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31.01.2013 Editorial

Let's Have Peace In Yendi Now

By DAILY GRAPHIC
Let's Have Peace In Yendi Now
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Yendi, the capital city of the Dagbon State, was once a very vibrant commercial “enclave”.

It was not only popular because of it being the traditional city of the Dagbon State, but also as a major trading post because of its strategic link between Tamale and the Republic of Togo and the northern part of the Volta Region.

The booming trading activities were truncated with the bizarre killing of the King of Dagbon, Yakubu Andani II, in 2002. Since then, the area has not known peace, culminating in the disruption of commercial and administrative activities.

At a certain stage after the killing of the Overlord of Dagbon, many government workers deserted the area for fear of their lives and Yendi became a pale shadow of itself.

The government had to maintain a heavy security presence in the area to maintain law and order. And that security presence has since been beefed up with a detachment from the Ghana Armed Forces.

This security deployment for many years now has been sustained by heavy expenditure by way of ration and the payment of salaries and the provision of logistics to make the presence of the security personnel effective.

Anytime the government has to deploy security personnel in an area to maintain law and order which forms part of the government's contingent plans, resources have to be diverted from critical sectors to support that intervention.

The Daily Graphic is saddened by the continuous existence of these conflict areas in parts of the country as their management takes a toll on government resources.

The situation is further aggravated by the fact that these flashpoints exist in very deprived communities that should be knocking at the doors of the government to provide the necessary intervention to fight poverty, disease and squalor.

It is not good enough for the government to be spending huge amounts of money to keep the peace between descendants of siblings as is the case in Yendi.

Ever since the unfortunate killing of the Overlord of Dagbon, the area has been at loggerheads with itself, especially when it comes to the celebration of the Damba festival and the observance of other rites.

Yesterday, we were told about the renewal of conflict between the Abudus and Andanis over the celebration of the Damba festival.

The Abudus were reported to have insisted on celebrating the festival in their palace contrary to the situation since 2006 when the Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya-Naa Abdulai Andani, and his subjects had always celebrated the Damba festival at the Gbewaa Palace.

We think that the conflict in the Dagbon area must end and for this reason we appeal to the Abudus and the Andanis to dialogue on the way forward to achieve total reconciliation.

And for this reason, we also appeal to the Group of Eminent Chiefs led by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to ensure that it gets the parties to respect the road map to peace.

There is no way peace can be attained in Dagbon and the traditional area restored to its glorious past if the factions continue to keep to entrenched positions.

Dagbon is very strategic in the development agenda of the Northern Region in particular and Ghana as a whole.

And it is only proper for the government to continue with the processes to encourage the factions to recognise the essence of peaceful co-existence.

We know that there are issues with the Andanis insisting on justice for the family of the Dagbon King.

But as we seek justice, it is important that we do not engage in activities that will breach the peace and heighten the tension so that the people can go about their business without let or hindrance.

All hands must remain on deck to restore peace to Yendi and for that matter the Dagbon traditional area.

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