Some chiefs and regents in the Andani royal family in Dagbon in the Northern Region have fiercely defended the Kampakuya Na, Yakubu Andani, against the decision of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs to have the funeral of the late Ya Na Abdulai Yakubu Andani II performed.
The Kampakuya Na had stated emphatically that the immediate family of the late chief has been kept in the dark over the peace roadmap presented by the Otumfuo-led Committee of Eminent Chiefs and, therefore, the funeral of their late father would not be performed.
This, the chiefs including the Waribogu Lana, Nyankpal Lana, Moglaa Lana and the Karaga Regent, among others, supported firmly and said until the customs and traditions are adhered to, the funeral of the late Ya Na would not be performed as contained in the Dagbon peace roadmap.
The chiefs disclosed this at a news conference held in Tamale on Saturday, 15 December 2018, a day after the Abudu royal family began the funeral of one of the late chiefs, Na Mahamadu Abdulai IV.
The aggrieved members of the Andani royal family further noted that until the full complement of substantive chiefs whose presence is required for the performance of the funeral of a Ya Na is fulfilled, the Andami family will not succumb to the roadmap.
The Kpa Na, who read the statement to the media, alleged that Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Committee of Eminent Chiefs repeatedly stated that regents are customarily barred from performing the roles of substantive chiefs during the funeral of a Ya Na.
Additionally, the Andani chiefs disclosed that the mediation committee’s statement on the peace roadmap issued on 30 March 2006 clearly provided that this customary requirement be fulfilled. He also wondered why the goalpost was being changed.
Kpa Na Abubakari Andani stated that the roadmap announced by the committee at the Jubilee House in November 2018, is a carbon copy of what had earlier been rolled out by the Asantehene, National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah and the Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed.
For him, the roadmap could cause chaos.
“We can say with certainty that the programme that the Asantehene has rolled out is a recipe for chaos. He and his colleague Eminent Chiefs on the mediation committee should know very well that no village, town or kingdom can have two valid chiefs at the same time; neither can there at any one time be two sitting regents of the same village or kingdom reigning side by side.”
He argued further that performing the funeral of the late Na Mahamadu Abdulai IV as a Ya Na will require the enskinment of his regent. He added that the regency comes with certain traditional powers, among which is the prerogative to appoint persons to traditional offices.
“Just as this will not be acceptable in Asanteman, Mamprugu and Yagbun, Dagbon cannot also be expected to have two regents at the same time,” Kpa Na Abubakari stated.
The Andani chiefs indicated, therefore, that the decisions taken by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs is an imposition, which the authorities seem determined to enforce through the application of military power.
He noted that by being oblivious to the basic principles of mediation, the committee has irreparably jeopardised the entire mediation process after 16 years of work, and has, accordingly, stripped itself of any moral authority to continue with the process.
Meanwhile, the Vo Na, Alhaji M. B. Bawah, who is the family head of the Andanis does not support the action of the others and has stated that the Andani family will adhere to the roadmap.
He disclosed that the Abudus have officially invited them to support the funeral arrangements of the late Ya Na Mahamadu Abdulai IV from the Abudu gate and they will do so accordingly.