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Preparations for funeral of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II underway

BY: Zakaria Alhassan & Samuel Duodu
 The Kampakuya Naa, Yakubu Andani
The Kampakuya Naa, Yakubu Andani

Preparations are underway by the Andani Royal Family in the Dagbon chieftaincy divide for the performance of the final funeral rituals (Logri Bob’bu) of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II.

Chiefs who have various customary roles to play in the funeral process have started pitching camp in the ancient town of Yendi, the traditional seat of Dagbon ‘Namship’, with their respective retinues.

It is hoped that after the successful performance of the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Muhamadu Abdulai IV, which ended peacefully in Yendi on December 28, 2018, the activities for the funeral of Yaa Naa Andani II will also be carried through to pave the way for the eventual enskinment of a new Yaa Naa to oversee the affairs of one of the oldest traditional societies in Africa.

Apprehension

Some observers are, however, apprehensive that the latest demand by the Andanis that the Bolin Lana vacates his current abode at Mba Dugu’s residence could jeopardise the funeral process.

Speaking to the media in Yendi last Sunday, an Andani youth leader, Mr Alhassan Basharu Dabali, said Mba Dugu’s residence formed part of the temporary Gbewaa Palace.

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According to him, the residence was usually occupied by some chiefs who played significant roles during a Yaa Naa’s funeral, for which reason the continued occupancy of the palace by the Bolin Lana could delay the funeral performance.

Unity

The decision by the Andanis to perform the Kulli comes after weeks of misunderstanding, bickering and counter-accusations between two factions in the family over who actually represents their interest.

However, after meetings with the Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya Naa Yakubu Andani, in Yendi on December 23, 2018, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in Accra on December 27, 2018 and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the two factions have now resolved to work together to successfully perform Yaa Naa Andani’s funeral, in line with the tenets contained in the road map to peace in Dagbon.

The Head of the Andani Royal Family, Yoo Naa Abubakari Mahama, in all instances, pledged the family’s commitment and readiness to commence activities for the performance of the funeral.

At their meeting with the President, the Yoo Naa had entreated the government to bring the perpetrators and killers of Yaa Naa Andani to justice to bring finality to the issue that had remained unresolved for about 16 years now.

Programme

According to the road map, the Abudus were the first to perform the funeral of Yaa Naa Abdulai from December 14 to 28, 2018, after which their cousins, the Andanis, will also begin the funeral processes of Yaa Naa Andani from January 4 to 18, 2019.

Funeral of Yaa Naa Abdulai ends

Meanwhile, the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV ended in Yendi in a peaceful and jubilant atmosphere, as hundreds of people from all walks of life thronged the temporary Gbewaa Palace to witness the rare traditional rituals.

Dressed in his regalia, the Regent, Bolin Lana Mahamadu Abdulai, performed one of the significant rituals of the funeral — the circumambulation of the palace (three times) to signify his legitimacy and closure of the funeral observance, amid jubilation and firing of muskets, accompanied by unceasing drum beats and ‘gonje’ strings.

Riding horses alongside the Bolin Lana were some chiefs and their elders who were there to play their respective customary roles in the performance of the funeral.

The event, which took place on December 27, 2018, was graced by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who led a government delegation.

Also witnessing the event were chiefs, religious leaders, Members of Parliament and some guests from other parts of the country.

The funeral was climaxed on, Friday, December 28, 2018, with a special recitation of the Holy Quran by some Muslim clerics at the temporary palace.

They thanked God for the successful performance of the funeral and prayed for peace and unity in Dagbon and the nation.

Vacation of palace

In compliance with the canons of the road map to peace in Dagbon, the Bolin Lana, on Saturday evening, December 29, 2018, vacated the temporary Gbewaa Palace in Yendi.

The Abudu Royal Family, led by the Regent of Diare, Abukari Abdulai, handed over the keys and a letter to the Yendi Municipal Security Committee (MUSEC).

As part of preparations for the performance of the funeral, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Sa-eed, on December 13, 2018, formally handed over the temporary palace to the Abudu Royal Family, after the family had signed an undertaking to vacate the palace after the final funeral rites.

The two-week period of the funeral was without any disturbances or major hitches.

Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV died in October 1988, while Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II was killed in March 2002.

Committee

The Asantehene-led Committee of Eminent Chiefs had, on November 16, 2018, made a declaration to bring finality to the decades-old conflict between the Abudu and the Andani Royal families in Dagbon when it presented a document on the road map to peace in the troubled Dagbon to President Akufo Addo 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 Otumfuo Osei Tutu, 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.