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13.04.2005 General News

Peace process in Dagbon stalls

By GNA

...as Abudus and Andanis take entrenched positions Kumasi, April 13, GNA - The crucial meeting of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs and the two factions in the Dagbon crisis ended in Kumasi on Tuesday without any conclusive date for the burial and the funeral rites of the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani, the Paramount Chief of Dagbon Traditional Area.

The meeting was to find an amicable settlement and a new date for the burial of the Ya-Na Andani following the cancellation of the earlier programme that should have come off on Monday, April 11. The entrenched positions taken by both the Andani and Abudu Gates over the installation of the regent before the burial has temporarily stalled the burial process.

While the Andanis insisted that a regent is installed before the burial of the late king as demanded by Dagbon custom, the Abudus countered that the burial should be separated from the installation of a regent.

However, after lengthy discussions both Gates agreed that the Ya-Na could be buried before a regent is selected. They also agreed that a regent is appointed immediately after the burial.

The Abudus insisted on the performance of the funeral of the late Ya-Na Mahamadu Abdulai and his son installed as a regent before that of the late Ya-Na Yakubu but the Andanis rejected this with an explanation that the late Na Mahamadu did not die as a king of Dagbon.

After listening carefully to the arguments of both sides, The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who is the Chairman of the Committee, suspended the meeting and promised that members of the committee were going to study the verdict of the Supreme Court which ruled on the Dagbon issue in order to determine the status of the late Ya-Na Mahamadu.

The Asantehene said the Committee would also look at all documents available to it and the position of Na Mahamadu and also investigate why his funeral was not performed and his son installed as regent when he died about 15 years ago.

He warned that the issue of Na Mahamadu could not be swept under the carpet so far as his son was still living in Yendi. Otumfuo Osei Tutu said if care was not taken there could be a parallel authority, which could perpetuate conflict and violence in Dagbon.

He stressed the need for all factions to be patient to enable the Committee to study all the issues involved so that it could find a lasting solution to the problem.

The Asantehene observed that the two factions had taken entrenched positions, which was not helping the Committee to move forward. He said either they were not telling the truth or had forgotten the facts regarding their traditions and customs.

He told them to avoid selfishness, suspicion and mistrust to enable the Committee to find a solution to the difficult and delicate crisis in Dagbon.

He said members of the Committee would have studied all the available documents before the next meeting and urged the factions to restrain themselves and be calm. Otumfuo Osei Tutu said there was the need for peace to prevail in Dagbon in order to resolve the issue and warned that the Committee would not sit down for any of the faction to have his way.

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