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Dagombas Pay a Heavy Political Prize for War


2005-04-08 13:25:07
This article has been read 827 times.

Not many Ghanaians would have noticed how Dagombas, once the most powerful northern bloc in the first term of the Kufuor administration have been marginalized in the current cabinet.

In the first term, everything that had to go the north went to Dagombas and to the Abudu gate. They had prominent people like Alhaji Aliu Mahama as Vice President, General Joshua Hamidu as National Security Advisor, Major Sulemana as National Security Coordinator, Alhaji Malik Yakubu Alhassan as Minister of Interior, Alhaji Mustapha Iddris as Minister of Works and Housing, Dr. Haroun Majeed as Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture and Mr. Andani as the Northern Regional Minister etc. Together, this group represented the most powerful force the north ever had in any cabinet.

This was phenomenal. But Dagombas paid the price when an unending chieftaincy feud between the Andanis and Abudu’s led to the killing of the late Ya Naa, Yakubu Andani and forty others. If anybody hoped to reap any benefits for the killing of the Ya Naa, all Dagombas got the worse for it. It was thought that even though the Andanis were not in government, the presence of the Abudus would have served the interest of all Dagombas, for, as the saying goes, ‘half a loaf is better than none.’
Sadly, the prominent Dagomba faces in the Kufuor government are no more. Results of the 2004 parliamentary elections, all, but sounded the death knell of the Dagombas in the Kufuor government. The defeat of Alhaji Mustapha Iddris, one of the most charismatic and humble Dagomba politicians was the most dramatic. The failure of Dr. Haroun Majeed to win his seat in one of the Tamale constituencies came as no surprise, given the divisive nature of the conflict between the Abudus and the Andanis. With the constitution compelling the president to appointment 50 percent of his ministers from parliament, Mustapha , Haroun and all those who lost out were swimming against the tide.

Though Alhaji Malik won his Yendi seat in a fight of his life, the inconclusive nature of investigations into the circumstances leading to the killing of the Ya Naa weighed heavily against him getting another cabinet job. He could only be consoled with the position of the Third Deputy Speaker of Parliament after a muscle-flexing vote in which the NDC put the position it held on the line by nominating Peter Ala Adjetey.
As the nomination, vetting, approval and swearing in of ministers and their deputies winds down, Dagombas could only count on the position of the Vice President, which remained in tact, thanks to President Kufuor getting the mandate for the second term. The Vice President’s own future presidential plans, if he has any have been thrown into jeopardy for one obvious reason-the Dagomba conflict. To put it bluntly, Dagombas are their own enemies.

In their place other tribes in the north have been given a political sun shine. So the saying that in very war there are losers and winners does not apply to Dagombas. In their case, they were all losers. And this should serve as a lesson for other traditional areas where chieftaincy disputes are destroying the lives of the people.

source: public agenda

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