The Andani Royal Family of Dagbon has raised concerns about what it considers as infractions by the Abudu Royal Family on the road map to peace in the traditional area.
According to the family, recent actions by the Abudus in Yendi were not only a slap on the customs and traditions of Dagbon but also the tenets as contained in the road map that was fashioned out by the Asantehene-led Committee of Eminent Chiefs.
“We will be unable to proceed with the performance of the funeral of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II in the face of such infractions of our customs and traditions and the blatant manifestation of impunity emanating from the other side,” a statement issued on Tuesday by the Yaa Naa Andani Funeral Committee and signed by its Chairman, Tong Lana Andani Yakubu, said.
The statement, which was addressed to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, was copied to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Minister of National Security, Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah.
The statement said even though the Andanis were “committed to commence the process of performing Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani’s funeral as per the schedule on the roadmap rolled out by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, we would like to draw your attention to developments which are likely to torpedo the entire process if immediate action is not taken to address them”.
“A house, which is the traditional home of Mba Dugu was literally broken into, seized and occupied by the Bolin Lana Muhamadu Abdulai following the performance of the funeral of his father which ended on Friday, December 28, 2018. This ambush was totally unexpected and constitutes a reckless infraction of Dagbon traditions and customs,” it said.
It stated that the house in question was not only the traditional residence of Mba Dugu but also the place where the Yeni Limam (Chief Imam) and the Gundo Naa (queen mother) temporary resided before the commencement of the funeral rites of a Yaa Naa during which all three played vital roles.
The statement further indicated that the house was the final stop of a newly enskinned Yaa Naa upon leaving ‘Zohi,’ before he was eventually ushered into the Gbewaa Palace for which reason if the house was under any occupation, the funeral of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II could not proceed.
“As Your Majesty is probably aware, the houses of Mba Dugu, Gulana, Malli, Kpahigu and Kumlana were destroyed during the attack on the Gbewaa Palace in March 2002, resulting in the murder of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II and scores of members of his royal household and elders. Through the instrumentality of the Kampakuya Naa, these houses were reconstructed in 2014 and early 2015, but the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) took possession of the keys and has still not released them,” it claimed.
The Andanis further alleged that the Bolin Lana was carrying himself as a de facto Yaa Naa and that “such provocations, among other things, have taken the form of carrying out certain rituals, including the beating of drums, especially the tumpana, in a manner permissible only on the premises of the palace of a Yaa Naa. Such confrontational indiscretion is counterproductive and potentially injurious to peace which has eluded Dagbon for so long”.
The statement mentioned threats from people it described as extremist elements in the Abudu Royal Family reminiscent of what happened in March 2002 that led to the killing of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani.
“These threats should not be ignored,” the Andanis cautioned.
In view of their concerns, the Andanis appealed to the Asantehene to intervene and have the concerns addressed in a manner consistent with Dagbon traditions and customs.
In line with the road map to peace, the Andanis were to begin the final funeral performance of Yaa Naa Andani II from January 4, 2019 to January 18, 2019. Following the alleged occupation of the Mba Dugu’s residence by the Bolin Lana, the Andanis decided to shift the commencement date from January 11, 2019 to January 18, 2019.
The Committee of Eminent Chiefs, on November 16, 2018, made a declaration to bring finality to the decades-old-conflict between the Abudu and the Andani Royal families in Dagbon when it presented the road map to peace in the troubled traditional area to the President at theJubilee House in Accra.
The committee was set up by former President, John Agyekum Kufuor in 2002 to find a lasting solution to the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute after the killing of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II at Yendi in March 2002.
The committee is made up of the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Yagbonwura, Tuntumba Boresa Sulemana Jakpa I, the Paramount Chief of the Gonja Traditional Area and the Nayiri, Na Bohugu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, the Paramount Chief of the Mamprugu Traditional Area.