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Forum for Moving Dagbon Forward – Part I

2009-07-19 16:04:24
This article has been read 1069 times.

Fellow Dagombas,

Now is the time to act! We are creating a new Forum for the sake of Dagbon. Please read on:

What is the Forum for Moving Dagbon Forward?

The Forum is a platform for all Dagombas to work together with the view to initiating a process that would lead, eventually, to the reconciliation of the Abudu and Andani sides and the attainment of re-unification of our tribe. This is a reality! Enough of the words! We are coming together at long last! Yes we are!

Aim and Nature of the Forum

The aim of this Forum is to heal wounds and mend fences between the Andani and Abudu sides. It will do so by charting a consensual path for tackling the moral and emotional issues surrounding the Yendi murders as a means to realize genuine reconciliation. In the absence of a functioning Dagomba Youth Association (DAYA) there is the critical need for us to create a platform that will serve as a conduit for bringing us together to work on our reconciliation and development. Possibly, from there we could rejuvenate DAYA, Insha Allah.

The forum welcomes reconciliation-minded Dagombas from Abuduyilli, Andaniyilli, and from all political and religious backgrounds to come together and eclectically harness their intellectual resources in pursuit of a focused, practical approach towards Dagbon’s reconciliation.

This calls for Dagombas to adopt a transcendental approach that would facilitate the reconciliation of the Abudu and the Andani sides. I recognize that the main challenge will be how some would make the needed phenomenal paradigm shift from the extant mindset they have to a new mindset which rationalizes the need for reconciliation. As it stands now, most Dagombas have the mindset that justice should be served first, for the murder of the Ya Naa Yakubu Andani II and 40 of his elders of blessed memory, before reconciliation of the Abudu and Andani sides can follow. Then we have the issue of the need for the Abudu side to show remorse for the Yendi murders which is not forthcoming thus far. These are tough and delicate issues that the Forum for Moving Dagbon Forward will have to work on. And Insha Allah we will succeed at ironing out all these sticky issues.

Honestly, we can pursue reconciliation separately and allow justice to be handled by the government. All should beware that the idea of treating the quest for justice and the call for reconciliation as separate processes does not negate or diminish the call for justice. Justice will be served sooner or later, but we must conquer politics in our Dagbon chieftaincy affairs. Believe me, now is the right time to surmount politics within our chieftaincy for good. But if we wait for politicians to act first (serve justice) before we act (reconcile) then we will be depending on politics as usual and cannot break away form it. It would do the Andani Royal family and victims of the Yendi killings greater good if the perpetrators of the crime, through dialogue in dealing with the moral and emotional aspects, were to express compunction and apologize before justice takes its course than putting them away in jail without an opportunity for them to do so, especially in the absence of a mutual dialogue. My fellow Dagombas, do not underestimate the power of dialogue, because it’s the most effective way of resolving the most difficult differences among enemies. Our reconciliation will definitely be a fillip to the Otumfuo Committee’s peace efforts.

I strongly believe that together, we can cross the bridge that is dividing us now and move as one people in the tunnel to reconciliation and re-unification. All we need to do is give reconciliation a chance, just one chance. I know we can make if we try. “Yes we can” (Obama).

Realistically, we should be thinking about how to create jobs for our youth in Dagbon; not about how to finish each other off. We should be thinking of how to create wealth in Dagbon to support the Ghanaian economy; not of how to waste our meager resources on guns and bullets in preparation to kill each other and on peace-keeping. We should be thinking about how to retain and shape our young children educationally; not about how to drive them down South to engage in kaayayo. We should be thinking about how to create a calm environment for investment; not about how to engineer fear mongering and hopelessness. We should be working at creating a better future for our younger generations; not at perpetuating the nasty trend. Above all, we should be using our education to grow our society; not to destroy it. And yes, we should be thinking of moving forward; not backward.

Against this backdrop, I humbly call on like-minded Dagombas to transcend their self-interest for that of the greater good and join me to create this forum to address the issue of reconciliation of the Abudu and Andani sides and for plotting a path for re-unification of our beloved Dagbon.
Note that we are the ones that can make Dagbon a better place to live.

Funding the Forum for Moving Dagbon Forward

Fortunately, a number of civil society and peace-building entities have already lined up to fund the Forum for Moving Dagbon Forward. I have received concrete assurances that the forums will be funded fully. Hence no individual will need to make any financial contributions. The Forum belongs to all Dagombas.

Time line

Chapters I and II of the Forum are slated for November 2009 to be held in Tamale, and Chapters III and IV for December 2009 in Accra and Kumasi respectively. The exact dates will be furnished in due course. The four forums will give Dagombas living in the various belts of Ghana the opportunity to participate. The objective of all Dagombas should be the realization of a reconciled Dagbon by January 1, 2010. There is a lot of work to be done, but Insha Allah, we can achieve that objective if we work hard and remain focused.

How the forum will work:

Ideas will be directed to a central point. The forums will be organized based on the ideas. Participants will come together to address the ideas and to translate them into concrete basis for reconciliation. Every positive idea is important. A peace NGO which is neutral to the Dagbon issue will collate the ideas.
Remember that this is an opportunity for you to do something positive for Dagbon. So take a minute and cogitate on how we, as a people, can move Dagbon forward from the appalling status quo today to a better tomorrow. Now is the time to act to Move Dagbon Forward!
Moderators, who are impartial to the Dagbon issue and are highly respected in our society, will lead the forums.

As a start, please send your ideas on how we can Move Dagbon Forward to the following email address:

In part II of this article, I will furnish Dagombas with contact details on how to register as participants for the November and December Chapters of the Forum for Moving Dagbon Forward. Several radio stations and media points across Ghana will be used as centers for collecting ideas from Dagombas. Also, the organizations that are going to fund the forums will be made known. The mood of members of the Andani and Abudu sides (the inner circles) regarding this Forum will be revealed as well. So watch out for part II.

Please try to propagate this message for the sake of Dagbon. Share this message with Dagombas you know.

Peace for Dagbon! Peace for Ghana!

Thank you.

By: Natogmah Issahaku

(Dagbon Peace, Re-unification and Development Advocate)

Hails from Jisonaayilli, Tamale

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