CULTURE OF IMPUNITY IN DAGBON
Since the unfortunate events of March 2002 in which we lost the Overlord of Dagbon Ya Na Yakubu Andani II and forty others, certain developments have taken place in Tamale and Yendi which goes to confirm our suspicion that the government of the New Patriotic Party led by His Excellency President John Agyekum Kufour has a hand in the tragedy however remote it may be. Our suspicions are based on the underlying factors: (1) CONFESSION BY Ex-ZALINKO LANA – IDDRISU IDDI On March 30th 2002 on Iddrisu Iddi (ex Zalinko Lana) told a high-powered government delegation led by Honourable Senior Minister Mr. Joseph Henry Mensah that they were responsible for that atrocious act. His reason being that the murdered King, Ya Na Yakubu Andani had ruled for long and they from the Abudu gate have known no peace for the twenty-eight years Ya- Na Yakubu Andani was ruling. This was beamed on Ghana Television and to date the said Iddrisu Iddi is even yet to be invited by the security agencies to write a statement for reasons best known to the security agencies and the powers that be in government. Instead Idddrisu Iddi is the chief spokesperson of the Abudus leading them to meet government and other dignitaries who call on chiefs from the Abudu gate (2) POOR PROSECUTION OF IDDRISU JAHINFO & YIDANA SUGRI.
The poor prosecution of Yidana Sugri and Iddrisu Jahinfo which led to their eventual acquittal and discharge by the Fast Track Court was because they had mentioned Ex Zalinko Lana Iddrisu Iddi & Abdulai Mahamadu alias Bolin Lana (supposed head of the Abudu family) as recipients of the decapitated parts of Ya Na Yakubu Andani both at the Wuako Commission and at the court proceedings. In their evidence at the Wuoko Commission both Yidana and Jahinfo said after the dastardly act a carnival was held and the decapitated arm and head of Ya Na Yakubu Andani was presented to Ex Zalinko Lana who received it and finally handed them over to Abdulai Mahamadu alias Bolin Lana. Those persons mentioned by the two accused persons are perceived to be the spiritual godfathers of the President Mr. J.A. Kufuor and cannot therefore be touched. Conviction of Yidana and Jahinfo would have been a travesty of justice; hence their acquittal and discharge . (3) DESTRUCTION OF FOUNDATION AT TEMPORAL GBEWA PALACE
After several months of talks between the Otumfuo Committee of Eminent chiefs, the Kuga Na (acting overlord of Dagbon); the Andani family and the Abudu family the construction of a temporal palace was agreed. The go ahead was given after the Regional Security Council had given the assurance that adequate security would be provided for work to be carried on at the site without any hindrance. However when the workmen had started work a group of persons led by one Mahamadu Ziblim alias Parishei Na in broad daylight under the full glare of the security men at the site covered up the trenches dug for the foundation. The security men looked on helplessly. After protest they were quickly arraigned before the Yendi court where they were cautioned and asked to go and “sin no more.”
(4) OCCUPANCY AND RENOVATION OF VANDALISED GBEWA PALACE.
Last year the Abudu Youth in Yendi despite the presence of heavy security at the Old vandalized Gbewa Palace, besieged the place ' took over the place and started renovating it both day and night. As usual the security men looked on helplessly. There was hue and cry on the private radio stations both in Accra and Tamale. When the District Chief Executive for Yendi was questioned he described the group of marauders as unidentified group of persons. Yet the security men could not apprehend any one. After they had completely renovated the place to conceal the atrocious act they were “forced “ out.
(5) DISCLOSURES BY Ex- SERGEANT KARIMU
Ex Sergeant Karimu alias Karimu Soldier who claims he is the Security coordinator of the NPP and attends Regional Security Council meetings recently went on air in Tamale (precisely Justice Radio) and said he has information about how and who were involved in the gruesome murder of the Ya Na and forty others. He named Prince Imoro Andani (former Northern Regional Minister) as the prime suspect and threatened to disclose more names. Ex-Sergeant Karimu made these pronouncements in his bid for the Northern Regional Chairmanship of the NPP. We doubt whether the security agencies even bothered to invite him to substantiate his claims.
(6) HARASSMENT AND INTIMIDATION
Since March 2002 ' our people in Yendi; continue to be harassed; intimidated and threatened by these group of Abudu rift rafts. Our properties have been looted and vandalized several times without any provocation. The security men at post in Yendi look on helplessly as any attempt to arrest any of the marauding Abudu youth is met from so called “directives from above “
(7) FLOUTING OF BAN ON DRUMMING AND DANCING. IN DAGBON
Every true Dagbon citizen knows that when a Ya Na dies and is not yet buried beating and dancing of traditional drums is forbidden This is a time-tested tradition which has never been breached. However certain deviant chiefs in complete disregard for the custom and authority that have made them chiefs and with complete disrespect to the Kuga Na have flouted this directive of the ban on drumming. In places such as Yendi, Tolon and Diari these deviant chiefs have allowed drumming. This is a matter known to the Regional Minister and the Regional Security Council.
When the Regional Security Council came out with directives warning people of Dagbon about the ban we knew they were throwing dust into the eyes of Ghanaians Before the Eid-ul-Fitr festival the security in Yendi was beefed up with a contingent of more than fifty soldiers with two new armoured cars. Yet with all these enhanced security the security men rather gave protection to the Abudus in Yendi to flout with impunity the Regional Security Council's own directives.
We the Youth of the Andani Royal Family and our sympathizers in Yendi and the entire Dagbon have remained silent despite these provocative acts unleashed on us by our cousins in Abuduyili for the following reasons:
(1) We have matured and wise elders whom we respect and obey.
(2) We are a disciplined youth whose main aim is to seek knowledge and wealth for the development of Dagbon and Ghana in particular.
(3) We are a law-abiding people who do not want to disturb the fragile peace, which would lead to the further retrogression of Dagbon and the entire North.
(4) In any conflict situation lives and property are destroyed. Since we are the majority in Dagbon about 85% of the population in Dagbon. We are the prime targets in their provocative and unwarranted attacks
(5) We are tolerant and are therefore nicknamed by our cousins “Nawuni Beni Yilinima” in Dagbani literally God is there or in Akan “Fama Nyame”
(6) The government of the day is sympathetic to their cause. This was said clearly in Parliament by Honourable Hackman Owusu Agyeman then Minister of Interior last year.
We are however being pushed to the wall and our patience, tolerance and endurance is stretched to the limit. We may be compelled to make a passionate appeal to our chiefs and elders to seek their permission to hit back at these enemies of progress. We want to make it unequivocally clear to the government and who ever is behind these group of hooligans and vandals in Yendi and other parts of Dagbon that we have the capacity to bring them to order without government intervention.
We are interested in the development and progress of not only Dagbon but also the entire North. These billions of cedis that has been wasted in maintaining so called “peace and security” could have assisted us in the fight against ignorance, poverty and disease which are our common enemies
We are however sounding a warning to them that very soon we shall say “enough is enough”
LONG LIVE DAGBON.
Alhaji Abdulai Silimboma (Chairman)
Alhassan Osman Noble (Secretary)