Feature Article of Friday, 7 August 2009
Columnist: Confidence, Abdulai Hanan R.
The NPP has caused unforgettable and recurring damage to Ghana in nearly almost every pursuit of her endeavour. However, my interest lies on the savagery to the Dagbon, Dagombas and the north.
In 2000 campaign trail, the NDC peddled the information that the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II was going to be assassinated if NPP is voted into power on every podium they (NDC) mounted. I was a staunch activist of the NPP, so many others and I believed that this was very outrageous and expensive political propaganda to swoop the new sympathisers of the NPP in the Dagbon. This perceived propaganda was rubbished by the good people of Dagbon who were all out for *“POISONOUS CHANGE”*
Regrettably, the late Ya-Na was offered a telephone interview with Savannah Radio in Tamale about this political hearsay surrounding his name. Unknowingly, he firmly stated that politicians should not try to make political capital from his name. He declared that politics has no business with chieftaincy and called for a stop to this incredulous kidding.
Indeed, we have had the bitterest taste of a change where people of Dagbon were frogmarched from day one of NPP’s Reign Of Terror.
Lo and behold, all that preambles as stated by the NDC with regards to the regicide systematically came to pass. It was not a trance! People of Dagbon had the greatest shock of their lifetime when the Overlord, owner of trees and plants met his political waterloo battle that saw him out of humans in March 2002. The ambience was enough to tell the sacrilege that has been committed. I could not stand this political desecration of my very roots. “Had I known....” were the only words I could utter. People came to realisation of the saying that there is truth in every rumour.
All efforts by the erstwhile NPP Kufour-led government to grab the perpetrators of this heinous crime were sham. The circumstances surrounding the daggers with the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II were self-speaking to any person with sixth sense. The police station was not only a stone throw to the Ya-Na’s Palace but all telephone links to Yendi were cut off for good three days. In fact, there were profound indications of malice aforethought!
I was utterly convinced that the murder had a political umbrella because before Wuaku’s Commission was photographs of people (Sugri and Yidana) juggling with body parts of the Overlord. And that was not enough evidence for prosecution. This was a high mockery to the sacrosanctity of the skin of Dagombas and their allies.
The death of the Mighty Lord of Dagbon brought so much dishonour and ignominy to well-meaning Dagombas and non-Dagombas in the Dagbon Traditional Area. I was gripped with lowliness by the disdainful and gruesome manner the whole Ya-Na body was mutilated in the full glare and assistance of so-called national security (peace keepers). I could hardly stand the disrepute this act has brought to the whole brethren of the north. It made news beyond Far East, where Dagombas were perceived as the most barbaric tribe of the millennium somewhere in a hole in Ghana.
The situation caused a lot of relations dearly: breakdown of marriages, rancour in families, crumbling of youth associations just to list a few. I was in my early twenties and I never knew anything pertaining to Abudu or Andani. Today, a-day-old Dagomba child understands the nitty-gritty of the Dagbon chieftaincy matter as far to Tohazie. The ratchet that was unanimously buried by the blood brothers many years ago have been excavated by reckless and insatiable self-seekers of ill-mannered antecedent.
Moreover, the rich Dagbon tradition was crushed to hibernation. Both bigwigs and ordinary persons who were typical Dagombas shied away cladding in the fineries of Dagbon attribution. Our smock which was worn with pride was reduced to the dogs. Dagombas could no longer hold themselves high for the fear of being humiliated with heartbreaking rhetorics and finger pointing.
I know for sure that many children of Dagbon can never forgive the NPP because they virtual grew up with no childhood stories of the colourful Dagbon festivals. Festivals are one of the traditional norms that market every ethnic group beyond Ghana. Dagombas were grossly denied of this right for seven good years whiles their counterparts’ cultural heritage took centre-stage. Many Dagombas especially the youth lost touch with the tradition because the Damba festival, Fire festival and the likes could not be celebrated as the mangled mortal remains of the HUMBLE LION was still in purgatory.
