27.03.2005 General News

Andani Gate disappointed with delay in Ya Na's burial

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Accra, March 27, GNA - The Andani Family on the occasion of the third anniversary of the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, Paramount Chief of the Dagbon Traditional Area and 40 others said, it was disappointed at delay in the burial of their king and failure to bring to book the perpetrators blaming the Abudu Family for forestalling the process.

It said in spite of government's assurances to get to the bottom of the matter, "It is rather shocking and inexplicable that to date no single person has been held responsible for that crime" and noted that the actions of the Abudu family, have delayed the burial process.

Speaking at a press conference to commemorate the day in Accra, Dr Yahooza Gomda, a newly appointed Spokesperson for the Andani said the delay in the completion of a new Gbewaa Palace for the Ya Na has been the result of the needless provocation of the Abudu family that had frustrated the burial process.

Exactly three years ago on March 27, 2002, the Ya Na Yakubu Andani, was gruesomely murdered and beheaded with 40 others killed following fighting between the two families in Yendi over the celebration of a festival.

President John Agyekum Kufuor set up a Committee of three eminent chiefs chaired by Otumfuo, the Asantehene to handle the traditional aspects, which includes the burial, installation of a Regent and the enskinment of a new Ya Na.

Dr Gomda said the Abudu claimed the old Gbewaa Palace of the Ya Na was sited on a piece of land acquired by their grandfather, Na Alhassan, which was not true.

Dr Gomda said at the beginning of the palace construction, the Abudu family destroyed the foundation with impunity and they also objected to the erection of a pavilion in front of the new palace with the excuse that the pavilion would block their way during the funeral of the late Ya Na Mohammadu Adulai.

"Ladies and gentlemen what baffles us most is the government's response to all these machinations ostensibly put in place to frustrate or delay the burial of the Ya Na.

"Yet at a number of platforms the government had stated its commitment to give Ya Na Yakubu Andani II a fitting burial, even though by Dagbon custom the government has no role in the burial of the Ya Na and might not even know when he would be buried," he said.

Dr Gomda said from the foregone events, the Andani family wish to make it clear that they were in no way responsible for the delays in the burial process of the Ya Na contrary to suggestions in that regard. He said the Kuga Na has so far on two occasions put forward programmes for the internment of the mortal remains of the late Ya Na but none has been implemented. The first was in April last year and second should have been February 25, 2005.

"When the Ya Na is not buried, traditionally nothing moves in Dagbon. For instance, traditional drumming and all other forms of music are banned and funerals of chiefs, sub chiefs and elders enskinned by the office of the Ya Na cannot be performed," the Andani leader noted. He appealed to the Otumfuo Committee to inject more urgency in the burial process to facilitate the burial and installation of a Regent adding, "Indeed the Andani's are highly disappointed at the slow pace of progress in handling of the traditional aspect."

In a four point-suggestions, the Andani people urged the Otumfuo Committee to support the Kuga Na and his elders to revise the programme for the burial of the late Ya Na.

They also urged the Kuga Na to also call for contributions from the citizens of Dagbon and non-citizens as well as friends of the town to raise funds for the completion of the Gbewaa Palace.

Dr Gomda said there was also the need for the government to provide adequate security in Yendi during the burial and subsequent installation of a Regent.

"Since crime does not rot or decay, we the Andani Family are still for the day the criminals will be apprehended for the murder of the Ya Na and the 40 others.

"Natural justice demands that no criminal should profit from his or her crime. We want those responsible for the crime to be arrested and prosecuted not out of revenge but for the sake of civility, respect for the rule of law in Dagbon in particular and Ghana as a whole..."

Dr. Gomda said, in an era of constitutional rule, it would be sad for the country, if the state were to become an accessory by its action or inaction, to the acquisition of tradition office by the use of force.

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