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Feature Article of Saturday, 5 November 2005

Columnist: Andani Mahama & Alhassan Osman Noble

Dagbon Chieftaincy Crisis : The Truth And Hard Facts.

Ever since the barbaric and gruesome events of Wednesday March 27th 2002 some members and sympathizers of Abuduyili both within Ghana and the Diaspora have resorted to the propagation of falsehood and blatant lies to court the undeserved sympathy of the good people of Ghana and the international community. Such persons instead of showing remorse and bowing their heads in shame for the shameless and barbaric act that has not only brought shame and dishonour to Dagbon but to all persons of Northern descent instead use their God given intellect to churn out naked lies.

This article is to present the truth about what has now become known in Ghanaian politics as ?Dagbon Chieftaincy Crisis ?The article is meant to enlighten the good people of Ghana and the international community about the hard truth and facts of the Dagbon Chieftaincy crisis. The Dagbon crisis worsens any time members of the Danquah ? Busia tradition get hold of political power in Ghana. We saw it happen for the first time in Dagbon history when thirty-three defenseless citizens of mother Ghana were mowed down at the Gbewa Palace on 9th September 1969 when the murdered King of Dagbon Ya Na Yakubu Andani II was then a regent. The worst occurred on March 27th 2002 when the overlord of Dagbon himself was murdered in broad daylight under a government that preaches rule of law and good governance. The article is also to expose some of our cousins in Abuduyili and their sympathizers in government who peddle nothing but naked lies to conceal the act of atrocity they commited on Ya Na Yakubu II and forty martyrs of Dagbon.

Utterances of some of our cousins in Abuduyili and their collaborators in President Kufuor?s government has been most unfortunate. Since March 27th 2002 when the most ignominious of acts was unleashed on the Dagbon State by Abuduyili members and their cronies in the government of President Kufuor, no trace of remorse whether by action or word has so far been seen or heard from any Abuduyili member or sympathizer. On the contrary, members and sympathizers of Andaniyili are insinuated, harassed, reviled and continually threatened by Abuduyili members and sympathizers at the least opportunity. We are therefore calling on our cousins in Abuduyili and their misguided sympathizers to look deep into the future abandon their present course of self-destruction The implication of what they have carried out in Dagbon and the unrepentant attitude they have demonstrated so far hold very dire consequences and they need not be told by anybody. It is not going to be possible for Abuduyili to turn the present situation to their advantage with or without government support. The only way out, we sincerely believe, is for them to engage in a thorough self re-examination, eschew blatant lies and self-deceit. They should consciously shed the exclusivist character which has earned them the name ?Aluktis.? It is only then that they can get the trust, respect and love they naturally deserve from Andaniyili. Those who make unfortunate remarks from the ranks of our cousins and their misguided sympathizers should bow their heads in shame for gleefully defending what they know to be morally indefensible. Taking up the role of consummate liars as a way of supporting the unjust course of Abuduyili would do them no good.

THE ROTATION SYSTEM OF SUCCESSION BETWEEN THE ABUDU & ANDANI GATES It is a well-known fact that the current system of succession to the Namship of Yani (Yendi) is by rotation between Andaniyili (Andani gate) and Abuduyili (Abudu gate) The rotation between the two royal families or gates stretches between 1849 to 1953. This fact is incontrovertible and is well known by every true Dagbon citizen. It took only the indulgent posture of Tolon Na Yakubu (then known as Alhaji Yakubu Tali) and others like him towards Abuduyili to subvert this peaceful, just and equitable method. For reasons, which are purely malicious, some Dagbon citizens have always chosen to provide girdled and unconvincing arguments against the rotation system. Those who hold this view claim that our forbears never designed a constitution spelling out the procedure for selecting a Ya Na. The protagonists of this assertion cite the ascension to the Namship (i.e. Yani) of Na Zangibilla, Na Gungobly (Na Jingly) and Na Binbegu to support their claim. These protagonists lack clear understanding of the circumstances under which the above three kings ascended to the Yani skin. They argue that the mere recitation of a proverb at the Palace of the Nayire (overlord of Mamprugu) when there was a stalement in the selection of Ya Na and the Dagbon elders at that time referred the issue to the Nayire for Arbitration won the Namship for Na Zanginbilla. They however forget to mention how Na Zanginbilla got into the race for the Namship in the first place. They also fail to mention who suggested the arbitration of Nayire and what happened before Nayire chose the use of proverbs to determine the next Na (Ya Na) after Na Gungobly.There is no period in the history of Dagbon during which basic rules and principles that aim at regulating actions and relationships never existed. Our forbears though not literate to document Dagbon customs and traditions on paper indeed had workable procedures for selecting chiefs which has stood the test of time. Even Great Britain the father of modern democracy has no single document they can call their constitution.

