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Peace Agreement For Abudu and Andani

2007-11-29 23:29:52
This article has been read 1192 times.




In furtherance of the “Roadmap to Peace” signed by the representatives of the Royal Abudu and Andani Gates at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on the 30th March 2006,the Eminent Kings have met with accredited representatives of the families on the 16th and 17th November 2007 to agree on a final peace agreement on th Dagbon chieftaincy conflict, in reaching the final Peace Agreement we take notice of the following clauses of the “Roadmap to Peace”

1. Clause A, “that since Naa Yakubu Andani died in office his regent will take precedence and that Dagbon custom did not contemplate a situation where there would would be two sitting Ya Naas or Regents at the same time”.

2. Clause I “there can only be one palace in Dagbon kingdom. The temporary palace was constructed following the unfortunate incidents of 2002. In this connection the old Gbewaa Palace should remain free of occupation of any activity until a date is set for the performance of the funeral rites of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai”.

3. Clause j “that since Naa Mahamadu Abdulai died before Na Yakubu Andani , his funeral should be performed first”.

4. Clause k that “the eminent kings shall agree upon a time frame with all the parties within which the respective funerals of the late Ya Naa shall be performed”

5. Cluase l “that the parties pledged to abide by this roadmap to peace and to encourage their supporters to continue to keep the peace”

The Eminent Kingswish to remind all the representatives of the parties that the “Roadmap” made comprehensive provisions towards the attainment of final peace in Dagbon. None of the parties can therefore raise arguments that run contrary to the provisions of the :”Roadmap” which they signed. Additionally, this Agreement complements the provisions of the “Roadmap> the provisions of which arew still valid and binding on the parties.

Furthermore, we lament the killing of our brother Naa Yakubu Andani and some of his elders . His death is a loss to the Dagbon State and to Ghana. We urge the government to intensify efforts to apprehend his killers and prosecute themin accordance with the rule of law. Crimes are not statute- barred under our laws. The prosecution of his killers will send a powerful signal and that succession to the Namship can not be by force of arms , but through the long cherished legal and customary processes of Dagbon.

Components of the final peace agreement.

On the basis of the basis of the discussions that have taken place during theses three days and following extensive consultations between the Eminent Kings and people from various strata of Dagomba society between September 2006 and October 2007, the Eminent Kings with the concurrence, agreement and acceptance of the representatives of the parties hereby decide as follows:

A. Context: Over the last four years, we have heard repeated interpretations of Dagbon history from various persons, from within and outside Dagbon. We wish to deplore a situation where regents of the state have directly ascended to the Namship and do hereby encourage the parties to stick to the time tested procedures of having regents learn the art of statecraft before ascending to any of the gate skins. This final peace agreement is designed to assist the people of Dagbon correct the problems that have arisen following violations of their customary procedures. It is our hope that the timely implementations of this final peace agreement will restore Dagbon to the path of rectitude and full compliance with its customs and procedures in relation to chieftaincy succession.

B. .Funeral of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai. Follwing these various presentations, it is our considered opinion that under Dagbon custom, once a Ya Naa dies outside the palace, he is buried where he died and his funeral performed where he died. Several examples of this practice have been cited to us by various persons. Naa Mahamadu Abdulai died outside the palace. His burial should have been where he died. If this had been done, the issue of where his funeral should take place would have been foregone conclusion. The Supreme Court judgment of 1986 conferred the status of a former Ya Naa on Mahamadu Abdulai in recognition of the tradition that deskinment is unknown in Dagbon custom. Naa Yakubu Andani himself appended his signature to the “Reconciliation Agreement” of 1987 which provided that Naa Mahamdu Abdulai should be accorded the status and entitlements of a Ya Naa at death. We conclude that the Supreme Court decision and Naa Yakubu Andani’s consent under the Reconciliation Agreement were to promote peace and reconciliation in Dagbon. It should be noted that under the “Roadmap for Peace” both parties had already agreed that the two funerals should be performed . We therefore conclude that the funeral should take place at the old Gbewaa Palace under certain conditionsspecified inthis agreement.
C. Regent of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai. Under the “Roadmap” both parties accepted that there can not be duality of authority in Dagbon, and that since Naa Yakubu died in office, his regent should take precedence over the regent of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai. In this connection , the Kampakuya-Na shall remain Regent of the Kingdom until a new Ya Naa is enskinned. The Bolin-Lana as Regent of Naa Mahamdu Abdulai shall enter the old Gbewaa Palace as regent of his father and not as regent of Dagbon. His stay at the old palace shall commence on 22 December 2007 and terminate on 17 January 2008.Entry into the palace takes place only upon a letter to that effect from the Eminent Kings addressed to the Regional Security Councilto enable the REGSEC grant him access to the old palace, and upon the submission by the Abdulai familyof a funeral programme and approval by the Eminent Kings. During this period he shall perform all ceremonies necessary for the funeral of his father ONLY. He is not authorized and can notr do any of the following acts:

