Work begins on Gbewaa palace for performance of funeral of Ya-Nas

BY: Samuel Duodu
 Construction works at the old Gbewaa palace
Construction works at the old Gbewaa palace

As the time draws closer to the perfor-ance of the final funeral rites of both Ya-Na Mahamadu Abdulai and Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, work has begun in earnest on the construction of temporary rooms and a ‘zong’ (Big Hall) at the old Gbewaa Palace in Yendi, the traditional seat of the Dagbon Kingdom in the Northern Region.

Also to be erected are 13 air-conditioned tents to be used for the performance of the funeral of Ya-Na Abdulai by the Abudu Royal Family.

The ‘zong’ is where the regent of Muhamadu Abdulai, the Bolin Lana, would sit to receive visitors during the funeral.

Measures

The construction works form part of measures embarked upon by the Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) for the smooth implementation of the road map to peace in Dagbon, which document was presented to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the Jubilee House in Accra on November 21, 2018 by the Asantehene-led Committee of Eminent Chiefs.

Project

The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, who is also the Chairman of the REGSEC, told the Daily Graphic that the work on the old palace involved the construction of five rooms and a ‘zong’ where the Abudus would put up to perform the final funeral rites of Ya-Na Mahamadu Abdulai from December 14 to 28, 2018.

He said a bulldozer was sent to the site last Tuesday to clear the land for construction work to begin, adding that the project was scheduled for completion within 10 days.

According to the minister, as of yesterday work was at the foundation and block-laying stages and that the construction was being undertaken by the traditional authorities and the youth of Yendi.

Background

The reconstruction works form part of the successful roll-out of a programme for the performance of the final funeral rites for both Ya-Nas.

After decades of a protracted chieftaincy dispute between the Andani and the Abudu Royal gates in the Dagbon Traditional Area, the path is now clear for a peaceful process that could lead to the enskinment of a new Ya-Na after the assassination of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani ll on March 27, 2002.

After several meetings and consultations with stakeholders, the committee eventually presented its report containing the road map to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the Jubilee House in Accra.

The occasion was witnessed by the leadership of both the Andanis and the Abudus, government officials and other stakeholders.

As contained in the road map, the final funeral rites for Ya-Na Mahamadu Abdulai are to be performed from December 14 to 28, this year.

After a one-week respite, the Andanis would also hold the final funeral rites of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani ll from January 4 to 19, 2019.

Thereafter, four recognised elders will sit in seclusion and consult the oracles to guide them in selecting a new Ya-Na for the kingdom, in line with the customs and traditions of Dagbon.

That process will begin from the first Friday after the funeral of Ya-Na Andani has been completed.

The Committee of Eminent Chiefs was set up by former President John Kufuor in 2002 to find a lasting solution to the protracted Dagbon chieftaincy dispute after the murder of the Ya-Na.

It is made up of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II; the Yagbonwura, Tuntumba Boresa Sulemana Jakpa I, and the Nayiri, Naa Bohogu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga.

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