President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is courting support for the new Yaa-Naa of Dagbon, Abubakari Mahama II.
He has thus urged the people of Dagbon to rally behind the new Yaa-Naa and offer him their full support in a bid to sustain the current peace being enjoyed in the area.
“To paraphrase the words of the Holy Scripture, the enskinment of Yaa-Naa Abubakari Mahama II is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our sight. Let us give him all the support he requires, as he sets about to administer the affairs of the state of Dagbon,” he said.
Until today, January 25, 2019, Dagbon had been without a Yaa-Naa following years of protracted chieftaincy disputes which started in 2002 after the demise of the late King.
The delayed final funeral rites of two previous Yaa-Naa’s were conducted recently, after a road-map to peace developed by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs led by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, was adopted and implemented, paving the way for the coronation of Yaa-Naa Abubakari Mahama II today.
Speaking at the coronation in Yendi, President Nana Akufo-Addo described Yaa-Naa Abubakari Mahama II as a man of reconciliation and one under whose reign Dagbon will be united.
“Naa, I know you are a man of peace and unity. I know your selection as Yaa-Naa, you are a man of reconciliation. I believe you are the man to reconcile Dagbon, and blunt the age-old rivalry of Abudu versus Andani, and put Dagbon back on the path to sustained progress and prosperity, as was envisaged by one of the greatest figures in the history of Dagbon, the 18th Yaa-Naa, Naa Zangina.”
He further urged the people of Dagbon to be decorous in their endevours in order not to erode efforts put in place to bring lasting peace to the area.
“Dagbon does not have to fear any external enemy. Dagbon is a great state, one of the most ancient traditional states of our history. It has survived many marauding forces and repelled many enemies. Dagbon can only be brought to its knees by internal malcontents, and it is our collective duty and in our collective interest to fend them off.”
“I, therefore, call on the sons and daughters of Dagbon to unite behind the new Ya-Naa, Abubakari Mahama II. He is a man of experience and dignity, and I am confident he will discharge the duties of his new office with distinction.”
President Akufo-Addo also assured that “I shall do everything in my power as President of the Republic to administer this role in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.”
On projects, President Akufo-Addo said a sum of GHc30 million has been approved by Cabinet for the provision of a new water project to replace the old one in the area.
He said the necessary documentation will be tabled before Parliament soon for approval to be made before the project is started.
“Cabinet approved GHc30 million water supply project that will replace the old water project. The project is now going to be sent to Parliament for approval before it begins,” President Akufo-Addo added.
Background to the Dagbon conflicts
Though chieftaincy tensions in Dagbon existed since the 60s, the gruesome killing of Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II, in March 2002 in a coordinated attack on the palace, plunged Dagbon into years of intermittent violence.
Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II was dismembered and his head paraded on a spear after the killing with shocked the country.
The assailants also killed 39 of his elders.
Hundreds of lives have been lost, with properties destroyed in the age-long conflict in Dagbon, since the death of Ya Naa Yakubu Andani II.
In the wake of the escalating tensions, former President Kufuor set up the Otumfuo Committee of Eminent Chiefs to use all customary means available to settle the matter.
The Committee succeeded in greeting the Abudu and Andani royal gates to commit to the roadmap to peace despite several breakdowns of talks.
This led to the performance of the funeral rites of the two late Ya Naas; Naa Mahamadu Abdulai and Naa Yakubu Andani.
The funeral of the late Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II, was held on Friday, January 18, 2019, with the then Yoo Naa, Alhaji Abubakari Mahama selected by the royal custodians of Dagbon to be enskinned as the new Yaa-Naa.
Abubakari Mahama was contesting with four others including the regent of Dagbon, Kampakoya Naa Abdulai Yakubu Andani, Bolin Lana Mahamadu Abdulai, and Tampion Lana.