The Minority in parliament has “roundly condemned” the violence that erupted last week during the performance of the final funeral rites of their late Overlord Ya Na Yakubu Andani II by the Andani royal family after the Abudus finished a similar ceremony of their late Overlord, saying the silence of the government and the Otumfuo-led Committee of Eminent Chiefs “deepening suspicions”.
One person died in the clashes while some others sustained injuries. A few houses were torched.
The conflict started when some youths in Yendi hurled stones at the Sagnarigu chief and his entourage as they made their way to the Gbewaa Palace for the funeral.
The remote cause stemmed from the insistence of the Andanis, whose turn it is to perform the funeral of their late Overlord, just as the Abudus did for theirs a few weeks ago per the Asantehene-led peace process, that the Bolin Lana vacate the residence of the Mba Dugu, so they could also proceed with their rites.
The Abudus, however, say the funeral of the Andanis can go ahead without that concession, since, according to them, it was not a necessary customary requirement.
The police had to intervene by firing warning shots to disperse the irate youth.
Several cars, including a police Navara Pick-Up truck with registration number GP 3840, had their windscreens smashed at Zohe, where the incident happened around 6 p.m.
Below is the full statement from the Minority on the matter:
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (NDC) MINORITY IN PARLIAMENT ON THE STATE OF LAWLESSNESS AND VIOLENCE UNLEASHED IN YENDI LAST WEEKEND
The Minority MPs from the Dagbang Traditional area wish to congratulate Dagbang for the cooperation and tolerance that initially characterised the peace road map recently agreed upon by both parties.
However, last week’s clashes and violence, which led to several injuries and destruction of properties ought to be roundly condemned. The silence of the government and the Committee of Eminent Chiefs led by the Asantehene is deepening suspicion and tendency of eroding gains so far made.
What should rationally have passed off at the weekend as a peaceful event that showcases the rich Dagbang culture and contributes to healing wounds and reconciling the people of the area, is today another sorry chapter of crass lawlessness and violence.
Thousands of members, supporters and sympathisers of the Andani family in the Dagbang divide who had converged on Yendi, the traditional capital on Thursday afternoon to support the family to begin the final funeral rites of the overlord of Dagbang, Na Yakubu Andani II, were attacked without any provocation of any sort.
In particular, the convoy of the Paramount Chief of Sagnarigu was attacked at the junction to the Gbewaa Palace with rocks and other offensive missiles. Others were also attacked in other areas with some receiving machete wounds, all from persons reported to be the supporters of the Abudu gate.
On Friday, matters took a turn for the worse, with hordes of hoodlums running amok and firing indiscriminately with AK-47 rifles and other sophisticated weapons on the streets and into people’s homes. Consequently, there were reports of people with gunshots wounds and three unconfirmed fatalities.
Lawlessness and violence have spread to other areas, compromising the entire security and threatening to spread to other areas in the traditional areas.
We unreservedly condemn these acts which have the actual effect of poisoning the atmosphere and scuttling the performance of the final funeral rites of Naa Yakubu Andani II.
Without prejudice to the positive contribution of the security forces to the peace, order and stability of the area, we demand that the security forces take firm action to deal ruthlessly with miscreants whose objectives include derailing the Dagbang Peace Process and inflicting incalculable damage on the people.
Additionally, we urge the government to beef up the number of security personnel effectively to cover the key areas of the sprawling Municipality.
We wish to call on the committee of eminent chiefs chaired by Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, to give urgent time and thought to this latest demonstration of intolerance and the petition before him on the continuous illegal occupation of some traditional homes by the Abudu faction.
Questions have been posed as to how the keys to the Mba Dugu’s residence which are in the custody of the Regional Security Council headed by the Regional Minister, came into the possession of the Abudu family to facilitate their entry? Why the government up to date has failed or refused to evict the Bolin Lana from the Palace of Mba Dugu if his (Bolin Lana’s) entry was illegal or through force?
As if this was not enough, we were surprised the government is providing security to guard the Bolin Lana in his illegal occupation of the Mba Dugu palace.
It is instructive to note that the president of the Abudu Youth Association, one Alhaji Mugisu Seebawey has stated categorically that the occupation of the Mba Dugu palace was facilitated by REGSEC and that the Regional Minister was aware of all the happenings in respect of the matter (see page 3 of the Daily Graphic January 11, 2019).
We call on the government of Nana Akufo-Addo to endeavour to stay away from interfering and seeking to control events and live up to its original assertion that the President and his government have no hidden interest in the Dagbang chieftaincy issue.
We further call on the government to urgently respond to a number of tapes circulating on social media to the effect that the Abudus have already secured the firm support of the government to do as they please even if that is contrary to the road map. This is urgently needed to inject confidence in the people of the neutrality or impartiality of the government.
We also wish to call on the government to allow and support the time-tested tradition and customs of Dagbang to take centre stage in the performance of the funeral of the murdered Ya Na Yakubu Andani II and the subsequent selection and installation of the next Ya Na.
Finally, we wish to call on all sons and daughters of Dagbang to exercise restraint as we all await answers to these questions.
Vengeance and recourse to unilateral acts will not resolve matters or create a conducive atmosphere for successful funerals and installation of new Ya Na that we all desire and see as the way forward to the peace, stability and reconciliation and unity of Dagbang.
Long live the quest for peaceful and united Dagbang
Long live Peaceful and united Ghana
Long live the Great NDC
Hon. Inusah Fuseini
(MP, Tamale Central and Chairman, Northern NDC Caucus in Parliament)