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12.11.2004 General News

Kufuor For Dagbon Next Week

By Larry-Alans Dogbey (Network Herald)
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President Kufuor is expected to make a historic trip to Dagbon in the Northern Region next week to meet with the chiefs and interact with the elders of the traditional area.

But as already explained to party supporters, he will not mount a political platform to seek his re-election as has been the case with those parts of the country he has been visiting. He goes to mourn with the bereaved family and people of Dagbon over the loss of his friend, the Overlord Yakubu Andani II.

These disclosures were made by sitting MP for the Yendi Constituency and former Minister for the Interior Alhaji Malik Al-Hassan Yakubu last Monday in an interview with the Network Herald during the launch of “Positive Change Chapter Two” in Accra.

According to him that eagerly awaited visit two clear years after the royal clash between the Abudus and the Andanis that resulted in the murder of the Ya-Na and forty of his subjects is being honoured upon careful reflection backed by sound advice.

Alhaji Malik acknowledged though that while the presidency would adhere primarily to using the visit to demonstrate sensitivity to the norms and values of the people by not mounting a political platform to campaign in Dagbon, the visit has the potential of reinforcing the chances of the ruling NPP and enhance its margins at the December 7th polls in Dagbon. But he was quick to add that Dagbon had traditionally been a stronghold of the United Party (UP) from which his party draws inspiration.

He submitted that though the NPP is expected to win in the area even without the visit of the President, the visit could also have a timely effect on the people so far as the commitment of the president to absolute peace in the area is concerned. It is also expected that the interaction with the traditional authorities and opinion leaders would help the people go into the December polls with a better purpose than acrimony.

The former Interior Minister seeking re-election revealed further that after this visit which will concretize plans for the burial and funeral arrangement of the Ya-Na, the President would then join the people in celebrating the funeral to further emphasis the place of unity in his administration.

“His going should not be for show but have a meaning,” he said

Alhaji Malik who is also a Member of the Pan African Parliament told the paper that President Kufuor is very sensitive to Dagbon people and thinks the right atmosphere has now been created for him to meet the people.

He is hopeful that the people of Dagbon would reciprocate the gesture by recounting all that the president had done in the wake of the tragedy particularly the appointment of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, Nayiri and the Asantehene among others to help solve the aged old dispute.

He disagreed with suggestions that the government woefully failed to put adequate measures in place to prevent the 2002 carnage but agreed with concerns that the Dagbon problem could persist for a long time until the root cause of the protracted chieftaincy problem is addressed.

Alhaji Malik said prior to “the Yendi massacre” government was examining the complex dimensions of the Dagbon chieftaincy saga that had divided the people since independence so as to find a lasting solution only for its opponents to, for their own selfish reasons, throw a spanner into spokes to derail the process.

Alhaji Malik expressed great uneasiness that the body of the Ya-Na should still be in the morgue two years after his death because it is contrary to both his Islamic faith and the tradition of the people of Dagbon.

However, he said that contrary to media reports about that Dagbon is 'hot', the place is presently so peaceful that he personally feels at home there than in Accra. He claimed that the people had resolved to live together and are going about their chores peacefully.

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