The Bolin Lana, Abdulai Mahamadu, has expressed optimism that the performance of the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai, who died in 1988, will lead to lasting peace, unity and genuine reconciliation among the people of Dagbon.
He said the people of Dagbon had suffered under years of the debilitating Abudu-Andani conflict which had led to the loss of precious lives, compromised their culture, eroded their dignity and stalled development in Dagbon.
The Bolin Lana expressed the optimism in a speech read on his behalf when he paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House yesterday.
The visit was intended for the Bolin Lana to thank the President for his untiring efforts at ensuring that the Dagbon peace process was followed through, especially the performance of the final funeral rites of the Yaa Naa Abdulai.
He expressed appreciation to President Akufo-Addo for his bold vision for the Dagbon Traditional Area and the exemplary leadership shown in helping to bring the Dagbon crisis to an end.
He also paid tribute to the roles played by former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor, John Evans Atta Mills and John Mahama towards ensuring peace in the Dagbon Traditional Area.
The Bolin Lana observed that the people of Dagbon had suffered from the age-old Abudu-Andani conflict which adversely affected the development of the area.
“It turned brothers against brothers, sisters against sisters, fathers against children and, indeed, converted friends into foes. Mr President, this conflict, over the years, has damaged properties in all parts of Dagbon. It compromised our culture and eroded our dignity as a people. It has cost us a lot of precious lives,” he said.
Declaring that the people of Dagbon were ready to forge ahead in unity, the Bolin Lana stated that the final funeral rites of their late father had positioned Abudus to continue to offer a hand of brotherhood and friendship to their brothers, the Andanis, for lasting peace for the area, adding that “this funeral marks a significant milestone in the effort towards finding lasting peace for the good people of Dagbon”.
He said the performance of the funeral of the late Yaa Naa Abdulai had lifted the dark clouds that had been hanging over Dagbon and Dagombas everywhere.
The performance of the funeral, he said, would bring true, lasting and enduring peace, unity and genuine reconciliation to Dagbon.
Last week, a delegation from the Andani Royal Family paid a courtesy call on the President and pledged their commitment to the peace process, giving an assurance that they would abide by the road map.
Yaa Naa Abdulai died on October 15, 1988 and was buried two days later but without final funeral rites.
He was the 35th Overlord of Dagbon and reigned from 1969 to 1974.
Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II was the Overlord of Dagbon from 1974 until he was assassinated in March 2002. He was also buried without final funeral rites.
Following the assassination of Yaa Naa Andani, and as part of measures to bring lasting peace to the area, then President J. A. Kufuor put in various measures, including the setting up of a Committee of Eminent Chiefs, led by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to use traditional and customary means to settle aspects of that matter related to customs and tradition.
The committee recently announced that, together with the two royal gates - the Abudus and Andanis - it had developed a road map to ensure the final funeral rites of the Naa Yaa Abdulai, to be followed by those of Yaa Naa Andani.
Referring to himself as a special Dagomba, with the name “Prince Abudani of Dagbon I”, President Akufo-Addo said he was grateful to the Almighty God that at long last the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Abdulai had been duly performed with all the customary rites that were due him as a Yaa Naa.
He stated that the matter had been outstanding for far too long and had been the source of much of the tension that had bedeviled the people of Dagbon for decades.
He commended the Committee of Eminent Chiefs for its hard work, persistence and tenacity, adding that its work had justified former President Kufuor’s wisdom in selecting the chiefs to find a lasting solution through customary and traditional means.
He commended the Abudus and the Andanis for the sacrifices, patriotism and commitment to the peace process that had culminated in the present state of the process.
The President said it was incumbent on all stakeholders to ensure that what had been attained remained permanent, so that after the funeral of Yaa Naa Andani the necessary customary and traditional processes would be pursued for the selection of a new Yaa Naa.