Soothsaying has been a versatile tool in our traditional matters including the choice of a Ya Na and indeed all chiefs in Dagbon. Even in the selection of Na Zanginbilla soothsaying was applied. The resort to Nayire to arbitrate in the process was largely due to the fact that some of the elders of Dagbon, especially the Gushie Na were so influenced that they were prepared to perverse the process to attain their wish. It may be true that soothsaying as an effective tool for choosing a Ya Na was discredited when Na Gungobly but not his wealthy senior brother, Galwei Na Kundoni (chief of Galwei) was selected Ya Na.It was not abandoned however. The choice of the impoverished Gungobly but not his more affluent senior brother was a vindication of the tool of soothsaying. Ordinarily, Galwei Na Kundoni could have bulldozed his way to Yani if his age and opulence as against the abject poverty of Gungobly had been counted. The incorruptible spirits of our ancestors directed the soothsayers in the choice of Na Gungobly against Galwei Na. The employment of soothsaying is supported by the use of sacrifices to land gods and the good spirits of our ancestors. The method has been propitious enough for the right choice to always emerge. Of course that there were and have been violations of the process principally due to greed and other inordinate human desires. This is why some candidates in the past resorted to murder to circumvent the wishes of the gods and the good spirits of our ancestors. To make the best choice of a leader (Ya Na) it may take centuries for Dagombas to jettison soothsaying as a tool or discover secrets. Only a very insignificant proportion of our population as a tribe would reject this view and this might purely for religious reasons.

Certain Dagombas argue that soothsaying cannot accommodate the rotation system. This is the same as suggesting that there is no way the good spirits of our ancestors and the land gods can guide kingmakers to choose between two or more ruling houses in alternation. This line of thinking is purely secular and an affront to the institution of chieftaincy in Dagbon. Chieftaincy in Dagbon is purely traditional and cannot be separated from our traditional belief, which recognizes the influence of our departed ancestors on our lives on earth. The kingmakers therefore engage in propitiation or ancestral spirits who direct them for the good of the tribe and the chieftaincy institution for that matter. This is why their directions have been in keeping with the system of rotation between the current two ruling houses (gates). Up to the time of Na Yakubu Nantoo I there was absolutely no need for any rotation. The period after Na Yakubu Nantoo I marked a turning point in the process of ascending to Yani. The emergence of his two most senior sons, Abudulai and Andani who succeeded him one after the other created sufficient conditions for the existence of two ruling houses out of one.

Na Yakubu Nantoo I ruled for forty (40) years His immediate successor was Na Abdulai I, his most senior son. Na Abudulai I, riled for nineteen (19) years. Na Abudulai I, was succeeded by Na Andani II, who also ruled for thirty-eight (38) years. Thus from Na Yakubu Nantoo I, to Na Andani II, there were ninety-seven (97) years. The influence of Na Abdulai I and Na Andani II in the Namship of Yendi eclipsed the chances of any other royal of their era and this gained the favour or blessing of the ancestral spirits. It is not surprising therefore that the kingmakers choices for Yani from this time rotated between the descendants of the two brothers. We wonder why any one should fail to accept a system which evolved as a result of the realities of the time. During these periods Dagbon witnessed an era of unity, peace, stability and progress.

