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Opinions of Thursday, 18 May 2017

Columnist: Abdul Latif Alhassan

The era of wise Regents: The case of Dagban Kingdom

It is not a hidden fact that there is a long standing scuffle between the Abudu and Andani Royal gates in the Dagban chieftaincy affair. The scuffle is as old as Naa Abudu and Naa Andani in the traditional chieftaincy history of Dagban Kingdom. The traditional history of Dagban narrated that, there came a time when two brothers from the same father, Abudu and Andani disagreed over who was the rightful heir to their father’s throne. There came divisions; positions were taken and that scuffle existed up to the present times.

In the midst of this scuffle, positions were entrenched and that is the reason why this scuffle is always reincarnated. Children of today always grow up in Abudu or Andani families hence become Abudus or Andanis by default. Other times, that is not the case. Just like joining political parties, some children are born and grow in one family but, decide to throw their weight behind the other family. It is funny to notice that, in Dagban, there are Abudu and Andani loyalists who are themselves not Dagombas. That is as hilarious as Mark Angel’s comedy episodes.

That notwithstanding, the Dagban scuffle has given the entire Dagban kingdom a troublesome time. There is no Dagomba man or woman who can claim that he/she has not tasted the demeaning effect of this Abudu and Andani brouhaha. Be you wealthy or poor, educated or illiterate, man or woman, the Dagban stand-still has damaged our reputation as Dagombas.

Of course, we are children, and per the cultural and traditional specification of Dagban, some issues are only tabled for the elderly to discuss. Despite being a child behind the scenes, I have observed that no meaningful steps were taken to address the Dagban chieftaincy disputes. The only steps taken were political, which of course are always suspended after elections. With the politicization of the Dagban chieftaincy disputes, well-meaning Dagombas and Dagban social commentators, notable among them is Mr. Alhassan Salifu Kalala of Justice FM always make one statement and that is: “no politician can resolve Dagban Chieftaincy dispute”. The only people who can resolve it is me and you. I mean you and me. With this resolution the chiefs of the two gates have a role to play.

Thank God two great Regents of Dagban, their Royal Highnesses, Regent of Dagban, Nyaba Kampakuya Naa, Abdulai Yakubu Andani and Nyaba Tolon Gbanglana (Regent of Tolon), Naa Major (Rtd) Sulemana Abubakari have kicked start the journey for us.

On that historic day, Sunday April 30th 2017, the news on the air waves was fantastic. I believe the gods and ancestors of Dagban would have been in euphoria throughout the day. If you didn’t know what happened, here it is; Nyaba Kampakuya Naa, Abdulai Yakubu Andani paid a courtesy call on Nyaba Naa Major (Rtd) Sulemana Abubakari. To clarify it, an icon of the Andani Royal Gate called on another icon of the Abudu Royal Gate, a move many described as an initiative for reconciliation.

There is a great message installed in this historic visit. It tells us that the two gates are not fire and cotton, they are not cats and dogs, neither are they cats and mice. It tells us that a true Abudu and Andani are from a one ancestor, with a common goal of lifting the image of Dagban to greater heights. It really proves a point for the need for us to come together as children of Gbewaa to catch up with our counterparts who are already miles ahead of us. This is a message to the aliens to stay away from Dagban chieftaincy issues. This is a message to you and your neighbour who are at loggerheads because of Abudu and Andani to make peace. Today, also get up, walk to your Abudu or Andani neighbour and greet him just as our leaders demonstrated.

Indeed, great leaders are gone and great leaders are still alive. Nyaba Kampakuya Naa and Nyaba Tolon Gbanglana (Regent of Tolon), you do all. Indeed you have shown you have control over your egos and that you have our great kingdom at heart.

Let us forgive ourselves, for blood is thicker than water. For he who has a brother should hold him onto himself, for brothers are not sold in the market. Together we move Dagban forward.