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Andani family rejects Asantehene committee report

The children of the late overlord of Dagbon, Ya Naa Yakubu Andani have rejected the report of three eminent traditional leaders mediating the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute.

The Asantehene-led committee came with what they called their final decision on Dagbon 16-year old prolong dispute.

The 3 eminent chiefs led by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Nayir, Abduli Bohigu Mahama Sheriga and the Yogbewura Tutumba Boresa are expected to present their report to the president of the Republic, H.E Nana Akuffo Addo on Wednesday at the Jubilee house, Accra.

On Tuesday, 40 tradition leader from the Andani family and the Yogbowura Palace were airlifted to Accra ahead of the crucial meeting.

On Wednesday, another 40 comprising the Abudul family and the Nayir Palace will leave Tamale to meet their brothers at the seat of government.

The Asantehene is expected to formally present the report to the president for further celebrations and acceptance or otherwise from both side.

Ahead of that crucial meeting, the Andani family in a charged new conference gave the strongest indication that it will not accept the Asantehene-led report. The News conference which was attended by family members, children and widows of the Late Ya Naa Yakubu Andani wore red arm bands to register their disappointment.



PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF THE LATE YAA NAAYAKUBU ANDANI II IN CONNECTION WITH THE DECISION  OF EMINENT CHIEFS TO YIELD TO THE DEMANDS OF HIS MURDERERS Ladies and Gentlemen of the media. We the children and widows of the late Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II would like to thank you for responding to our invitation to attend this press conference. Our main purpose is to apprise the general public, through you, on our utter disappointment at the inconsistency in the conduct of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs headed by the Asantehene Otumfuo OseiTutu II. As you are already aware, this Committee was set up by the Kufuor administration in the aftermath of the murder of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II and scores of members of his royal retinue, specifically to look into the traditional aspects of the matter with the view to charting a path that would restore peace and stability to Dagbon traditional authority. The logic behind entrusting this monumental assignment in the hands of these eminent chiefs was clear. As traditional rulers themselves, they were in a position to better appreciate  the traditions and customs of Dagbon, especially as they pertain to the chieftaincy system. It was hoped that their judgement will not clouded by political bias. It was against this background that throughout the years that Committee has been carrying out its work, the Andani family has cooperated fully with it. It has been sixteen years since the Committee was set up, and all this while, it has been wavering between right and wrong. Only last week, the Committee announced what it claims is its final decision on the matter which is that the funeral of Mahamadu Abdulai will be performed at the Gbewaa Palace in December 2018. This will then pave the way for the funeral of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II to be performed. In fact, this latest decision of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs is nothing new. It is the exact replica of what had earlier been rolled out by the Minister of National Security, Honorable Kan Dapaah, the Honorable Minister of Chieftaincy Affairs and the Honorable Northern Regional Minister. Their program centered on the following:1. The Royal Mausoleum (Katini) and two locations at the old Gbewaa Palace, destroyed during the attack on Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II in 2002, would be rehabilitated in preparation for the performance of the funeral of Bolin Lana Mahamadu Abdulai who was wrongfully enskinned as Yaa-Naa in 1969 and subsequently de-skinned in 1974 and died out of office in 1988 as a private person at a private location. 2. The family of the said Mahamadu Abdulai would then be given one week to perform his  funeral at the old Gbewaa Palace. Thereafter, his son would be enskinned as Mion Lana -one of the gate skins to the position of Yaa-Naa.3. The performance of the funeral of the late Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II would then be performed, after which Kampakuya Naa, the current Overlord of Dagbon, would been skinned as Chief of Saveligu, also a gate skin to the position of Yaa-Naa. 4. The current chief of Saveligu would, thereafter, be enskinned as Yaa-Naa.
This, in essence, is what the Committee of Eminent Chiefs is now parading as its final solution to the problem it was entrusted to resolve. First of all, we would like to remind the Asantehene, the Nayiri and the Yagbunwura of the following:1. They are traditional rulers. As such they draw their legitimacy from the institutions of traditional and customary authority in their various traditional jurisdictions. 