Both the Abudu and Andani gates recognize the rotation system. Recent publications from the two gates attest to this. When Na Mahama Kpema II (grandfather of the murdered King Na Yakubu II) appointed Nyolgu Na Mahamudu as Savelugu (Yo) Na, fourteen (14) chiefs (thirteen from Abuduyili) petitioned the District Commissioner of Yendi against that appointment. Korli Na Bukari was spokesman for the petitioners. The grounds for the petitioners were several. ?One was that the Nyolugu Na belonged to the Andani side, the present appointment should be made from the Abudulai side in order that, that side of the family should have a candidate for the next Ya Naship.? The incumbent Ya Na (Mahama Kpema) coming from Andaniyili was the cardinal point which formed the basis of the protest. The simple fact is that somehow, two ruling houses have come to exist. To ensure harmony, peace, fairness and tranquility the good spirits of our ancestors, in the best interest of Dagbon, direct the kingmakers through soothsaying to select Ya Nas? by rotation between the two royal gates (houses) For what reason should any one frown upon such a noble, just and equitable system. The only reason every through Dagbon citizen or Ghanaian can assign to this is greed and avarice. Our cousins in Abuduyili and their misguided sympathizers are guilty of this.

THE 1948 ILLEGAL SELECTION COMMITTEE During the reign of Na Abudulai (Abudu) II in 1930 the Colonial Administration organized a conference of Dagbon chiefs to enquire in to the constitution and organization of Dagbon Kingdom. Matters as to the existence and administration were discussed and recorded. As to who are responsible for selecting a Ya Na, the chiefs stated unequivocally that there is a four member traditional king making body. The members of this body were given as: Gushie Na; Kuga Na; Tugri Nam and Gomli.

Na Abudulai (Abudu) II passed away in February 1938. His successor Na Mahama Kpema II (from Andaniyili) was selected by the four member traditional king making body. Na Mahama Kpema progressed from Mion. Na Mahama Kpema was the son of Na Andani II.

Na Mahama Kpema died on February 6th 1948. The occupants of the three gate skins at the time of Na Mahama Kpema?s death were, Mion Lana Mahamabilla (from Abuduyili), Savelugu (Yo) Na Mahamudu (from Andaniyili) and Sunson Adam who usurped the Karaga skin. All the above three contestants presented themselves. for selection to fill the vacant Ya Naship.

Three months after the demise of Na Mahama Kpema on May 12th 1948 a surprising thing occurred. The Dagbon State Council is alleged to have met with the Gbon Lana (regent) of Na Mahama Kpema presiding. The Gbon Lana, who later became Mion Lana Andani and was on November 21st 1968 enskinned Ya Na Andani III, presided over the alleged meeting. Na Andani III gave birth to the murdered overlord of Dagbon, Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, whose murder has brought Dagbon to a standstill for well over three years. At this supposed meeting the Dagbon State Council is alleged to have unanimously resolved that a new selection committee of eleven (11) members, comprising seven (7) chiefs and four (4) elders, had replaced the four member traditional king making body. The new king making body was named the selection committee.

Several questions need to be answered. What necessitated the change? What evidence was there on the eve of 12th May 1948 when the resolution was allegedly passed showing that the four member traditional king making body was ineffective? Did any Ya Na or any candidate for Yani or any of the four member traditional king making body by the eve of 12th May 1948 raise any issue that undermined the confidence he had in the traditional king making body of four? Did the Gbon Lana who allegedly presided over the 12th May 1948 meeting, have a constitutional mandate to preside over a Dagbon State Council meeting to change or make a traditional law?

As far as records available indicate no sitting Ya Na up to 12th May 1948 raised any issue challenging the integrity of the traditional king making body of four. We throw a challenge to any Dagbon chief, prince, princess or commoner and any interested non-Dagbana to provide evidence to the contrary.

A Ya Na?s Gbon Lana has the constitutional mandate to fill in any vacant chieftaincy skin in Dagbon during his reign as regent. The Gbon Lana may also preside over the meeting of the Dagbon State Council. However, he has no constitutional mandate to preside over a meeting of the State Council to amend or change any Dagomba customary law or critical aspect of which is the selection of the Ya Na.

In fact records of the 1930 conference of Dagbon chiefs at which a thorough enquiry was made on the constitution and organization of Dagbon attest to this. The conference affirmed that the sole repository of power to make law is in the Ya Na. No Yani Gbon Lana (regent) has the full powers of a Ya Na. This is a known fact to all Dagbambas.

