It has been 16 long years since then President John Agyekum Kufuor put together the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, comprising the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II; the Yagbonwura, Tuntumba Boresa Sulemana Jakpa I, and the Nayiri, Naa Bohogu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, to find a lasting solution to the protracted Dagbon chieftaincy dispute after the murder of the Ya Naa.
For the Daily Graphic, the time that has elapsed is not as important as the success that has been chalked up in bringing an end to the age-old dispute.
That notwithstanding, we believe the Kingdom of Dagbon and the entire nation needs to be guided by the resources that have been expended during the many years that the conflict has lasted and ensure that we have smooth and incident-free funeral rites for the two Ya Naas who have passed on, beginning from this Friday, December 14.
Although the President has reiterated the government’s commitment to provide the requisite financial, material, moral, physical and security resources necessary for the sustenance of the peace process that has been embarked on, we plead with the people of Dagbon not to take things for granted but put in the effort to sustain the peace.
The government has already spent a huge amount of money and resources to maintain peace in Yendi these last 16 years, especially by way of deploying troops. Such money could have been channelled into development projects not only for the area but also other places in need.
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According to the road map for peace presented to President Akufo-Addo on November 21, 2018, it is after successful funeral rites have been performed for Ya Naa Mahamadu Abdulai from December 14 to 28, this year and Ya Naa Yakubu Andani II from January 4 to 19, 2019 that the way would be paved for the installation of a new Ya Naa.
President Akufo-Addo, when he was presented with the road map to peace, said the time had come for Dagbon to be restored to its former glory and greatness and the Daily Graphic believes that can happen when all Andanis and Abudus commit to the peace process.
Like the President we have an unshakable faith in the people of Dagbon to make peace prevail, so that development can be experienced by the people of the kingdom.
We have already seen a healthy sign with the reconstruction of the Gbewaa Palace for the rites to be conducted successfully and we congratulate the people of Dagbon on that achievement, as well as the three Eminent Chiefs on their resolve and suppleness and not giving up on the Dagbon people.
We envisage a colourful Damba Festival, with the full participation of the entire Dagbon Kingdom in a joyful atmosphere, come next year, with a new Ya Naa sitting in state as a result of the restoration of peace in the area.
The Daily Graphic joins President Akufo-Addo to urge the Kampakuya Naa and the Bolin Lana to help in the effective implementation of the road map to ensure lasting peace in Dagbon and lay the basis for its rapid development.
Above all, let us have peaceful funeral rites for the two Ya Naas, as that will serve as a test case for the entire peace process.