Seventeen years after the death of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II, the people of Dagbon are about to put that history behind them, as the kingmakers have nominated the Paramount Chief of the Savelugu Traditional Area, Yoo Naa Abubakari Mahama, as heir to the throne.
Naa Mahama, who is about 70 years old, has since been offered cola nuts and pieces of straw as symbol of triumph and authority as the incoming Overlord of Dagbon.
That was after the four kingmakers, including the Kuga-Naa, Abdulai Adam; and the Gushie Naa had consulted the oracles to guide them in the choice of a right candidate for the ‘Namship.’
Naa Mahama, who, until his selection was the head of the Andani family, succeeds his late nephew, Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II who died in March 2002 in Yendi.
His nomination is in line with the customs and traditions in respect of succession to the kingship of Dagbon.
It is also in tandem with the Dagbon Constitution of 1930 and a Supreme Court decision of December 1986 that ordered that only occupants of the gate skins of Mion, Karaga and Savelugu are eligible to contest the kingship of Dagbon.
The Bolin Lana, Muhamadu Abdulai of the Abudu Royal Family has since congratulated the Yaa Naa-elect on his selection by the kingmakers.
“I wish to indicate my unflinching support and loyalty to the new Yaa Naa-elect and to assure him that, so long as he leads us, when he looks back, he will see me,” a statement issued by the Bolin Lana said.
“In accordance with the best traditions of Dagbon, I have already sent a high-powered delegation from the Abudu Royal Family, led by the Regent of Tolon, Major Sulemana Abukari, Regent of Diare and Mba Dugu Iddrisu Iddi to formally congratulate the Yaa Naa-elect,” the statement added.
About Yaa Naa-elect
The Yaa Naa-elect is a farmer by profession and notable horseman.
Until he was made the Paramount Chief of Savelugu, Naa Mahama was the chief of Kponkpano, near Yendi.
Following his selection to the skin, the customs and traditions required that he moved from his current residence to the Gbewaa Palace last night, where a cow would be slaughtered and a meal prepared amid drumming and narration of his ancestral history by gong-gong beaters.
Naa Mahama would later pass the night at the Katini Duu (Sacred room) after which he would proceed to the Zohi Palace in Yendi today where he would be groomed for about three days.
He would then be moved to Mba Dugu’s Palace before taking permanent residence in the Gbewaa Palace where he would later be officially inaugurated.
Meanwhile, a dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed on Yendi and its environs in the Northern Region.
There is also a total ban on all persons in the area from carrying arms, ammunition or any offensive weapons.
In a statement signed and issued by the Interior Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery, yesterday, it warned that :“Any persons found with any arms or ammunition will be arrested and prosecuted.
“The Minister of the Interior has, on the advice of the Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC), and by Executive Instrument, imposed a 5p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew on Yendi township and its environs, effective Friday January 18, 2019.”
It further explained that the “imposition of the curfew is to forestall any violence, as well as ensure the maintenance of law and order in Yendi and its environs.”
The document on the road map to peace in the troubled kingdom was fashioned by the Asantehene-led Committee of Eminent Chiefs at the Jubilee House in Accra.
The committee was set up by former President John Kufuor in 2002 to find a lasting solution to the long-drawn-out Dagbon Chieftaincy dispute after the killing of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II in Yendi in March 2002.
The committee is made up of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Yagbonwura, Tuntumba Boresa Sulemana Jakpa I, the Paramount Chief of the Gonja Traditional Area and the Nayiri, Na Bohugu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, the Paramount Chief of the Mamprugu Traditional area.