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13.09.2019 Press Statement

Press conference by the Bangyili Youth-Bimbill

By Iddrisu .A. Latif
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Friends from the media distinguished ladies and gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the program.

The youth of Bangyili in the Nanumba Traditional area are appalled by certain developments emanating from the Dassana faction since His Excellency declared publicly that he will do everything legitimate to ensure Nanung state enjoys lasting peace.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the media fraternity, your invitation to this conference is as a result of the press conference held at Bimbilla on 2nd September 2019 by the Dassana faction on the President’s initiative to address the Bimbilla succession impasse and also our decision to respond to critical issues raised therein.

Our distinguished friends from the media, you would recall that at the above mentioned press conference, instead of the Dassana faction using the platform to thank His Excellency the President for his determination to bring peace back to the traditional area, they rather used it to level baseless accusations, the aim of which is to ensure that the mediation processes do not succeed.

We wish to state unequivocally that at no point did the President and in fact, government prevent the regent from exercising his powers consistent with the laws of Ghana and in line with the customary practice and usage in Nanung. Their claim that the government is not enforcing the judgment of the Supreme Court of Ghana therefore amounts to mischief and an unwarranted accusation. The regent is on record to have long before and after the Supreme Court ruling on the chieftaincy dispute in May 2018, enskinned various princes as sub chiefs to towns and villages in the traditional area unhindered. Also, he represented the Nanumba Traditional Area as the Acting President of the Nanumba Traditional Council at the recently held meeting of the National House of Chiefs in Tamale.

These apart, the government has extended various courtesies to the regent including extending an invitation to him to attend the Independence Day celebrations held in Tamale on 6th March this year. The government also provides him with protection 24/7. Even more revealing is the fact that the regent was the one offered the otherwise rare privilege of delivering the welcome address at a durbar when His Excellency, the president visited Bimbilla. We therefore challenge the family to show evidence to the contrary.

In the face of all these we do not understand why the President and the NPP government is being accused of not enforcing the judgment of the Supreme Court as alleged by the Dassana faction except to say that they have a hidden agenda to unnecessarily delay the performance of the funeral of the late Adani Dassana and make way for the Bangyili gate to take its rightful turn and provide the next Bimbilla Naa. We wish to state that we will resist this diabolical plan fiercely.

The Dassana faction ought to be reminded that the unfortunate murder incident involving the late Andani Dassana did not occur under the administration of the NPP government. Therefore, we cannot fathom their call on the President to bring the alleged perpetrators to book when already the suspects were arrested and taken through due process of the law. His Excellency the President cannot by any stretch of imagination be accused of not punishing the perpetrators. We wish to advise the Dassana family that His Excellency is willing and ever ready to assist them if any evidence which finds anybody culpable is produced. After all seeking justice for a criminal act is not statute barred.

The youth of Bangyili and indeed the generality of the citizens of Nanung have also taken note of the tricks and antics that find expression in the baseless and needless accusations against the Northern Regional Minister, a son of the Nanung Kingdom, calculated at tarnishing his hard-won reputation just to achieve their parochial interest. We wish to remind the Dassana faction that Hon. Salifu Saeed was the then District Chief Executive for Nanumba North for 4 years during which the chieftaincy crisis in Nanung was ongoing. Under his tenure as the DCE, not even a single soul was lost. This was not sheer coincidence; it was certainly due to his impartiality and effective leadership.

We wish to place on record that none of the gruesome killings Nanung is experiencing now took place during his tenure. We therefore expect the Dassana family to reflect soberly and rather be grateful to the current Northern Regional Minister at least for providing adequate security for the late Andani Dassana instead of attempting to tarnish his image by hiding behind mere subterfuge which simply does not add up.

It is common knowledge that the Hon. Regional Minister has been so busy since he took over office, literally working day and night to resolve the numerous security issues in the region. Therefore, accusing him of not taking the regent to the presidency to greet the president, (as they put it) portrays a complete lack of appreciation of the daunting challenges confronting the entire region. The Hon. Northern Regional Minister to say the least has creditably discharged his duties and so deserves commendation even from people who have vowed never to appreciate his efforts.

We the youth of Bangyili are unhappy that the Dassana faction is accusing Vonaa Attah Abarika without any substance in all their allegations. Vonaa Attah Abarika, as we know him is very much known to be a peace-loving Royal which explains why he performed his late father’s funeral and accordingly handed over the mantle of the Bimbilla nam to the Gbugmayili gate to provide the next overlord. The chieftaincy crisis is an internal matter within the Gbugmayili gate and therefore the Dassana faction should not level accusations against Vonaa Attah Abarika for their failure to see reason in settling their misunderstanding amicably.

We wish to remind all and sundry that Vonaa Attah Abarika was falsely accused of having a hand in the murder of the late Andani Dassana. He was arrested in June, 2014, kept in police custody and taken through due process. He was subsequently acquitted and discharged by a court of competent jurisdiction in 2014. It is therefore hypocrisy of the highest order for the Dassana faction to still accuse him of the murder while calling on other people to respect the decision of courts of competent jurisdiction.

We also wish to state emphatically that Vonaa Attah Abarika is a full-fledged royal and immediate past regent of the Nanung kingdom. He is also a direct son of a former Bimbilla Naa just like the late Andani Dassana. Therefore, if the opportunity avails itself for him to become Bimbilla Naa at the right time he will gladly do so. We therefore want to use this forum to caution Osman Kikaa, the spokesperson for the Dassana faction to desist (in the interest of public good) from demeaning and insulting elders of the Nanung kingdom just to please his paymasters. He ought to know that there are many young guys in the Nanung state who have had their tongues anointed with vulgarities like him but have chosen to be measured and discreet in their pronouncements.

Distinguished media practitioners, ladies and gentlemen may we take this singular opportunity to congratulate the Awomefia of the Anglo State, His royal highness, Togbe Sri III on his appointment as Sole Mediator in the Bimbilla chieftaincy dispute. Admittedly,it is an arduous task but we are confident that with the guidance of God and his rich experience he will work assiduously to bring peace back to Nanung. We wish to assure him of our maximum cooperation.

Our friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen, we finally wish to take this opportunity to thank the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo and the NPP government for this bold initiative taken to bring lasting peace to Nanung. We are confident that the experience and lessons learnt from the resolution of the protracted chieftaincy dispute in Dagbon will be brought to bear on the mediation process.

We thank you all for coming.

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