Yendi, the traditional seat of Dagbon in the Northern Region, remains calm as hundreds from home and abroad participate in the funeral of Yaa-Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV.
The most significant event so far has been the installation of the Bolin Lana, Abdulai Mahamadu, as Gbang-Lana (Regent).
The Bolin Lana is the son of the late Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai from the Abudu Gate.
The two-week funeral, which started from December 14 and will end on December 28, is showcasing the rich culture of the Dagbon people.
The installation ceremony last Friday, which was witnessed by hundreds of people, including chiefs, religious leaders, ministers of state, metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives, took place in a cheerful and peaceful atmosphere.
And when the Bolin Lana eventually stepped out of the palace moments after 4p.m., in his splendid regalia, he was greeted with wild cheers as people jostled to catch a glimpse of him.
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Some of the chiefs displayed their dexterity in horse riding by meandering their way through the thick crowd to make it to the palace amid the tromping beats of ‘Lunsi’ and ‘Gonje’ strings accompanied by the booming sounds of muskets.
Among dignitaries present were the Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan Dapaah; the Minister of Chieftaincy, Culture and Religious Affairs, Mr Kofi Dzamesi; the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mr Alhassan Tampuli.
Most young people who spoke to the Daily Graphic described the entire ceremony as historic and refreshing because it was the first time they were witnessing such an event.
The last time a funeral of a Yaa Naa was performed was in 1974.
For the next 12 days, the Bolin Lana will sit in state to receive visitors, including chiefs, family, friends and well-wishers as customary rites are performed in line with tradition for the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai on December 27, 2018 at the palace to be followed by Muslim prayers.
The funeral of Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai which will take place from December 14 to 28, 2018, is the first to be performed as contained in the road map for peace in Dagbon. That will be followed by the funeral of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani from January 4 to 19, 2019.
The performance of the final funeral rites of the two Yaa Naas’ is part of the recommendations of the Asantehene-led Committee of Eminent Chiefs in the road map document submitted to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on November 21, 2018.
Other members of the committee are the Yagbonwuura, Tuntumba Boresa II; the Overlord of the Gonja Traditional Area and Nayiri, Naa Bohagu Abdulai Mahama Sheriga, and the Overlord of the Mamprugu Traditional Area.
The Committee of Eminent Chiefs was set up by former President John Agyekum Kufuor in 2002 to find a lasting solution to the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute after the murder of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II in Yendi.