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07.08.2002 General News

Andanis Are Liars - witness

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An Octogenarian and a farmer and a witness at the Wuaku Commission, Kwadwo Iddrisu has asserted that witnesses from the Andani Gate "are not telling the truth" in their evidences because they did not want peace.

Iddrisu, who appeared impatient and infuriated at certain stages in his evidence, stated that the Andanis were telling fabricated stories about the Yendi tragedy. Iddrisu, the 71st witness of the Commission, explained that the Andanis "are trouble-makers" because they initiated the conflict. Iddrisu said "If you are enjoying your peace and a group of people unexpectedly start shooting at you, then, you must know that they are fomenting trouble”.

Iddrisu said he belongs to the Abudu Gate and is a regent in place of his late father, who died some decades ago. He said his father was a Chief Warrior of the assassinated Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II's predecessor but he (witness) was not enskinned as chief to succeed his father because he did not owe allegiance to him.

Iddrisu told the Commission that the Abudu Gate welcomed the decision of the Yendi District Security Committee (DISEC) to impose the curfew. He said the heads of the District Security Agencies saw that as an appropriate decision because there was a looming tension in the town, which threatened security peace and order. Witness said some one who he could not identify by name came from Tamale to lift the curfew for them to also celebrate the Bugum (Fire) festival because those in Tamale were celebrating it.

He said on his return from the farm between 0800 hours and 0900 hours on Monday, March 25, he heard the sound of gunshots and was told upon enquiry that the Andanis were responsible because they had planned to capture and behead the Bolen-Lana. Witness said not long after, he received a message from some of the children and women from the Abudu Gate to come out "else the Andanis will kill our people".

The counsel for the Commission, Mr Yaw Wiredu-Peprah asked him what he went to do there to which witness replied: "I was giving praises to my ancestors and praying for their intervention in our predicament." He continued that the Andani warriors fired gunshots incessantly on the Tuesday till evening, adding that, they even fired at goats and as such women and children could not come out to the Gbewaa Palace and its vicinity.

Witness said on the morning of Wednesday, May 27, the Andanis carried the fight towards the Bolen-Lana's Palace and in his desperation he prayed to their ancestors, including the former Ya-Na Mohammed Abdulai III and Ya-Na Alhassan, father of Ya-Na Abdulai III.

He said he told them (ancestors) that if they really built the Gbewaa Palace, which was being occupied by an undeserved and wrongful element, they should ensure that justice was done in their favour". Iddrisu in answer to a question by Mr Wiredu-Peprah about what specifically happened on Wednesday, replied: "That was the day our ancestors listened to our prayers and things became brutal".

Counsel then asked, "What is brutal? The Witness then replied, "The Andanis fled due to my prayers to the ancestors because even though they were firing sporadically, they were vanquished and ran away." Counsel again asked, "Where did you go again after the Andanis had fled?" He stated, “I was in the house when the Police and soldiers came to search my room and the entire house but they could not see anything."

The Commission at this point asked if the security officers told him of what they were looking for to which Witness responded: "They said I had killed the Ya-Na by cutting his head and hand." When counsel asked Witness about how he got to know and stated in his statement to the Police that the Ya-Na brought warriors to fight the Abudus, he replied that it was the children and women, who fed him with that information, "because they were always on the ground”.

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