The Members of Parliament from Dagbon have called on the government to identify the perpetrators and instigators of the Dagbon crisis that led to the death of the Overlord of the area, Ya Na Yakubu Andani and 40 others and bring them to justice.
They also called on religious leaders, opinion leaders, women's groups and the youth to play an effective and positive role in bringing lasting peace to the area in the wake of the lifting of the state of emergency, which was imposed on Dagbon by the government some two-and-half years ago.
In a statement read on their behalf at a news conference yesterday by the Executive Director of the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), Mrs Afi A. Yakubu, the MPs said “we agree Dagbon needs peace as a foundation for sustainable development by keeping chieftaincy out of politics, respecting customs and culture and traditions which span six centuries”.
“We call on the government, the Committee of Eminent Chiefs and all parties to actualise the vision of the road to peace in Dagbon,” they said and added that the road to peace included the speedy completion of the temporary palace of the late King and the rehabilitation of the palaces of the Mba Dugu, Mba Malle, Mba Gulanna, Mba Kpahgu and installation of their regents.
They also called for the resettlement of the widows and family of the late Ya Na, the burial and preliminary funeral rites of the Overlord of Dagbon and the installation of a Regent of Yendi.
The MPs said the performance of the funeral of the late Na Mahamadu, the performance of the funerals of other departed chiefs of Dagbon and the enskinment of a new Ya Na, were also paramount.“Recognising that we are in an election year, we call on all political parties and other contestants for elective public office to place the peace perspective and the national interest high in their campaign programmes, activities and utterances, and to be extremely cautious not to destabilise the delicate peace situation in Dagbon,” they said.
The MPs said while acknowledging the sense of responsibility that the media had tried to infuse into their reportage,they would like the media to continue to show increased restraint and refrain from carrying inflammatory and provocative utterances and statements on the situation in Dagbon.“It is our conviction that stable and durable peace in Dagbon is not achievable unless the people accept and commit themselves to the factors of peace and to make the necessary inputs, compromises and sacrifices and to create an enabling environment for peace building,” they added.
In March 2002, the government was compelled to impose a state of emergency on the Tamale municipality and the Yendi District, following fatal clashes between the two factions of the gates in the area, the Andanis and Abudus. The clash resulted in the death of the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya Na Yakubu Andani and more than 40 others.
After almost two-and-half years, the government finally lifted the state of emergency it imposed on the Tamale municipality and the Yendi District.The move, which took effect from last week, follows what was described as the “improved security situation in the two areas.