Yaa Naa Abdulai’s funeral rites ongoing; Yendi remains peaceful

BY: Zakaria Alhassan & Samuel Duodu
The Bolin Lana, Mahamudu Abdulai
The Bolin Lana, Mahamudu Abdulai

Yendi, the traditional seat of Dagbon in the Northern Region, remains peaceful as the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Muhamadu Abdulai IV are being observed in line with the canons contained in the road map to attaining sustainable peace in the Dagbon Traditional Area.

However, a petition by the Abudu Royal Family on the peace process is creating some uncertainty in the minds of some people as to whether the entire process will be seen through successfully.

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Petition

According to the petition signed by the Bolin Lana Muhammadu Abdulai, the Abudu Royal Family raised concerns over their inability to occupy some parts of the old Gbewaa Palace and for that matter a full access to the Royal mausoleum.

“The Gbewaa Palace has not been completely handed over to us.

Some customary rites relating to the funeral can, therefore, not be observed,” they claimed.

The petition, addressed to the Chairman of the Eminent Chiefs, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and copied to various bodies, also said the continuous stay of Kampakuya Naa Abdulai Andani at a temporary palace would be a hindrance to the performance of the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Muhammadu Abdulai.


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The petition said a new fence had been erected few metres away to separate the temporary palace from the old Gbewaa Palace.

“It is feared that given the numbers that thronged the palace during the installation of the Bolin Lana, the palace circumambulation process this week could trigger a stampede as a result of the little space left for us by that new fence at the back of the palace.

“Given the proximity of the temporary palace to the Gbewaa Palace, the continued presence of the Kampakuya Naa at the temporary palace cannot guarantee an incident-free performance of the funeral, especially on the 27th December, when the numbers are expected to quadruple.

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“In view of the Kampakuya Naa presence in the temporary palace and the people it attracts, we find it a security threat to the sheer numbers the funeral of Yaa Naa Muhamadu Abdulai will pull.

We, therefore, strongly recommend that the Kampakuya Naa be relocated for the period of the performance of the funeral of Naa Muhammadu Abdulai,” it added.

According to the petition, Dagbon was headed towards peace, for which reason all efforts must be made to ensure the performance of the funeral without any distractions.

Attempts to get a response from the Andani Royal Family on the petition were not successful.

Some people the Daily Graphic spoke to, however, entreated the Committee of Eminent Chiefs to deal with the emerging concerns expeditiously in order not to jeopardise the peace process.

Programme

According to the programme on the performance of the funeral of Yaa Naa Muhammadu Abdulai as contained in the road map, more people are expected to pay homage to the Bolin Lana on Monday, December 25, 2018 amid drumming, dancing and firing of musket.

This will continue till Thursday, December 27, 2018 to mark the climax of the funeral (Logri Bob’bu), which will include the circumambulation of the temporary Gbewaa Palace.

The event is expected to be witnessed by a large number of people, including chiefs and other dignitaries.

Background

The Asantehene-led Committee of Eminent Chiefs mediating the Dagbon chieftaincy crisis on November 16, 2018, made a declaration to bring finality to the decades-old conflict between the Abudu and Andani Royal families in Dagbon.

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.