In former times regents of a deceased Ya Na who, for some pressing reasons, wanted their fathers? funerals performed earlier than expected, would send emissaries to all divisional chiefs saying that, ?there is robbery on the trade routes because there is no Ya Na ?. This suggests that the Gbon Lana of a Ya Na knows he is not a Ya Na and cannot therefore exercise certain powers reserved for a Ya Na. If a Gbon Lana could exercise all the powers of a Ya Na, why can he not take measures to ?open the trade routes??

Indeed the 12th May 1948 meeting was illegal. The so called eleven member selection committee which the resolution is alleged to have given birth to was therefore illegal and can not be described any better.

The truth is that certain key Dagomba princes who gained literacy in the colonial schools felt left out in Dagbon chieftaincy matters as they did all they could to pervert the time tested system of selecting candidates in the highest political office in Dagbon. In fact some of these powerful class of literate princes natured hatred for Andaniyili for inexplicable reasons. Their agenda was therefore to ensure the abolition of the time tested four-member traditional king making body which could not be manipulated and in its place create a body which they could easily manipulate to ensure the permanent exclusion of Andaniyili from the contest of Yani skin or Namship.

We can therefore say without any fear of contradiction that the 1948 resolution was born out of malice towards Andaniyili. In the directing hands of very few and wicked Dagbon princes spear headed by then Alhaji Yakubu Tali (later Tolon Na Yakubu). The Dagbon State Council was roped in to project the greed of a few and forever exclude the Andani gate from the contest for Yani.

There is also sufficient evidence that the meeting of the Dagbon State Council on 12th May 1948 at which the resolution was allegedly passed never took place. The agenda and minutes of the said meeting have never been found. Before the Opoku-Afari Commission that heard the dis-skinment charges against Na Abdulai-billa (late Mahamadu Abdulai?s father), Demon Na Mahama who was the secretary to the Dagbon State Council at the time the said meeting and resolution were passed in 1948, said he ?could not produce any records to show when this change took place?.

Also May 12th 1948 was a Wednesday. Na Mahama Kpema?s funeral rites commenced on Thursday 13th May 1948. Gushie Na Ziblim was alleged to be at the May 12th 1948 meeting. Every true Dagbon citizen knows that traditionally and customarily no Gushie Na (chief of Gushiegu) enters Yendi on the death of a Ya Na until the first day of the funeral rites which always falls on a Thursday. How could Gushie Na Ziblim attend the Wednesday, May 12th 1948 meeting? Or Gushie Na Ziblim defied Dagbon custom and tradition set by his forbears to attend such meeting? If Gushie Na Ziblim did attend such a meeting one would want to know the reason why he broke such a taboo knowing the consequences it would have on him. As stated above the said 1948 resolution was not only unjustifiable but also illegal.

Can any body who feels he/she has Dagbon at heart can say at what point in Dagbon history was the Gushie Na the sole selector of a Ya Na? If we even accept that the number of the traditional king makers grew progressively from one (1) to four (4) as some of our brethren are peddling around, we may have to ask for the factors that necessitated the changes with time. If such changes really took place, could it be that circumstances called for them and that the changes were not ill motivated as in 1948. Those changes, if they indeed took place, could only have been made by persons who had authority vested in them by Dagbon Custom.

Curiously enough, the 1948 resolution was not applied in the selection of the Ya Na after the funeral of Na Mahama Kpema II. The selection of the successor to Na Mahama Kpema II, Na Mahama-billa III was carried out by the traditional king making body of four (4) (i.e.Kuga Na, Tugrinam, Gomli and Kpati Na). Na Mahama-billa III who succeeded Na Mahama Kpema II (Andaniyili) was from Abuduyili. No member of the Abuduyili protested against the procedure for selection of Na Mahama-billa as Ya Na since the 1948 resolution was supposed to have been in force. The cardinal reason for the dead silence was that the traditional king makers had chosen the favourite of the powerful literate princes.

From the above scenario the illegal eleven (11) member selection committee has no constitutional existence in Dagbon.

