Regional News of Wednesday, 1 January 2014
Source: Graphic Online
In an unprecedented move to enhance peace in the Dagbon Traditional Area, the two protagonists in the Dagbon chieftaincy divide, the Abudus and the Andanis, have decided to celebrate the annual Damba Festival together as a family.
This followed a meeting attended by representatives of the two gates and the Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) in Tamale on Monday, on the need to foster peace and unity in the region.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting said members of the Abudu Family had agreed to join their brethren, the Andanis, to celebrate the time-tested festival at the Gbewaa Palace at Yendi, the seat of the Dagbon Kinship.
The processes for the celebration of the Damba Festival in 2014 are scheduled to begin in January, 2014.
The annual event, which is a blend of Islam and tradition, is celebrated by the majority of the Muslim-dominated communities in the north, including Dagombas, Nanumbas, Gonjas and Mamprusis.
The festival also marks the birth and subsequent naming of Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W), the Founder of Islam. It is also used to offer sacrifices to show appreciation to Allah and also chart a new course for the year.
According to the Northern Regional Minister and Chairman of the REGSEC, Mr Bede Ziedeng, there were various exchanges from all sides on the customs and traditions that are observed during the celebration of the Damba Festival at the meeting.
“It also took cognisance of the indication of the Bolin-Lana Muhammadu Abdulai, in his letter dated December 26 this year, to the committee, indicating his willingness to lead his followers to celebrate the festival at the Gbewaa Palace, provided adequate security arrangements were put in place to ensure peace in the area,” he stated.
The chairman further acknowledged that “the meeting further took note of the goodwill of the Kampakuya Naa Abdulai Andani who had invited all and sundry to celebrate the festival with him.”
Mr Ziedeng gave the assurance that the necessary security arrangements would be made to ensure that, “all interested persons and groups celebrate the festival peacefully at the festival ground.”
He, however, cautioned that all rehearsals leading to the celebration of the festival should take place only at the traditionally designated palaces in Dagbon.
“No rehearsal taking place anywhere should have the intention of being climaxed at those places except the Gbewaa Palace,” the minister further admonished.
The Dagbon chieftaincy dispute involving the Abudus and Andanis began in 2002 resulting in the death of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, the Overlord of Dagbon Traditional Area and about 40 others.