The NPP’s eight years rule of mother Ghana can best be described as Reign of Terror to Dagbon and north. Just after two years in office, we the good people of Dagbon were no longer recognised by the 1992 Constitution. Our rights became privileges and privileges became charities. Several innocent people suffered needlessly the brutalities of “fed-up” military personnel. We were driven into our pens like animals no matter the condition of the weather. Our petty businesses fell flat because of “open late and close early” directive in the name of curfew and state of emergency. Those who ran afoul of this directive many a times met the wrath of the NPP-sent angels (soldiers).
Thousands of investors and growing-up businesses had to bag and baggage and leave for the sake of their lives and hard-earned properties. A magazine “Foreign Policy” cautioned American tourist to vacate the Northern Region as they could not be granted full security by America’s Outfit in Ghana. In fact, everything with regards to businesses and income generation was “basaa”
Life in the north was just HELL. I wondered why we could be treated as second citizens in our own motherland with democratically-elected government in the 21st century. The turmoil and pain we were going through was enough to merit suicide. Everything was on the left-hand side of the number scale. I developed a great aversion for the infamous Busia-Dankwa NPP. I swore to demolish Mount Everest if that could send NPP out of power.
Today, the NPP has caused a monumental damage to Dagombas by their divide and rule political shenanigans and tomfoolery. My heart always bleeds when I hear about Abudu-Andani and all that. I have a strong conviction that the solution of Dagbon chieftaincy deadlock cannot be solved with politics. Dagombas as a dignified ethnic group in Ghana has offered out themselves for political manoeuvrings and vilification for long. It is time we redeemed the glory of our past life by all humanly possible actions. We all ought to know that NPP is the cause of our woes and no uncontaminated Dagomba has the moral justification to sympathise with the yahoo Busia-Dankwa tradition with an enviable track record of “Kulunguugu”. We need to unite for a formidable Dagbon but the miscreant should be purged out within our midst.
Frankly speaking, many young people in the north never voted for the NDC to come and fix the NPP milked economy, but voted for the NDC to help them re-establish contact with peace that eluded Dagbon since 2001. The NDC’s Election 2008 manifesto really endeared our hearts for spelling out its commitment to restore serenity to the land of Dagbon – thus trampling down the perpetrators of the ungodly murder of the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, which qualifies as crime of the century.
The road map to finding an everlasting peace and solution to Dagbon Abudu-Andani hassle is the case of taking the bull by the horn. We have been impatiently waiting to see that bold actions on board. However, we are somewhat tired of waiting, as the good first professor president promised the long-awaited people of Dagbon of digging into the bottom of the “bigwigicide” of the late Overlord of Dagbon and forty plus others.
Now, both Dagombas and non-Dagombas in the Dagbon north are appreciative of the president’s steps towards the land of Sensibles. So far peace is our playmate and bedmate. And the noted lawless miscreants cum Satan-incarnates have gone back to roost because the era of the beast and strayed bunch of ogres are over.
Both the royals of Andanis and Abudus ought to understand that what happened is part of nature. Dagbon is badly wounded and the wound is very dirty now. We need to clean the wound and apply some herbs to promote the healing process. How do we clean the wound? President Mills is willing to clean our rotten wound that the injurer failed to do.
However, after these Societal Negatives have been unravelled, the elders of Dagbon can decide as to whether to treat them with Retributive Justice or Restorative Justice. But I would have wished for Restorative Justice as it is built on true human and traditional values and seeks to bargain with the invariable (uncompromisable). But with the magnitude of the crime, I think any eliminatory option will not be bad. Abudu and Andani is older than NPP, so we need to “THINK” twice “NOW!”
As a matter of urgency, we call on President Mills to bullshit all political noises and give justice to the soul of the supra-patient Sage and Overlord, his family and all those who suffered from that premeditated barbarity.
May the soul of the late Ya-Na daunts and haunts all those who contributed as little as “ki” to his elimination. May his soul rest in the bosom of his ancestors. His overdue justice is on the way soon. Justice can only be delayed but never denied. The night might be a long one, but day patiently waits.
“Kavini”, our greatest pride shall surely be redeemed. Long live the Royal Gates of Abudu and Andani! Long live Dagbon!!!
Abdulai Hanan R. Confidence
Tertiary Institutions Network (P.R.O) Northern Ghana At Heart, NORGAH Tamale