THE L.I. 59 OF 1960 AND THE OLLENU COMMITTEE. Na Mahama III (i.e. Mahama-billa) from Abuduyili died in June 1953. His successor was to be chosen from the three (3) gate skins namely Mion, Savelugu (Yo) and Karaga. The occupants of those three (3) gate skins were Mion Lana Andani (Andaniyili), Savelugu (Yo) Na Mahamudu (Andaniyili) and Karaga Na Adam (a great grandson). Of the above-mentioned three chiefs Karaga Na Adam was ineligible he being a great grandson. The two eligible contestants were the then Mion Lana Andani and Yo Na Mahamudu both from Andaniyili. Savelugu (Yo) Na Mahamudu was the son of Na Andani II and Mion Lana Andani was the son of Na Mahama II (Mahama Kpema).

The masterminds of the 1948 resolution, in furtherance of their evil intentions hatched a very wicked and treacherous plan in order to get their favourite but ineligible candidate selected as the next Ya Na. They accused then Mion Lana Andani of being responsible for the death of Na Mahama III (Mahama-billa) through spiritual means. They ensured that this wicked and malicious propaganda traveled through the length and breadth of Dagbon. By this propaganda Mion Lana Andani was thus prevented from performing his customary rights and duties relating to the death and funeral rites of the late Ya Na. This was achieved by the plotters through the tacit support of the predominantly Abuduyili dominated Dagbon State Council. The predominantly Abuduyili dominated Dagbon State Council convened an emergency meeting a day after the death of Na Mahama III (Mahama-billa) ?came to a unanimous decision that Mion Lana Andani should be debarred from attending the Ya Na?s funeral?. This decision by the Dagbon State Council was not only unfortunate but also contravened Dagbon custom. It must be noted that on the death of Na Mahama-billa no member of Abuduyili was an occupant of any of the gateskins, technically this was not a disadvantage. The late Ya Na coming from Abuduyili it was only left for the king makers to select an eligible candidate from either Mion or Savelugu. The vacancy created by this would have been filled by an Abuduyili member in keeping with the traditional rotation system.

The funeral rites of Na Mahama-billa was performed on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th March 1954. Gushie Na Ziblim in accordance with Dagbon custom arrived on Thursday 18th March 1954. He was met by an envoy of Kuga Na as custom demanded and informed that Mion Lana Andani had been selected as the next Ya Na to succeed Na Mahama-billa.

The next day the illegal eleven (11) member selection committee convened a meeting and voted Gbon Lana Abdulai Bago or Abdulai-billa (Regent of Na Mahama-billa) to succeed his late father. The selection of Gbon Lana Abdulai-billa (late Mahamadu Abdulai?s father) by the illegal selection committee to succeed his late father (Na Mahama-billa) is critical to the present crisis we have on hand. The unending crisis we have in Dagbon today can be traced to the ignominious and subversive act of the illegal selection with the disgruntled Dagbon elite princes. Well meaning citizens of Dagbon prevailed on the influential chiefs and princes who had since 1948 muddied the constitution of Dagbon to allow sanity to prevail, but they remained defiant and stuck to their guns. The arrogant and defiant posture taken by these few disgruntled elements of Dagbon who refused to reason is what has brought Dagbon to its present stage.

The Andani family led by Mion Lana Andani (as he then was) could not tolerate this naked daylight robbery and therefore went ahead and preferred dis-skinment charges against Na Abdulai-billa in the Dagbon State Council. As expected the Dagbon State Council which condoned the illegality of the illegal selection committee dismissed the dis-skinment charges for no apparent reason. It must be noted that the composition of the Dagbon State Council at that time was predominantly pro Abuduyili. The Andani family having being denied justice by the pro Abuduyili Dagbon State Council took advantage of the House of Chiefs Act 1958 and filed an appeal against the ruling of the Dagbon State Council. The government of the day referred the petition to an Appeal Commissioner, Justice Opoku-Afari

The Appeal Commissioner after reviewing the petition came out with the following findings: (1) Ya Na Abdulai Mahama III (late Mahamadu Abdulai?s father) had conspicuous and apparent physical defects which disqualified him from being selected and enskinned Ya Na. This is a fact known to all true Dagbambas and any Dagbon Royal who has these features is automatically disqualified and is not suitable to occupy the Gbewa skin. (2) The traditional rotation system of succession to Yani between the two royal houses (Andaniyili and Abuduyili) was violated by the enskinment of Na Abdulai III. (3) There are only three (3) gate skins to Yani, namely Mion. Savelugu and Karaga and Na Abdulai Mahama III was never an occupant of any of these. (4) Na Abudulai Mahama III (Abdualai-billa) was not selected by the traditional king making body of four (4).

