President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says he has no preferential candidate as far as who becomes the next Dagbon Overlord (Ya Na) is concerned.
His only interest, he said, was to see the area flourish and prosper in peace, as the choice of who becomes the next Ya Na is the sole preserve of the chiefs and people of Dagbon.
At a meeting yesterday with the Otumfuo-led Mediation Committee handling the Dagbon chieftaincy stalemate at the seat of government, to discuss a roadmap to restore peace to the area, Mr Akufo-Addo said he was interested in finding a lasting solution to the impasse in that part of the country.
“I have said on many occasions, I am not a Dagomba and, I, therefore, cannot be an Andani or Abudu. I have no candidate for the office of the Ya Na. That is a matter for the people of Dagbon.
“I am just an ordinary Ghanaian who wants to see the peace, progress and prosperity of all parts of our beautiful country without any discrimination or differentiation,” he stressed.
Earlier Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, leader of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs asked anyone in possession of any evidence concerning the killing of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II in 2002 to present it to them in assisting to get to the bottom of the crime.
Presenting the committee’s peace roadmap to President Nana Akufo-Addo the monarch of the Asante Kingdom said they acknowledged that some factions lost their relatives in the conflict which saw the Overlord beheaded along with 30 of his servants, adding that: “That is a criminal aspect if that is so. But then to hold that to ransom so that Dagbon cannot carry on, I will die and Asanteman will continue”.
“If there is any evidence at all, I have told them all; if anybody has evidence to the effect [as to] who killed the Ya Na, I have asked that they should present a report to us (Committee of Eminent Chiefs). We will tell the president, the security agencies will investigate and prosecute,” he noted.
“It is open for them to come. Tell us if you have any evidence at all as to why, who killed the Ya Na? We are prepared to prosecute…,” he stressed.
Meanwhile the Andani Family of Dagbon in the Northern Region has described as “shameful and gross moral corruption”, the decision by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs to allow the funeral rites of the late Mahamadu Abdulai to be performed in the Gbewa Palace in Yendi.
At a Press Conference yesterday to challenge the decision by the Asantehene-led Committee, the Andani family insisted they will resist any attempt to perform the funeral of the late Mahamadu Abdulai because he died as a private person and at a private location.
It would be recalled that the Gbewaa Palace, the residence of the Overlord, together with thirty surrounding houses, were torched.
Thirty members of the Overlord’s household and other members of the community were killed and several others injured.
The Overlord’s body was dismembered, decapitated and set on fire. His head was paraded on a spear and parts of his body were paraded around town.
The Dagbon crisis has persisted for the past 16 years and has cost both the area and Ghana immensely in terms of security, development and resources.
Former President John Kufuor in 2006 established the Committee of Eminent Chiefs and tasked them to lead mediation efforts between the two royal families with the view to finding a peaceful resolution to the matter.
Chaired by the Asantehene, the other members include the Nayiri, Mahamid Sheriga and the Yagbonwura, Tuntumba Boresa I.
The differences between the parties have traversed the Kufuor, Mills and Mahama eras.
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH
Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org