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26.11.2004 General News

Forget About Positive Change Chapter 2 -Tamale Chief

By Lens
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Lens -- Mr. J.A. Kufuor had a rude awakening last Monday when he called on the chief of Tamale, Gakpema, as part of his campaign tour of the Northern region. The President who has been forced to resort to holding durbars because of his inability to draw any appreciable crowds on his campaign tours got the first shock when the chiefs of the area plainly turned down proposals for the holding of a durbar of chiefs in his honour. Mr. J.A. Kufuor and his team pushed their luck further when they decided to pay a courtesy call on the Gakpema, the Chief of Tamale. According to sources close to President Kufuor, the decision to call on the Gakpema was hotly debated because some of Mr. Kufuor's aides felt that the Gakpema has always proven to be too forthright, principled and courageous and would therefore not play along with the electioneering game plan of Mr. Kufuor and his team. At the end however, the decision was taken that Mr. Kufuor would take the risk to call on him. The Gakpema did not hide the truth from Mr. Kufuor at all. He minced no words when he literally told the president to forget any dreams he had about getting the support of the people of the Dagbon traditional area in the upcoming elections. "Your deeds and accomplishments in the Chapter One of Positive Change are so loud and clear that even the blind can see them", the Gakpema told President Kufuor. The Gakpema recounted amongst other notable accomplishments of Kufuor's chapter one, the gruesome and barbaric killing of the overlord of Dagbon, Ya Na Yakubu Andani II and how almost three years on, not one single culprit has been arrested let alone prosecuted. The Gakpema delivered the coup the grace when he literally told President Kufuor that as far as he and his people are concerned (including even the blind who have all seen the contents of positive change chapter one), the President and his party should not delude themselves about getting any positive change chapter 2. Meanwhile, the Lens has learnt that having failed to get a durbar of chiefs to be organized in Tamale in the honour of the President, Mr. Kufuor and his team decided to switch the durbar to Tolon where Major Suleimana is the regent.
However according to Dagbon customs and traditions, no durbars of chiefs are supposed to be organized in the traditional area once the overlord of the area has not been laid to rest. Besides, it is against the traditions of the area to hold a durbar under the auspices of a regent. All durbars are supposed to be organized under the direction of a properly enskined chief. WELCOME ADDRESS OF GULKPEGU GBON-LANA ZIBLIM ON THE OCCASION OF THE VISIT OF HIS EXCELLENCYJOHN AGYEKUM KUFUOR TO TAMALE METROPOLITAN AREA ON MONDAY 22ND NOVEMBER 2004. Your Excellency, The President of the Republic of Ghana, Honourable Northern Regional Minister, other Honourable Minister of State, Honourable District Chief Executives, Colleague Chiefs, Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is heart-warming to receive Your Excellency in Tamale. I sincerely welcome Your Excellency and Your entourage to Tamale on behalf of the Chiefs and people of this area. Your Excellency may have noticed the absence of the well-known pomp and pageantry with which we in Dagbon normally receive august personalities. Indeed Your arrival should have triggered very thunderous traditional musical instruments. I and my colleague Chiefs would have displayed our traditional equestrian skills and would have been in the best of our smocks and gowns. If these have not taken place today it is because we are still mourning the tragic death of our overlord, Ya-Na Yakubu II. Your Excellency, we have only a few days to our Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. It is my hope and prayer that we come out of these elections more united as a people than we have ever been. Every political party has its version of what we need to do as a country to improve our socio-economic conditions for the well-being of our people. The differences in these versions notwithstanding, the message carried is essentially the same. There is therefore no need for politicians to see one another as enemies. I and my colleague Chiefs therefore appeal to the following of all political parties to be circumspect in their utterances for the rest of the time left. They should also guard against provocative acts and various forms of insinuations that may trigger negative responses from their opponents. Your Excellency, while I call every Ghanaian to conduct himself in the best of manners before, during and after the upcoming elections, very great anxiety fills my heart about the special circumstances of Dagbon. The pace at which the culture of impunity is fast gaining grounds in Dagbon is frightening. Your Excellency's office may be aware of the movement of firearms into Dagbon since you took office. It is being rumoured that some politicians are determined to create terror during and after the elections. Those politicians are believed to be distributing sophisticated guns to their following to carry out the intended horrible act. It is very difficult for some of us to dismiss these rumours and we in Dagbon have had bitter lessons in our recent history to believe rumours until they are proved unfounded. I am therefore appealing to your excellency to ensure the retrieval of the unauthorized weapons that are circulating in Dagbon. May I say, that the main cause of uneasiness in Dagbon is the equivocal position of your government in the handling of the murder of the late overlord of Dagbon, Ya Na Yakubu II and the forty others. As you are aware, nobody has been held responsible for these unprecedented crimes. Neither does it show that this country is actually ruled by Law. Yet, what we hear daily from official circles is that the Law is no respecter of persons. Every reasonable person is aware of the likely consequences of this present situation in Dagbon, which places one group in a class of untouchables. No matter what crime they commit, they get away with it. It is my considered opinion that this trend may breed retaliation. People who had no justice, may, if they get the chance, exact their pound of flesh. And this will not augur well for the harmonious development of our country. It is in this light that I take this rare opportunity to ask you to take a bold and just decision to address the murder of the late Ya Na Yakubu II the way it should. There cannot be two truths for the same situation, as would only be a wish. The critical issues that need to be addressed can be addressed by Your Excellency. It is my hope that Your Excellency would take advantage of this visit to demonstrate your willingness to resolve this crisis as you have always pledged. Let it not be said by future generations that when the Ya Na and the forty others were brutally murdered during your reign nothing was done. May Ghana Be Stronger And More United after December 7th 2004.
Thank You Sir.

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