The verdict of the Appeal Commissioner was that Na Abdulai III should be removed from office. The Appeal Commissioner presented his report to the government. The President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah brought Justice Opoku-Afari?s report before his cabinet Justice Opoku-Afari?s report exposed the schemers and they had to act swiftly to save them from eminent disgrace which was stirring them in their faces. The political acrobats of Abuduyili led by Tolon Na Yakubu quickly advised Na Abdulai III to defect to the C.P.P. Na Abdulai III summoned a meeting of the Dagbon State Council where a decision was taken that members of the predominant Abuduyili council had all joined the C.P.P. Tolon Na Yakubu who was also an MP under the ticket of the United Party (UP) crossed carpet in parliament and joined the CPP. Ya Na Abdulai III was then made the Yendi constituency Chairman of CPP.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah therefore found himself in a dilemma. For political expediency the CPP government reversed the findings of the Justice Opoku-Afari Commission. In the words of the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah ?serious political consequences ? were likely to follow from a decision to remove the Ya Na from office.

The Appeal Commissioner?s report were based on Dagbon custom and constitution, but the CPP government?s decision was based on political expediency.

To give Mion Lana Andani (as he then was) and Andaniyili in general hope for they had lost every thing to Abuduyili the government of the CPP passed the Declaration Of Customary Law (Dagomba State) Order 1960 Legislative Instrument 59 (LI 59 for short). In its essence LI 59 restated Dagbon custom and gave a semblance of justice to Andaniyili. Both gates i.e. Andaniyili and Abuduyili accepted the enactment of LI 59 saw it as recipe for lasting peace in Dagbon at that time. Even though sections of Andaniyili saw the enactment of LI 59 as unjust and a betrayal by the CPP government.

Come February 24th 1966 and the CPP government of Osagyefo Dr. Nkrumah was overthrown by the CIA with the active connivance of the Danquah-Busia clique. Members of Abuduyili now saw the NLC government as their natural allies. With former Gushie Na Bawa Yakubu serving as IGP and a member of the NLC and Tolon Na Yakubu in the fore front, saw it as an opportunity ?to kill the hen that lay the golden egg? for peace in Dagbon i.e LI 59. Why they schemed to get LI 59 revoked was quite obvious it has been their long desired aim since 1948 to ensure that no member of Andaniyili ever occupies the Yani Namship. It was a deliberate ploy to see to the extinction of Andaniyili and to see to the creation of only one family dynasty (i.e Mahamabilla yili) Their main agenda was to ensure that only descendants of Na Mahama II (Mahama-billa) occupied the Yani skin. This us the trick they adopted which unfortunately majority of our cousins in Abuduyili are not recognising. Those persons are not fighting the cause of Abuduyili. They rallied behind Na Abduali-billa, late Mahamadu Abdulai and today they are staunchly behind Abdulai Mahamadu the twenty-none year old son of Mahamadu Abdulai much to the exclusion of Mion Lana A.A. Ziblim who would have been the next Ya Na from Abuduyili, if Ya Na Yakubu Andani II had died a natural death.

ISSUE OF LATE MAHAMADU ABDULAI The late Mahamadu Abdulai, Gbon Lana of Na Abdulai-billa as at the time of his death was not occupying any skin. He was at the time of his death in 1988 could be known as Bolin Lana, the title conferred on him by Kuga Na when his father died. Mahamadu Abdulai was removed from office as a ?Ya Na? on the recommendations of the Ollenu Committee in 1974 after sufficient evidence had been adduced and found that he was illegally enskinned by a combined team of soldiers and policemen. At what time in Dagbon history were soldiers and policemen traditional king makers? Would those misguided Dagombas championing the cause of Mahamadu Abdulai tell us. As far as Dagbon customa and traditions are concerned Mahamadu Abdulai was never a Ya Na. He usurped power with the support of the government of the day.

Mahamadu Abdulai was not the first Ya Na to be dis-skinned. Others had been deskinned and their funerals were performed as former Ya Nas?. Their funerals were not performed at the Gbewa palace.