1. Act as regent of Dagbon state

In particular

a. Perform any function that a Regent of Dagbon could ordinarily perform

b. Receive official visitors on behalf of Dagbon State or receive homage as regent of Dagbon from any persons whatsoever including Dagombas.

c. Participate in festivals including drumming and other acts or events that a regent of the Kingdom would ordinarily participate in.

d. Organise ceremonies or other festivities or encourage the organization of ceremonies or festivals within the precincts of the old palace which a regent of Dagbon state would ordinarily organize.

e. Confer any titles on anyone whatsoever or alienate any property belonging to the Dagbon state.

f. During the period 26 November to 20 December 2007 under the aegis of the Eminent Kings, the Regional Coordinating Council and the Ministry of Interior with support from the United Nations shall facilitate capacity building processes for the chiefs, opinion leaders, business elite, youth groups, drummers and women’s organizations to promote reconciliation, trust and confidence building among the people of Dagbon.We urge all of these stakeholders to make maximum use of the opportunity. During the same period, the Government shall take responsibility for refurbishing the old Gbewaa Palace . No party shall enter the palace except as provided for under this agreement.

g. During the period of the funeral of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai, the Bolin-Lana, members of the Abdulai Family and the kingmakers shall not perform any act (in particular, pulling any thatch from the roof of the old palace , or handing it over to anyone for any reason whatsoever or entering the “Katinduu”) for the purpose of imposing a successor or designed to suggest or recommend anyone as successor to the Namship. Any such acts shall not have any effect or meaning in relation to the Namship.

h. On or before 17 January 2008, the Bolin-Lana as Regent of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai and the Abdulai family shall ensure that the old palace is handed over peacefully to the REGSEC so that other activities proposed under this final peace agreement can be performed. The security agencies are mandated by this agreement to take all measures necessary to ensure that the old palace is secured by them by 17 January 2008.

i. Funerals of chiefs and elders who play a part in the funeral and enskinment of a Ya Naa: The regents of chiefs and other elders whose occupants play a role in the funeral and enskinment of a Ya Naa should continue in office until the next Ya Naa is enskinned. Where the regents have not yet been installed, they should be installed on or before 20 December 2007. It is the Ya Naa’s prerogative to determine when the funerals will be performed and to what he will assign their regents upon the completion of the funerals.

j. Funeral of Naa Yakubu Andani II : The funeral of Na Yakubu Andani II shall be performed from 6 February to 5 March 2008. The Andani and Abdulai royal families, the RCC and the Eminent Kings shall take responsibility for ensuring the funeral is performed as aforesaid.

k. Enskinment of a new Ya Naa: The processes for the enskinment of a new Ya Naa shall commence on 10 March and be concluded by 30 April 2008.The Supreme Court judgment referred to earlier on affirmed the qualification to the Namnship as contained in the 1930 Constitution of Dagbon. No person other than those occupying the gate skins mentioned in that judgment shall be qualified or entitled to contest for the Namship in the future, both families undertake that succession to the Namship shall be in accordance with the rotation principle enshrined in the judgment.

l. Gate Skins: Having regard to the Supreme Court judgment that only the occupants of the Gate Skins of Mion, Savelugu and Karaga can occupy the Nam of Yendi, and in recognition of Dagbon custom that the Ya Naa is the overlord of the kingdom, the Eminent Kings do not consider themselves qualified to appoint any regent or any other prince of the royal families to any of these gate skins. We defer to the incoming Ya Naa the decision of who he wishes to appoint to these gate skins provided that these appointments are done with regard to balance and fairness and in line with Dagbon customary practices and usage and in line with the rotation principle.

m. Skins: The Eminent Kings also defer to the new Ya Naa the right to appoint the Bolin-Lana and the Kampakuya-Na to vacant skins in consultation with both families and in accordance with Dagbon customs. In this connection, it is our decision that within a maximum of seven days after the performance of the funeral of his father, the Bolin-Lana shall leave Yendi to settle in his mother’s village pending when the new Ya Naa assigns him to a skin. The Kampakuya-Na after the funeral of his father and upon the installation of a new Ya Naa shall leave Yendi to settle in his mother’s villageuntil the new Ya Naa assigns him to a skin. The REGSEC shall ensure that this decision is complied with within the time stated.

