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Dagbon Constitutional Review Committee begins work on second draft of the constitution


The Committee set up to review the ninety-year-old Dagbon Constitution has started work on a second draft of the charter after receiving inputs on the first draft. The Dagbon Constitutional Review Committee (DCRC), is encouraging various stakeholders in Dagbon to assess the document over a period of one month to be climaxed with a Dagbon Constitutional Conference.

The conference, the committee explained is expected to provide a platform for open discussions to help produce a third draft. The Lead Consultant to the Dagbon Constitutional Committee, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni who is a constitutional lawyer made this known at a news conference in Tamale.

The current Dagbon Constitution he explained was created under colonial rule in 1930. According to stakeholders, the current charter has outlived its purpose having seen the creation of Ghana from the Gold Coast and the birth of four republican constitutions. The Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Abukari II, constituted DCRC committee to come up with a new constitution that reflects the new Dagbon and is more responsive to the times.

The committee says various stakeholders have assessed the first draft and have made inputs for the development of the second draft. Speaking at a media briefing in Tamale, the Lead Consultant to the committee, Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni, said the constitution is not only about chieftaincy but  includes chapters of peace, security, conflict resolution, development, land management which are all important for Dagbon’s stability and progress.  

Committee mandate

The mandate of the committee Alhaji Lawyer Mumuni explained was to look at the provision of the 1930 constitution and exclude those that are no longer relevant or applicable while retaining those that are still relevant. The consultant stated that where necessary, amendments were to be made to redress shortcoming in those provisions to be retained.  

Additionally, the committee was also to propose new provisions to cater for matters relating to peace, security, conflict resolution, land management and development among others.  While members of the committee who are all paramount/divisional chiefs, except the Namchnaa, consulted widely with their sub chiefs and elders to obtain information, the consultants collated information submitted by the public and consulted other sources of information.   

Concerns to the committee

The committee since the beginning its work he added received a petition by Concerned Chiefs of Dagbon had been submitted to Ndan Ya Na drawing attention to certain proposals to the draft constitution to which Ndan Ya has responded.

 Naa-Yab’ Tolon Na, Alhaji Major (Rtd) Abubakari Sulemana during the first draft also submitted a detail memorandum to the committee highlighting some aspects of the draft that should be reconsidered. The lead consultant told the media that Naa Bapr’ Sagnar-Naa Ambassador Abdulai Yahubu submitted a comprehensive memorandum on pertinent matters to be included in the constitution. The committee expressed its gratitude to all those who made useful inputs which it has taken into consideration.

2nd draft &inputs of stakeholders

The second draft, the consultant said will be produced and submitted to individual chiefs, elders, eminent Dagbon scholars, religious leaders, academic institutions, CSOs, opinion leaders, youth groups and the eminent persons listed earlier on as advisors to the committee. The draft will also be posted on social media platforms to make it more widely accessible.

All the comments emanating from all the engagements he explained will be reviewed and taken into account in the production of a third draft which will be submitted to the Dagbon Traditional Council for scrutiny and comments.

Thereafter, the final draft will be produced and submitted to Ndan Ya Na for approval, he added. It is only cooperation that we can share views to make the constitution a perfect document” We are all aware that there are still problems in Dagbon that are threats to its process.

Indeed, there have been demands that the Constitutional review process should be suspended or stopped until these chieftaincy problems are solved and Dagbon is truly united. It needs to be noted that a constitution will greatly reduce disagreements in Dagbon and provide a reference point for matters on Dagbon. This will contribute to unity and peace of the kingdom. The constitution is not only about chieftaincy. It includes chapters of peace, security, conflict resolution, development, land management which are all important for Dagbon’s stability and progress, lead consultant Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni stated.

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