10.04.2006 Crime & Punishment

Troublemakers arrested at Yendi

10.04.2006 LISTEN

Yendi (N/R), April 10, GNA - The programme for the burial of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, overlord of Dagbon Traditional Area, is progressing following the arrest of a number of troublemakers by Security Personnel at Yendi

Twenty-one locally made guns, which were all cocked for action, have so far been retrieved from a house during a search. Some condoms were also found in a bag among the guns. The security personnel have also arrested a man, who was wielding a pistol and a cutlass. It is suspected that most of the misbehaving youth are under the influence of narcotic drugs as Security Personnel found a substance believed to be Indian hemp in a bag one of the irate youth abandoned while being chased.

Unidentified assailants attacked Hamdia Wahab, a 26-year-old food seller and her mother from Tamale, who were on their way to sell food at Yendi. Hamdia was hit and bled profusely.

Meanwhile the security personnel have intensified the gun-firing to scare away potential troublemakers. They have also intensified security on the Tamale-Yendi road and are escorting people from Tamale to Yendi and beefed up patrols on the streets of Yendi.

The streets of Yendi have been virtually deserted as most of the residents have gone indoors. There was sporadic shooting between 1000 hours and 1100 hours but this has died down bringing the situation to normalcy.

In Tamale there is a mad rush for vehicles by enthusiastic youth and people believed to be members from the Andani Gate wishing to travel to Yendi to witness the historic burial of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani. Large numbers of people have gathered around the palace of the Dakpema (chief of Tamale) close to the Tamale Central Mosque, waiting for an opportunity to board any Yendi-bound vehicle while passengers are stranded at the Yendi station in Tamale The atmosphere in Tamale is relatively calm with people going about their normal businesses.

At Kukuo, near the GNA offices, stranded passengers could be seen chasing already overloaded trucks heading for Yendi.

The Police and the Military have mounted a temporary barrier on the main Tamale-Yendi road.

The Committee of Eminent Chief on Thursday presented an interim report to President John Agyekum Kufuor in which it outlined a roadmap to restoring peace to Dagbon following the regicide of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani in 2002.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, Yagbonwura, Bawa Doshie and the Nayiri, Naa Boshagu Mahama Abdulai Sheriga, the members of the Committee, accompanied by representatives of the Andani and Abudu Royal Families presented the Report, which captures the traditional processes to be followed and agreements reached on the burial of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II.

It outlined the breakthrough on the thorny and sticky issues of the burial of the Ya-Na, the traditional position of Ya-Na Mahamadu Abdulai and the Regency.

Presenting the Report, Otumfuo Osei Tutu said the Dagbon crisis was a purely traditional matter and must, therefore, be kept out of politics.

"We want to plead with everybody, the politicians and the media to keep out of this for when they create confusion they would leave the people there to suffer their fate."

The Asantehene noted that there used to be too much suspicion among the people of the two Royal Gates but said they had now succeeded in building confidence and trust in each other.

He said the Committee had made it clear to the two Gates that it would be an indictment on them if their generation destroyed the rich traditions of Dagbon.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu on behalf of the other members of the Committee thanked Mr Boniface Abubakar Sadique, the Northern Regional Minister and his predecessor, Mr Ernest Akobour Debrah, now Minister of Food and Agriculture, for their role and efforts towards finding lasting peace in Dagbon.

Ya-Na Yakubu Andani was killed in overnight fighting in Yendi, a statement issued by the Minister of Information and Presidential Affairs, Mr Jake Obetesbi-Lamptey in Accra said on Wednesday 27 March 2002.

Thirty others were also reported killed in the fighting, which erupted on Monday March 25 2002 between the Andani and Abudu chieftaincy gates to the Ya-Na Skin.

People fleeing the area told the Ghana News Agency that the town was littered with dead bodies and several houses around the Ya-Na's palace had been burnt down.

There were sporadic gunshots on Tuesday morning and afternoon but this intensified during the curfew hours and lasted throughout the night.

The security personnel, who were deployed to keep the peace, were helpless as the two factions went on rampage.

Tension was mounting in Tamale as people from both factions were mobilising to go to Yendi, the capital of the Dagbon Traditional Area. More military reinforcement was despatched from Tamale to Yendi. Telephone links to Yendi were cut off.

Sporadic gunshots were heard during the whole of Tuesday despite the presence of armed Soldiers and Police.

By 1800 hours on Tuesday three persons: Musah Abdulai, Yakubu Mahama alias Fuu Mahama and Abdulai Issahaku alias Bona Yuu had received gunshot wounds and were on admission at the Yendi Government Hospital. A dusk to dawn curfew was imposed on Yendi on Monday because of the tense situation there.

The Northern Regional Security Committee deployed armed Soldiers and Police to the area and banned the celebration of the 2002 annual Bugum (Fire) Festival at Yendi that was to have taken place on Monday 25 March 2002 night.

Tension had been mounting between the two gates since January 2002 over the celebration of the Muslim Eid Ul-Adha festival. The Andani Gate that is currently occupying the Dagbon Skin was said not to have been happy when the rival Abudu Gate celebrated the festival in the traditional way at the house of its Regent.

Since then, there had been rumours of an imminent attack and counter-attack by the rival chieftaincy gates, which boiled over into an exchange of gunfire on Monday morning.

The clash was precipitated when one of the factions allegedly attacked a young man from the rival camp and destroyed his bicycle. The District Chief Executive of Yendi, Mr Mohammed Habibu Tijani told the Ghana News Agency in a telephone interview on Monday March 25 2002 that the two sides exchanged fire for about five minutes. There has been a long-standing dispute over the succession to the Ya-Na Skin. 10 April 06

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