General News of Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Source: Abdul Karim Naatogmah

Tension mounts in Yendi over Damba festival celebration

Tension seems to be mounting in Yendi over the celebration of this year’s Damba festival.

The Abudu Royals are fuming against what they claim are attempts by the Military in Yendi to stop them from celebrating this year’s Damba festival. Reports indicate that some military personnel on Tuesday besieged the Abudu Regent, Boling-Lana Mahamadu Abdulai’s palace in Yendi.

The Assemblyman for Nayilifong electoral area, Ibrahim Zolge in an interview accused the military in Yendi of open bias.

He said, “The festival is just drawing near and everything is going on peacefully, all the two gates both Abudus and Andanis are performing the rehearsals pending the day; it was just last night that we were at the Abudu palace when the Armed forces invaded it, they came and started whipping people and at that time the rehearsal was over.”

Zolge fumed, “We were surprised and tried to find out from the Military Commander why, the man couldn’t tell us anything, the only word we received from him was that I have received information from above that you the Abudus should not celebrate the Damba festival and anybody who dares will be killed; what we want them to know is that this kind of intimidation will not stop us from celebrating Damba, Abudus must celebrate and even if they kill all of us, we will thank God.”

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Yendi, Hon. Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani has called for calm in Yendi and its environs.

“I will want to call on the people of Dagbon especially the people of Yendi to be calm, we should use this occasion to reconcile ourselves and ensure that the peace we have so far achieved in Yendi is maintained and sustained.”

He added, “We all know that this is a cultural festival and we need to celebrate it devoid of rancor and bitterness so the security must ensure that there is peace in Yendi and the people of Yendi must support and cooperate with the security agencies to ensure that the Damba festival is celebrated peacefully.”

The Yendi MP further admonished the security agencies on the ground to be fair and just in their operations.