2. They all rose to their present status as heads of their traditional areas on the basis of the traditions, culture and custom specific to their areas.3. Their occupancy of their stools or skins enjoins them uphold the truth and be just.It was their backgrounds as eminent chiefs and traditional rulers knowledgeable in the workings of customs and traditions especially as they pertain to the chieftaincy institution that they were asked to help shepherd Dagbon out of a crisis engendered by a serious violation of the traditions and customs of Dagbon. The facts of the matter were put before these eminent chiefs. They were told and presented with the evidence where necessary that:1. It is now part of the public record that the attack on the Gbewaa Palace was part of a plot to fulfill an electoral promise the NPP had made to the pro-NPP faction in the Dagbon kingship divide. That promise bordered on the performance of the funeral of Mahamadu Abdulai – a former Boling-Lana.2. The murder of the Yaa Naa was the culmination of a bogged attempt to forcibly remove evict Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II from the Gbewaa Palace to pave the way for the performance of the said funeral, since he would not have vacated the palace as this was contrary to Dagbon custom and tradition. 3. Mahamadu Abdulai was not enskinned as Yaa Naa by those traditionally and customarily responsible for doing so. This was done through the abuse of state powerand the use of brute military force. As such his enskinment had no traditional or customary legitimacy.4. The said Mahamadu Abdulai was eventually deskinned in 1974 and died out of office in 1988 as a private person in a private home.5. For all the reasons stated above, the funeral of the said Mahamadu Abdulai cannot be performed at the Gbewaa Palace as this will be fundamentally contrary to Dagbon tradition and custom. Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, we would like you to join us in reminding the Committee of Eminent Chiefs that it had, in two separate decisions, maintained that the funeral of Mahamadu Abdulai would only be performed at the place where he died and not at the Gbewaa Palace. You would recall that this decision by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs was what led representatives of the Mahamadu Abdulai faction to announce a boycott of the mediation process.
We are therefore utterly outraged at this sudden U-turn by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs.The question we would like to pose is: What has changed? Such shameful lack of principle and gross moral corruption are shocking. The Committee of Eminent Chiefs has been informed repeatedly that one of the principal customary requirements in the performance  of the funeral of a Yaa Naa is the presence of the full complement of chiefs representing some specific skins. They are:a) Kug’ Naab) Gushie Naac) Yelzoli Lanad) Tolon Naae) Kumbung Naaf) Gulkpe Naag) Kpatii NaaThe Committee of Eminent Chiefs are also fully aware that with the exception of the Kug’ Naa, Kumbung Naa, and Gulkpe Naa, all the other skins are currently being occupied by regents. And regents are customarily barred from performing the roles of substantive chiefs during the funeral of a Yaa-Naa. Indeed, on the two earlier occasions when the Committee decided that the funeral of Mahamadu Abdulai should be performed at the place where he died, the Committee also asked for the processes to be started to have substantive chiefs installed in all these skins occupied by regents. Once again, we ask: what has changed? How on earth will the Asantehene, the Nayiri and the Yagbunwura suddenly become so inconsistent in their conduct? This inconsistency, or hypocrisy, we should say, has not gone unnoticed. We would like tore mind the Asantehene, the Nayiri and Yagbunwura that it was one of their own who sufferedsuch gross injustice. If they have suddenly forgotten of the circumstances surrounding the gruesome murder of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II, then we would like to refresh their memories and the memories of all individuals and groups who have chosen to ignore the lessons of history and are oblivious of the possibility of that history being repeated. The murder of Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II on March 27, 2002 was the climax of a three-day armed assault on the Gbewaa Palace – the official residence of the Yaa-Naa and focal point of over 600 years of Dagbon history, tradition and culture. Several other innocent people perished with the Yaa-Naa. Not satisfied that they had killed him, the assailants dragged his body to the palace square, chopped off his right arm, decapitated him and set fire to what was left of the body after covering it with used lorry tyres doused in petrol. The palace was reduced to ruins and several other houses were burnt and valuable items including royal regalia were looted. It is the wish of these criminals that the Asantehene, the Nayiri and the Yagbunwura have finally come around to grant. In doing so they have not only betrayed their former colleague Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II but they are also promoting a culture of impunity, and sending a clear signal that crime pays. A precedent is being actively set. For the avoidance of doubt, we would like to reiterate very forcefully that we the Andani Family, shall under no circumstance allow for the funeral of Mahamadu Abdulai to be performed at the Gbewaa Palace. The authorities of today may opt to apply the full force of
state power, as they have done repeatedly in the past whenever they are in government, but we are sending a clear signal that there are several ways that this can be challenged. And no one should ever underestimate our resolve. The Asantehene, the Nayiri and the Yagbunwura still have time to reflect very seriously over the possible ramifications of this their latest program. They are setting the stage for the next crisis, by pouring petrol on an already volatile situation. No one can predict the nature and scope of the next crisis. All that we can say is that the Asantehene, the Nayiri andYagbunwura will be held fully responsible for the consequences.

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