Government in a move to resolve the age-long Dagbon chieftaincy crisis has set November 2015 to begin performing the funeral rituals of the late two overlords of Dagbon.
The construction of adjoining palaces to the old Gbewaa palace in Yendi where the funerals are expected to be performed is almost complete.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna earlier told Citi News plans were underway to perform the final funeral rituals of the late Yaa-Naa Mahama Abdulai and that of the late Yakubu Andani II.
Alhaji Limuna cautioned persons suspected to be chieftaincy contractors in Dagbon against any attempt to thwart government’s efforts.
But the family of the late Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II has downplayed the move describing it as an affront to their incessant calls for justice in-connection with circumstances surrounding the late Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II demise.
Son of the late Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II who doubles as the family Spokesperson, Abdulai Yakubu Andani in a statement copied to Citi News expressed the family’s opposition to government’s agenda.
He said the family would resist any attempt to perform the funeral rites especially that of the late Yaa-Naa Mahamadu Abdulai at the old Gbewaa palace.
“For the avoidance of doubt we wish to state emphatically that the family is not party to the programme of the funeral rites as spelt out by the Hon.
Regional Minister and under no circumstance will we agree for the funeral rites of Mahamadu Abdulai to be performed at the old Gbewaa Palace: this position is not negotiable.”
“To allow this to happen is to desecrate the memory of Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II and all those who were murdered along with him: it will also signal that we the family are accomplices in rewarding crime because this was exactly what those who attacked the Gbewaa Palace and committed those murders wanted.”
According to him, the Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna lacked locus to announce the performance of the funeral activities of any Yaa-Naa in Dagbon.
He claimed the regional Minister’s action was a total disregard to the Kuga-Naa who has the sole prerogative to make suck a public pronouncement in line with the Dagbon customs.
“We would like to express outrage at the blatant disregard for Dagbon tradition and customs by the Hon. Regional Minister who in making these statements has blatantly usurped the role of the Kuga Naa, the most senior member of the elders of Dagbon and Head of the Judicial Council of Dagbon, who is the only person who has the traditional authority and customary responsibility of making such announcements.”
“The Hon. Minister’s comments bring back a very painful reminder of a similar contemptuous announcement once made by Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, then Minister of Information and Presidential Affairs in the Kufuor regime who, on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 in flagrant violation of the custom and tradition of Dagbon and the sensibilities of the Andani royal family and the people of Dagbon, announced, almost happily, and in a very reckless manner, that Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II had been killed, and that he had been beheaded,” he fumed.
Abdulai Yakubu Andani reminded the Mahama-Amissah Arthur led National Democratic Congress (NDC) 2008 campaign promise to apprehend and prosecute persons suspected to be killers of the late Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II.
“We wish to remind the Hon. Minister of the electoral promise the Party he represents, the NDC, made to the people of Dagbon and to the Ghanaian people in general, to ensure that those who murdered the Yaa-Naa and the dozens of others in his royal retinue would be apprehended and made to face the full rigours of the law: the NDC has been in power since January 2009, and the Andani family and the people of Dagbon in general are yet to see justice.”
“By his recent statements, the Hon. Regional Minister seems to have finally pulled off the mask from the face of the NDC revealing it as a dishonest broker in the Dagbon crisis,” Abdulai added.
Abdulai Andani stressed, “The enthusiasm the Hon. Minister displayed in announcing the programme for the purported funeral rites is completely misplaced: he should rather direct it at the NDC in order to ensure that the Party fulfils the electoral promise it made to deliver justice to the People of Dagbon and the Andani family in the murder of Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II and the dozens of members of his royal retinue.