matter he wasn't entitled to be Ya-Na, forgetting his father was also a regent." According to Kaleem, Acheampong ordered that special dispensation be given to Yakubu who was also a regent, to be Ya-Na. "So Mahama Abdullah was de-skinned as Ya-Na during the Acheampong time. The Abudus wanted to take it to court and Acheampong came up with NRC Decree 229 which said, "that nobody should entertain the Abudu people." Then came the PNDC, the Abudu spokesman stated, and the Abudus appealed to the PNDC regime to review the Acheampong's Decree 229 and the case went to the Appeal Court. The court, he noted, came up to say that Miaow Andani was never installed as a Ya-Na. So his enskinment was declared null and void. But the Andanis also appealed to the Supreme Court, which left what was before it and came out with a consequential judgement, saying, "that Yakubu should be there as a Ya-Na and Mahama Abdullah should stay as a former Ya-Na. This has brought all the problems, he asserted. When told that the Ya-Na did not die a natural death and that it was necessary for an Andani to continue, Kaleem said it was war, "they brought war, so they can never eat their cake and have it."

Press
Press, © 2002

The author has 117 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: Press

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