The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has announced a roadmap for peace in Dagbon beginning with the organization of two important funerals which have been a bone of contention for years.
Beginning December 14-28 the Abudus will organize the first funeral for the late Ya-Na Mahamudu Abdulai and observe a one week period after which the Andanis will organize the second funeral for the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani beginning January 18, 2019.
After the organization of these two funerals the parties involved will meet, select and install a new Ya-Na for the people of Dagbon.
These were contained in the roadmap presented by the three eminent chiefs to the president AkufoAddo, Wednesday after over a decade-long mediation between the Abudus and Andanis.
There has been simmering tension between the two factions after a March 27, 2002 clashes led to the murder of the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani and some of his elders.
The clashes were triggered in part by a disagreement over who was the rightful heir to the throne.
The then NPP government under ex-president John Kufuor constituted the Wuako Commission to investigate the circumstances that led to the clashes and the casualties.
The Commission after its sitting recommended the prosecution of some two persons Yidana Sugri and Iddrisu Gyamfo, who were seen on 27th March holding severed parts of the late Ya-Na, Yakubu Andani II, soon after his killing.
The Commission also recommended that government must take steps to find lasting peace between the people of Dagbon.
The two suspects were sent to court but were acquitted and discharged for lack of evidence.
In line with the recommendation by the Wuako Commission the then president Kufuor also instituted the Committee of Eminent chiefs to mediate between the two feuding factions and to provide a roadmap for peace.
The major point of disagreement has been who and when to organize the funerals of the late Ya-Nas belonging to both factions.
On account of this, the factions, have at different times, threatened to opt out of the mediation process involving the panel of eminent chiefs.
It has taken more than 10 years for the mediation process to be over. Presenting the report, the Asantehene and his two compatriots Yagbonwura Tuntumba Bore Essa I, Overlord of the Gonja Traditional Area and Nayiri Naabohagu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga, Overlord of the Mamprugu said their job is not done until a new Ya-Na is enskinned.
The Chiefs, however, believe the roadmap drawn will lead to the lasting peace everybody has been working towards.
The Asantehene who spoke on behalf of the Committee described president Akufo-Addo as the luckiest president to be receiving the report of the committee which sat through three different administrations beginning with ex-president Kufuor, Ex-president John Mills and Ex-president John Mahama.
He debunked assertion that the chiefs were put under pressure by the political heads to complete the report, adding he will not allow any interference from the political elites.
In receiving the report, the president Nana Akufo-Addo said: “This will one of the most memorable days of my presidency.”
He said the wisdom of ex-president John Kufuor in setting up the committee has been “vindicated.”
Even though the conflict and the tension dragged on for over 16 years, the president said he never once entertained skepticism even though many had given up hope.
“I have an unshakeable belief in Ghanaians to resolve their grievances,” he stated, adding, the roadmap is great and will bring peace.
“To the three eminent chiefs who have worked for so long, I commend your tenacity.
“Even when times the situation was hopeless you were still committed to the seemingly intractable conflict
The president made a passionate appeal to the people of Dagbon to give peace and development a chance, saying the youth are tired of the age-old conflict.
According to him, the people of Dagbon have the best opportunity to mend fences and accommodate one another even if they disagree.
Reiterating his neutrality in the 16-year-old conflict, the president stated “I am not a Dagomba and can neither be an Abudu nor Andani. All I want to see is peace.”