The fact that he was still followed by some of his elders and he was allowed by the murdered Ya Na to celebrate some traditional festivals did not make him a Ya Na. The magnanimity of Ya Na Yakubu Andani enabled the late Mahamadu Abdulai and his supporters think he was a chief. The retinue of disgraced elders who went with Mahamadu Abdulai when he was removed from office are those who constituted themselves into the illegal selection committee naturally they had to fall with him and it would have been a betrayal if they had abandoned him.

Those who claim they have documents indicating Mahamadu Abdulai?s funeral should be performed in the Gbewa Palace would be doing a disservice to Dagbon and Ghana at large if they fail to bring such documents into public domain

Those peddling lies about performance of Mahamadu Abdulai?s funeral quote two documents as their source of information. These are: - Memorandum of Agreement and the Supreme Court Ruling of December 1986 on the Yendi Skin Dispute. We can say without any fear of contradictions that there is nothing in the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Ya Na Yakubu II versus Mahamadu Abdulai that says or implies that Mahamadu Abdulai?s funeral rites should be performed at the Gbewa Palace on his death.

The plan of Abuduyili is to churn out lies with a deliberate intention to impede a just solution to the present crisis which they know would definitely spell doom for them.

Instead of blaming innocent victims for what (Abuduyili) have done, they should resolve to tell the truth, show remorse and repent so as to receive forgiveness if possible.

ISSUE OF SO CALLED ?NON-DAGOMBAS? IN DAGBON CHIEFTAINCY AFFAIRS

Our cousins in Abuduyili and their sympathizers are quick to point accusing fingers at Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama for being the cause of the problems in Dagbon and ignorantly call him a non-Dagomba. They have in their midst people who can equally be described as non-Dagombas and who by their birth are not qualified to meddle in Dagbon issues but who have used their wealth and power to support and promote the unjust cause of Abuduyili.

The current Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is called a Dagomba because of his mother who incidentally comes from a familiy that has Andaniyili sympathies. Many keen observers of Dagbon geo-politics know the role the Vice President has played for the unjust cause of Abuduyili before he became a Vice President. The late Alhaji Yahaya Iddi of blessed memory was also a Dagomba matrilinealy. The late Allhaji Yahaya Iddi could be described as the chief financier of Abuduyili. Our cousins in Abuduyili did not call these persons ?non-Dagombas?. As the Dagbani proverb says, ?Somebody?s sore is red.?

Nobody can deny Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama his rightful place in Dagbon Chieftaincy. He has a stake like any royal from Abuduyili to discuss chieftaincy in Dagbon and make appropriate interventions to save the institution from the guile of Abuduyili and their sympathizers. Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama is a descendant of Na Andani II and therefore in the class of princes in Dagbon. Ya Na Andani II gave birth to Savelugu Na Bukari Bofo who was appointed Ya Na in 1920. He abdicated for some reasons and allowed Na Abudulai (Na Abudu) II to succeed him. It was Na Bukari Bofo who gave birth to Zangbalin Na Mahama. Zangbalin Na Mahama was the eldest son and regent of Na Bukari Bofo. Zangbalin Na Mahama gave birth to Princess Damatta, who also gave birth to Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama. Traditionally Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama is eligible to contest some of the chiefships, which are reserved for the descendants of Dagbon Princesses. It would therefore be an exercise in futility to erase the relevance of Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama in Dagbon chieftaincy.

In fact Abuduyili and their sympathizers ought to express gratitude to Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama who saved their lives on 27th March 2002 by deliberately concealing the gruesome murder of the Ya Na, when the NPP government insensitively and blatant disrespect for Dagbon custom announced it. Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama must be praised for supporting Dagbon to its cultural identity by his untiring effort to defend Dagbon constitution. If any one sees him differently that person may be doing so due to greed and avarice.

These persons i.e. Alhaji Aliu Mahama and Alhaji Yahaya Iddi and many others in the fold of Abuduyili and Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama who qualifies to speak for Dagbon?

We conclude by saying that truth ultimately (and it would be soon) triumph over falsehood in Dagbon. All well meaning Dagombas (including those from Abuduyili) should remain steadfast in the face of the overwhelming political conspiracy clearly aimed at destroying our very existence as a tribe. Long Live Dagbon.



Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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