The Asantehene-led Mediation Committee handling the Dagbon chieftaincy stalemate, today, Friday, November 16, 2018, finalized its road-map to the restoration of peace in Dagbon.
The three eminent Kings have resolved that the Abudu Royals should perform the funeral of the late Yaa-Naa, Mahamudu Abdulai, beginning December 14-28, 2018.
This will be followed by the funeral of the late Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II from January 4 to 18, 2019.
The two funerals are to be performed in the old Gbewaa Palace in Yendi.
Rehabilitation of the Old Gbewaa Palace is to begin with immediate effect
The Mediation Committee is to meet President Nana Akufo Addo at the Jubilee House on Wednesday, November 21, 2018.
The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Sae-ed, on Thursday November 15, led chiefs from both sides of the chieftaincy divide in Dagbon to the final meeting at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
The latest decision is in line with the current government’s resolve to permanently resolve the age-long Dagbon chieftaincy impasse.
Similar attempts in the past hit a snag leading to boycotts of sittings at the Manhyia Palace.
Previous boycott by Abudu Royals
The Abudu Royals’ representatives at the Manhyia Palace on Friday January 28, 2016, petitioned the Asantehene-led Mediation Committee, and reaffirmed their boycott of proceedings there.
They refused to honour subsequent invitations by the committee for fresh talks on the implementation of the final phase of the road-map to peace in Dagbon.
In a petition, they accused the Mediation Committee of open bias, saying, “We have served notice to the Committee of Eminent Chiefs (CEC) on their inability to avail themselves for the committee’s sittings for lack of consistency until certain decisions of the body are implemented.”
They further chronicled the following in that petition. “We have noticed, regrettably that the committee has abandoned their own Road-map to the peace document, and now operate under the sole direction of a so-called ‘Kuga-Naa’ who is, with the support of the Andani Family, usurping the powers of the Gushei-Naa.”
“The committee has failed to give true meaning to clause ‘i’ of their Road-map to peace document which states that: ‘’…the old Gbewaa Palace should remain free of occupation or any activity until a date is set for the performance of the funeral rites of Yaa-Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV.’’
“The intent of the committee, expressed in the Final Peace Agreement, that: ‘’…we therefore conclude that the funeral should take place at the Gbewaa Palace…’’ has not come to fruition. This clause was made in reference to Yaa-Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV.”
“A visit by Mr. Owusu Boateng, Ashantehene’s Secretary, to the Bolin-Lana Palace with a contractor who was introduced as the one engaged by the committee to rehabilitate the old Gbewaa Palace has not yielded any results.”
“Their most recent promise on December 5, 2015 that ‘’the Abudus…will take occupation of the Gbewaa palace to perform the final funeral rites of Yaa-Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV between January 8 and 15, 2016’’ has not been fulfilled.”
“We have also noted, with regrets, that the committee has failed to follow the letter and spirit of clause ‘10’ of a ‘Reconciliation Agreement’ reached by the two feuding royal families in 1987 which states that: ‘’on the death of Ex Yaa-Naa Mahamadu Abdulai, he should be accorded the full funeral rites of a Yaa-Naa in the light of the Supreme Court ruling of 17th December, 1986’’.
“Given these reasons amongst other things, the family has been compelled to temporally suspend appearance before the Committee pending commencement of rehabilitation works at the old Gbewaa Palace as contemplated in the above submissions.”
“We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the Committee has preponderance of evidence before it to take the giant step of rehabilitating the old Gbewaa Palace for the funerals to take place there. There is absolutely nothing to negotiate about as far as this already settled matter is concerned.”
They nonetheless reiterated the urgent need for renovation of the old Gbewaa palace in Yendi, ceremonial ground for the final funeral rites of the late two Dagbon overlords.