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Talks In Deadlock — Abudus and Andanis Stick to Entrenched Positions

2005-04-13 13:08:29
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Ya Naa Yakubu
DARK clouds hang over the burial of the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II as a meeting at the Manhyia Palace yesterday to remove the roadblocks that prevented the burial last Monday ended in a stalemate

Ya-Naa Mahamadu

For close to six hours the contesting parties, the Abudus and Andanis, took entrenched positions over the burial of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani and the enskinment of a regent. The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who chaired the Committee of Eminent Chiefs handling the traditional aspect of the Dagbon dispute, had no alternative but to put the burial of the Dagbon King on hold indefinitely.

The Andanis referred to a Supreme Court ruling to back their demand for the enskinment of the regent before the burial of the Ya-Na.

The Abudus on the other hand, insisted that already there was a regent in Yendi in the person of the Bolin Lana, Abdulai Mahamadu, and they feared that if the Andanis were allowed to enskin a regent, the Abudus might not get the chance to perform the funeral of the late Na Mahamadu in the palace. The late Ya Na Andani succeeded the late Na Mahamadu.

The Andanis contended that Na Mahamadu was deskined as Ya-Na and even his enskinment was not done according to custom and he could, therefore, not be recognised as a chief.

The Asantehene, who, as usual, exhibited great tact and diplomacy in the handling of affairs as tempers flared up at certain occasions, said the committee would take time to delve into the various matters that could help settle the issue once and for all to pave the way for peace in Dagbon.

But until a compromise is found the remains of Ya-Na Andani will remain in the morgue.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu said his committee would take a look at the Supreme Court ruling on the Yendi Skin Affairs, as well as reports of all the commissions including the Azu Mate Korle Commission, into the Yendi Skin matters.

He said the committee would also take a critical look at whether or not the late Na Mahamadu Abdulai was to be recognised as a Ya-Na and also if his sons could be made regents.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu said the committee would find out whether the Andanis did the right thing to have the burial of Ya-Na Andani performed and whether the funeral of Ya-Na Andani took precedence over that of Ya-Na Mahamadu Abdulai.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu noted that if these matters were not addressed, peace would be far from reach.

The Asantehene took a serious view of the way the two factions attempted to politicise the whole affair when the Abudus accused former President Jerry Rawlings of scuttling moves to get the funeral of Ya-Na Mahamadu performed in the Gbewaa Palace while the Andanis accused the Kufuor government of doing nothing to get the killers of Ya-Na Andani arrested.

Otumfuo , visibly worried about the situation said, “ We know the Abudus are said to be NPP supporters and the Andanis NDC supporters, but I assure you, political considerations will have no place in our committee. We shall be fair.”

He indicated that the question of who should become the next Ya-Na had, however, not arisen at all before the committee.

A large number of Dagombas within the metropolis thronged the premises of the Manhyia Palace to get wind of the decision to be arrived at, but security personnel prevented them from getting access to the main hall where the deliberations took place.

A number of policemen were also in place to ensure security, and at a point they had to arrest a young man who tried to cause confusion.

The Abudus questioned the neutrality of the Kuga Na, the acting President of the Dagbon Traditional Council, in the whole affair, claiming that the man was a pure Andani who was not prepared to tell the truth, a contention the Andanis rebuffed.

The Asantehene, reacting to the Abudus position, said they were not prepared to attack personalities and added that the committee would investigate the role so far played by the Kuga Na to establish the truth or otherwise of the Abudus claim.

As the committee allowed both parties to put forward their cases, the Andanis said although the Supreme Court ruled that the Yendi Skin should rotate between the two gates, Ya-Na Andani was murdered by the Abudus and as such the Abudus could not claim the right to occupy the skin.

The Asantehene said the killing of the Ya-Na bordered on criminality, which the government was handling.
He said if anybody knew who killed the Ya-Na, that person could inform the committee for onward briefing of the security agencies to effect the arrest of the person for further investigations.

The Nayiri, a member of the committee, asked the two parties to soften their stance to ensure peace in Dagbon.

source: graphic

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