General News of Tuesday, 21 January 2014
For the first time in decades, the people of Dagbon on Sunday celebrated this year's Damba Festival in memorable style.
Both the Andani and the Abudu Royal families came together in the spirit of unity to commemorate the time-tested event at the Gbewaa Palace inYendi.
While the Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya Na Abdulai Andani, sat in state to supervise the ceremony, the Bamvim-Lana, Abdulai Mahama, and the Sunson-Na, Saani Amidu II, led the Abudu retinue of chiefs to the event to join in the festivities that were observed in a peaceful atmosphere.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Bede Ziedeng; his deputy, Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini; some ministers of state and members of Parliament from the area, district chief executives and various youth leaders from both sides of the chieftaincy divide also graced the occasion.
The festival, which has not been celebrated in Yendi for more than 40 years, also attracted people from all walks of life who were adorned in their colourful smocks of varying sizes and shapes as they responded to the throbbing beat from the gong-gong and “gonje” strings.
The immaculately dressed sub-chiefs rode on their decorated horses and danced majestically to beats of the “Lungsi” drummers, amidst the firing of musketry.
Earlier in the morning, the necessary rituals to commemorate the day had been performed at the palace.
Mr Ziedeng described this year’s festival as very significant, since it was the first time in recent years that the two main protagonists in the Dagbon chieftaincy divide had agreed to celebrate the festival together at the Gbewaa Palace.
He underlined the significance of peace and harmony in the development process and commended the two sides for their initiative towards the attainment of peace in the area.