n. Other Skins: There are several skins which are vacant in Dagbon today, and some of which are being occupied by regents. Both families under take to to provide the Eminent Kings a list of these skins and their proposals for the assignment of their royals to these skins within the shortest possible time. The Eminent Kings shall engage in additional consultations with the families and with the new Ya Naa on the proposals by the families. It is our expectation that the new Ya Naa shall give these proposals the most serious consideration with a view to ensuring justice, fairness and inclusiveness for all sections of Dagbon. The Eminent Kings shall continue to avail their advice and good counsel to the new Ya Naa to promote reconciliation and build trust among Dagombas.

o. Security: The Government has assured the Eminent Kings that it shall provide the necessary security for the implementation of this final peace agreement. More specifically the government further undertakes to ensure full protection for the Kampakuya Naa during the funeral of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai , and further that the Bolin-Lana and the Abdulai family shall enjoy full protection during the funeral of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai in particular , the security agencies shall introduce security measures including the temporary physical demarcation of the old and new palaces to ensure that ceremonies being performed within any of the palaces take place unhindered . Upon the conclusion of the funeral of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai, the physical separation shall be removed . Both parties acknowledge that there is only one palace in Yendi compound of the old and new palaces and that both palaces shall be at the disposal of the Kampakuya Naa immediately after the performance of the funeral of Ya Naa Mahamadu Abdulai and the departure of the Abdulai family from the old palace.

p. Firing of Musketry:Both families undertake to work closely with the security agencies to regulate the firing of musketry during any of the funerals or other activities envisaged under the final peace agreement. The final authority on the firing of musketry rests with the REGSEC and it shall guide the parties (including if need be designing specific zones) on the firing of musketry. In particular the parties undertake that none of their followers shall fire musketry above , across to any of the palaces during any of the funeral ceremonies. The parties appreciate that this is a peculiar time in Dagbon and that all efforts must be made that the events take place in a peaceful and cooperative manner.

q. Drumming and drummers: The Eminent Kings acknowledge that drumming is an essential part of any funeral ceremony. Both parties undertake to guide their drummers to ensure that insulting provocative language is not used in their drumming. Any person aggrieved by any act of drumming should promptly report to the REGSEC which has undertaken to deal appropriately with any such act in particular, during the funeral of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai , the drummers are urged to take note of the Regent of the Kingdom would be in residence. Unnecessary drumming to disturb his peace and rest is hereby discouraged. The REGSEC shall take appropriate measures to ensure that the Regent of the kingdom retains an appropriate measure of peace in his palace.

r. Needfor reconciliation: The overriding spirit that has guided theEminent Kings is the need to promote reconciliation in Dagbon.This can be achieved if the chiefs , elders and people of Dagbon commit themselves to pursuing and promoting reconciliation. The Eminent Kings call on the chiefs and elders of Dagbon to show the spirit of magnanimity, peace and reconciliation. They must undertake that NEVER AGAIN should differences over the Namship or any other issue be resolved by the force of arms. Dagbon has suffered enough from the terrible conflict. The time has come to focus on the development of Dagbon. We therefore call on the government, bilateral and multilateral organizations and NGOs to come to the assistance of the people of Dagbon and help provide development assistance. We urge the incoming Ya Naa to set aside a day during 2008 when all the children of Dagbon can come together and offer themselves mutual apologies for the experience of the last forty years and to commit themselves to facilitating reconciliation within the kingdom.

s. Media; We acknowledge the important roles the media can play in facilitating peace and reconciliation in Dagbon. We therefore urge the media to exercise due discretion in reporting or broadcasting material that can undermine the final peace agreement or contribute to a state of insecurity in Dagbon . We urge all media institutions to give this final peace agreement as much publicity as they can offer so that all Dagombas and Ghanaians are aware of the momentous decision that has been taken today in pursuance of peace in Dagbon.

t. We have not come to the above decisions easily. They were not meant to ensure victory or loss to any one side. It will therefore be in bad taste for any side to celebrate what it thinks it has won and we commend all the chiefs and elders who have worked with us over theses past four years to get to where we are today. We are all winners if we ensure the timely implementation of the agreement.We call on the princes of Dagbon to lead the process in the spirit of accommodation, compromise and oneness.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF WE HAVE CAUSED OUR SIGNS AND SEALS and/or thumb prints to be affixed this Agreement(the foregoing agreement having been read to us and interpreted in the languages we understand) this 18th day of November 2007.

Signed by His Majhesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

Nayiri Mahami Abdulai Naa Bohagu

Yagbonwura Bawa Doshie

(Andani Gate)

(Andani Gate)

(Andani Gate)

Alhassan Osman Noble

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