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Opinion | Jan 22, 2019

Dagbon: Don’t Let Politics Rake Up Old Wounds!

By Oli A. Rahman
HM Yaa Naa Abukari Mahama II
HM Yaa Naa Abukari Mahama II

Let me start by expressing my fealty to my sovereign, His Majesty Yaa Naa Abukari Mahama II. It took a long time in coming, but it surely feels and sounds good!

The period of interregnum was embarrassing, humiliating and demeaning. For a proud people like Dagombas to have done what we did sixteen years ago, defies comprehension, but now it is all over: Time for healing, time for unity, time for progress.

As His Majesty settles on the skin, the rest of us, his subjects, must be extremely careful and circumspect. The wounds are still there and any recklessness, especially from political office seekers can re-open the bleeding.

I was extremely disturbed when a young parliamentary aspirant, describing himself as a “respected indigene of Dagbon” gave an interview using the kinds of words we should avoid. To put it bluntly, he was politicising the whole event. And not only that, some non-Dagomba political types have also stepped in heaping partisan praise for “implementing the Dagbon Peace Plan”. Let us not use Dagbon for politics. No politician or political party can take credit for this peace now – only the people of Dagbon themselves and their traditional allies slogging away at intractable and delicate negotiations all these years. For now, what Dagon needs is a period of calm introspection to work out the necessary strategies that would optimise the potential of the traditional area. The Yaa Naa will need the expertise and experience of all his subjects in diverse fields of endeavour in that regard. It is immoral to for politicians to try to reap where they have not sown, especially when politics has a lot to be blamed for!

It is imprudent to start off with political point scoring. That would lead us back to revisit the “original sin” and on and on... Next year is election year and the temptation to drag Dagbon into the fray, one way or the other, as a campaign propaganda tool may be appealing to some petty-minded politicians. That would be insensitive and provocative. Dagbon should resist this and name and shame such wreckers.

Obviously, His Majesty would have his set of priorities but unity should hopefully top them. He would also have to consider modernising the administration of the skin to take on board new technologies and management methods. He should be accessible, travelling the realm and meeting with his subjects to inspire them to take up the challenges of reconciliation and reconstruction.

That is the way forward, not making him and Dagbon the objects of nugatory cheap political point scoring. He is above that and should remain ennobled at all times for us to build the trust and confidence in him leading to a future of fecundity and cohesion. It’s been a long, frustrating and traumatising journey and for any political entity to claim credit out of our suffering would be to add insult to injury. Let us not rake old wounds. All true indigenes of Dagbon have a sacred duty to guard against that…

Long live Ghana, long may Dagbon endure…

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