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01.04.2006 General News

Statement on Dagbon


Tamale, April 1, GNA - Full text of the Statement issued by the Committee of Eminent Kings of His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, The Yagbonwura and the Nayiri.


In pursuance of our efforts to find a durable solution to the rather protracted chieftaincy dispute in Dagbon, we scheduled a meeting in Kumasi on Wednesday and Thursday 29th and 30th March 2006 respectively. It was well attended by accredited representatives of the Royal Andani and Abudu families including their core members.

It is heart-warming to note that remarkable progress was made during the meeting. The meeting noted the following:

1. Cognizance of decision of the Supreme Court to the effect that late Ya-Naa Mahamadu should be regarded as a former Ya-Naa and that his sons be regarded as sons of Ya-Naa and that they do qualify for the Gate Skins of Mion, Karaga and Savelugu, which decision the Eminent Kings and all the parties accept. 2. The Supreme Court decided further that only occupants of the skins of Mion, Karaga and Savelugu can aspire to and occupy the Namship. 3. The report of the Reconciliation Committee established to give effect to the Supreme Court judgment and the agreements and undertakings agreed to by all the parties who were signatories to that agreement. 4. The fact that Naa Mahamadu died when he was no longer in office as Ya Naa. 5. The unfortunate incidence of March 2002 leading to the death of Ya Naa Yakubu Andani and some of his followers and the need to accord him burial with accordance with Dagbon customs and tradition. 6. The need for equity, justice and fairness in finding a solution to the Dagbon conflict.

Whereof the Eminent Kings Committee with the full and active participation, and concurrence of both families hereby decides as follows:

a. The installation of the regent of Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani takes precedence over the installation of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai's regent since Naa Yakubu died in office Dagbon custom did not contemplate a situation where there would two sitting Ya Nas or regents at the same time.

b. A Council of Elders comprising three representatives each from the Andani and Abudu Families shall be constituted immediately to act in concert with the Kuga-Naa and the regent of Naa Yakubu Andani to handle all traditional arrangements from the date of burial of Naa Yakubu Andani, performance of funeral rites of both late Ya Nas to the installation of a new Ya-Naa.

c. The Council of Elders shall compromise the following persons:

1. For the Andani Family: Sung Lana Abdulai Mahama; Kunkon Lana FuseiniZiblim and the Kpan Na M.B. Bawah 2. The Mion Lana shall be the leader of the Abudu Family on the Council of Elders and shall consult with other members of the family to submit two additional names to the Committee of Eminent Kings. The names of the members of the Council of Elders from the Abudu family shall be submitted by the Mion Lana to the Kuga Naa on or before Saturday April 1, 2006, and notified to each of the Eminent Kings as soon as possible.

d. The burial of Naa Yakubu Andani should take place on 10th April 2006, with the consultation and active participation of the Council of Elders, and his regent appointed shortly thereafter in accordance with Dagbon customs and traditions.

e. The Kuga Na is enjoined to act as father of all, to be impartial and to ensure the full participation of the Abudu family in all matters relating to the burial of Naa Yakubu Andani and the management of the Dagbon state.

f. The powers of the regent shall be limited because of the peculiar circumstances in Dagbon today. In this context, the Regent shall not have powers to appoint any chiefs or alienate any lands or other resources belonging to the Dagbon state.

g. Without prejudice to clause "e" above, the regent with the occurrence of the Kuga Naa and the Council of Elders shall appoint chiefs to vacant skins whose participation will be crucial in the performance of the funeral rights of Naa Mahamadu and Naa Yakubu Andani, and to assign the regent of Naa Mahamadu to a skin after the performance of the funeral of his father.

h. The burial of Naa Yakubu Andani shall be performed in the royal mausoleum. All other purposes connected to his burial shall be performed at the temporary palace.

i. There can only be one palace in Dagbon kingdom. The temporary palace was constructed following the unfortunate incidence of 2002. In this connection, the old Gbewaa palace should remain free of occupation of any activity until a date is set for the performance of the funeral rights of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai.

j. After the burial Naa Yakubu Andani, both sides shall meet again with the Committee of Eminent Kings to work out a programme for the funeral rights Naa Mahamadu and Naa Yakubu Andani. Since Naa Mahamadu died before Naa Yakubu Andani, his funeral shall be performed first.

k. The Eminent Kings shall agree upon a time frame with all the parties within which the respective funerals of the late Ya Nas shall be performed. The Eminent Kings will continue to engage with the parties on the way forward until a new Ya Naa is enskinned.

l. All the parties pledged to abide by this roadmap to peace and to encourage their supporters to continue to keep the peace. m. The agreements reached hereunder do not represent a victory to any side. The parties are urged to continue in the spirit of accommodation, compromise and oneness that constitute the foundation for the agreement, and to avoid celebrations of acts that depict a victory or lost of any side. In witness whereof we have caused our signs and seals to be affixed to this Statement issued this 30th March 2006.

Signed by His Majesty Otumfuo Osei tutu II

Nayiri Mahami Abdulai Naa Bohagu

Yagbonwura Bawa Doshie

TSung Lana Mahama (Andani Gate)

Kpan Naa Bawa Mahamadu (Andani Gate)

Mion Lana A.A. Ziblim (Abudu Gate)

Kworli Gbanlana Mamama Mahama (Abudu Gate)

Nyoligu Lana Mahami Adam (for Kuga Naa)

Hon. Boniface Abubakar Saddique (MP) Northern Regional Minister