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Yaa Na’s Final Journey

2006-04-11 13:10:07
This article has been read 936 times.

Ya Naa Yakubu
YA-NA Yakubu Andani II, the slain Overlord of the Dagbon Kingdom, yesterday earned eternal rest following a royal burial attended by a cross-section of people, including government officials, in Yendi.

The solemn event, made tense by ceaseless booms of gunfire, a heavy military and police presence, as well as mass wailing, provided a giant step in one of the most complicated issues of security and chieftaincy in the history of Ghana.

After all the preparatory work, executed in strict adherence to a road map crafted by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, ceremonies leading to the state interment began at about 3 p.m. yesterday after the arrival of the government delegation, led by General Edwin K. Sam, a member of the Council of State.

Other members of the delegation included Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, the Minister of Defence, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, the Minister of the Interior, Hajia Alima Mahama, the Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Mr Ernest Debrah, the Minister of Food and Agriculture and Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, the Northern Regional Minister.

The regional minister, on behalf of the government, formally handed over the body of the late King to the Chiefs and Family of Ya-Na at the temporary palace at Yendi.

The casket that was draped in National Colours was borne by a Military Pall Bearers from the morgue of the Yendi Hospital where the remains had been kept for four years now.

The laying-in-state of the body evoked emotions from some of the mourners including the late King's widows who shed uncontrollable tears.

Chiefs and their retinues from all parts of Dagbon attended the ceremony to give their last respects to the late King and play their respective traditional and customary duties.

It was said that other rites would be performed after the end of the official ceremony before the burial of the Ya-Na later last night.

The various delegations to the burial ceremony laid wreaths on the casket containing the remains of the Ya-Na and prayed for his soul to rest in perfect peace.

The Asantehene was represented at the ceremony by an 80-member delegation, led by the Akyempimhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu donated ¢5 million cash, a full piece of calico, minerals, Schnapps, kola and some food items while the government donated 10 crates of minerals, Schnapps and ¢10 million cash.

Reports said members of the Abudu Gate boycotted the ceremony. At the ceremony preceding the burial, the personal Imam of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II said Muslim prayers for the soul of the King, while the Catholic Bishop of Yendi, the Most Reverend Vincent Boi-Nai, offered a Christian prayer asking for the forgiveness of the sins of the King and for peace to prevail in Dagbon.

In a tribute, Mr Mahama Andani, a younger brother of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani, on behalf of the family, described him as "development oriented", adding that he supported many people in their education.

The Ya-Na Yakubu Andani ruled Dagbon for 28 years, during which period he expanded the traditional council to a membership of 40.

General Sam, who read a tribute on behalf of the Council of State, appealed to the Dagbon Traditional Council to adopt more prudent and peaceful measures to bring lasting peace to Dagbon.

The Asantehene, in a tribute read on his behalf, said it was a great pain and sorrow to witness the burial of a great King of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani.

The Asantehene said traditionally the three eminent chiefs who mediated to bring about the burial of the Ya-Na saw themselves as "kith and kin of Dagbon".

He described Ya-Na Yakubu as "a good-natured person" whose departure had created a vacuum in the hearts of many, saying the vacuum would be difficult to fill.

On behalf of the Northern Regional Co-ordinating Council, Alhaji Saddique Boniface described the late King as progressive, while the Northern Regional House of Chiefs described him as "a man who showed love, humility and compassion to his people during his reign".

Earlier, various skirmishes and isolated signs of trouble were dealt with swiftly, beginning with the arrest of a number of troublemakers by security men in Yendi

Twenty one locally-made guns, which were all cocked for action, were retrieved from a house during a search. The security men also arrested a man who was wielding a pistol and a machete.

It was suspected that most of the irate youth were under the influence of narcotic drugs as security men found a substance believed to be Indian hemp in a bag one of the young men abandoned while being chased.

Unidentified assailants were said to have attacked Hamdia Wahab, a 26-year-old food seller, and her mother from Tamale who were on their way to sell food in Yendi. Hamdia was hit and bled profusely.

Meanwhile, the security menl have intensified the gun-firing to scare away potential troublemakers. They have also intensified security on the Tamale-Yendi Road and are escorting people from Tamale to Yendi and beefed up patrols on the streets of Yendi.

In Tamale, there was a mad rush for vehicles by enthusiastic youth and people believed to be members of the Andani Gate wishing to travel to Yendi to witness the historic burial of the Ya-Na yesterday.

Large numbers of people gathered around the palace of the Dakpema (chief of Tamale), close to the Tamale Central Mosque, waiting for an opportunity to board any Yendi-bound vehicle, while passengers were stranded at the Yendi Station in Tamale.

The Committee of Eminent Chiefs last week presented a report to President John Agyekum Kufuor, in which it outlined a road map to restoring peace in Dagbon.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, the Yagbonwura, Bawa Doshie, and the Nayiri, Naa Boshagu Mahama Abdulai Sheriga, the members of the committee, accompanied by representatives of the Andani and Abudu Royal families, presented the report, which captured the traditional processes to be followed and the agreements reached on the burial of the Ya-Na.

Ya-Na Yakubu Andani was killed in overnight fighting in Yendi, a statement issued by the then Minister of Information and Presidential Affairs, Mr Jake Obetesbi-Lamptey, in Accra, said on Wednesday, March 27, 2002.

Thirty others were also reported killed in the fighting, which erupted on Monday, March 25, 2002 between the Andani and Abudu chieftaincy gates to the Ya-Na Skin.

source: graphic

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