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13.04.2010 Politics

Andanis awaken Mills from slumber

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Almost eight years after the unfortunate murder of the late Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, and the 40 others, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has now shown its intention to ensure justice.

National Security operatives, in early hours of Saturday April 10, this year, embarked on a dawn raid, and succeeded in arresting 41people believed to be members of the Royal Abudu Family in the Yendi Municipality, to facilitate investigations into the murder of the late King.

The ruling NDC government in its 2008 election manifesto made a promise to the nation to arrest the murderers of the late Ya-Na and his elders.

Even though the then President, John Agyekum Kufuor, made several efforts, including the setting up of the Wuaku Commission and Otumfuo Committee of Eminent Chiefs to restore peace and understanding between the Andani and the Abudu families, much was not achieved.

The Northern Regional Public Affairs Director of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Inspector Ebenezer Tetteh, in an interview with The Chronicle, confirmed that 41 people had been arrested and sent to Bimbilla for thorough screening by the National Security.

Out of the number, he said, six people, believed to be some of those who appeared before the Wuaku Commission in Sunyani, were identified as prime suspects, and taken to Accra for possible prosecution.

The Police Public Affairs Director said 33 of them were granted police bail, while the remaining two had been remanded at the Yendi Prisons, for illegal possession of firearms.

Those sent to Accra include the Gbanglana Baba Zohe, Mba-Dugu Iddrisu (caretaker of the Gbanglana), Kwame Alhassan Achiri, Yidana Sugri, Mahama Sayibu and Alhassan Kpantinya.

The paper gathered that the exercise, described as a "national exercise," started around 2:30 a.m. when the whole of Yendi was asleep.

Sources in Yendi hinted this reporter that the operation was carried out by some heavily armed security men from Accra.

Early in the morning, just when the exercise was over, some irate youth from the Abudu family, according to police sources, tried to cause some disturbances by burning car tyres at some places to demonstrate their displeasure.

Chief Inspector Tetteh told The Chronicle that the team of military and police personnel in Yendi had taken charge of the situation, and that there was absolute peace in the area at the moment.

He said the security forces were in full control of the situation, and assured Ghanaians of 24 hour patrolling of the town to ensure total peace and security.

It is not clear whether the National Security would still search for more people, or was able to apprehend the very people they targeted in connection with the murder of the Ya-Na.

Several attempts by The Chronicle to speak to the Security Adviser to the President, Brigadier-General Nunoo-Mensah (rtd), proved unsuccessful, as his cell phone rang several times without any answer.

The Northern Regional Minister, Moses Bukari Mabengba, and the Regional Secretary of the NDC, Alhaji Alhassan Yussif Imoro Umar, also declined commenting on the issue, as well as the Yendi Municipal Police Commander, ASP Patrick Gblorkpor. The Leadership of the Abudu Royal Family has meanwhile stated that they are ready to fully cooperate with the government to carry out any investigations into the murder of the late King of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II.

The Spokesperson for the Abudu Family, Dr. Ziblim Iddi, in a telephone interview with The Chronicle, maintained that the family welcomed the statement made by President John Evans Atta Mills in his inaugural address, to ensure that the killers of the late Dagbon King were brought to book.

According to him, the family even wrote officially to the President, and promised not to stand in the way of justice, or resist attempts by the government to find the murderers of the late Ya-Na.

However, he said the leadership of the Abudu gate, and their members, were particularly unhappy about the unconstitutional and inhumane manner in which the Abudu family members were arrested by the National Security, on the orders of the President.

Dr. Ziblim lamented that National Security had every authority to invite the people they suspected to be involved in the matter, and send them to court for a fair hearing and prosecution.

But, to break into their homes at 03:00 a.m., while most of them were sleeping naked, and arrest them without allowing them to put on attires, he said, clearly amounted to fundamental human rights violations and the abuse of power.

The Abudu family insisted that seven of their members were taken to Accra, namely, Gbanglana Baba Zohe, Mba-Dugu Iddrisu (caretaker of the Gbanglana), Kwame Alhassan Achiri, Yidana Sugri, Mahama Sayibu, Alhassan Kpantinya and one Tongji.

According to Dr. Ziblim, so far only three of the 7 suspects had been located and visited by the leadership of the Abudu family in Accra, but the whereabouts of the remaining four were not yet known.

He disclosed that the Abudu family was taking steps to hand over the matter to their lawyers, to ensure those arrested had justice. The spokesperson for the Abudu family therefore appealed to all the members in Yendi, Tamale and other parts of the country, to exercise restraint, while the leadership takes up the matter. Meanwhile, there are rumours going round the Yendi Municipality that some irate youth of the Abudu family, in expressing their displeasure at the treatment from the National Security, were threatening to set the Yendi main market ablaze. As a result, most traders who were supposed to patronise the market on Sunday, the market day, could not do so for fear of their lives.

Between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon, the market was still empty, leaving only military and police personnel at the place.

The military also dispersed a group of young men from the Abudu family, who attempted to hold a press conference in Yendi.

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