Nana Addo�s Crystal Clear Message To Dagbon

“I don’t have any interest in Dagbon.  I am not Andani neither am I Abudu.  My only interest it to see Dagbon back to peace and Dagombas living in unity” – Nana Akufo Addo, Flagbearer of the NPP

When the Ya Naa, Yakubu Andani was murdered in 2002, the NDC callously seized the opportunity to use the death of the noble man as a campaign tool.  They knew Mr. Rawlings has a large following in Dagbon so to begin with, they printed T-shirts with the pictures of Yaa Naa and Mr. Rawlings boldly embossed on them.  Then they started pointing accusing fingers to the NPP as a political party which supervised the killing of the Yaa Naa.

The whole thing happened before the NDC wrote their 2004 Manifesto.  And so when they wrote their Manifesto, they said the Justice Wuaku Commission which was set up by the Kufour administration to look into the matter was not the best way.  They wrote in their manifesto that when they came to power, their government will establish a “truly independent presidential Commission” to look into the matter.  The founder of the NDC, Mr. Jerry Rawlings told the whole world that he had some proof that the NPP did that barbarous act.  The NDC even roped in the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama, accusing him of being part of the plot to assassinate the Yaa Naa.

During the 2004 electioneering campaign, the NDC disturbed our ears with the Yaa Naa murder and promised the people of Dagbon that the death of the overlord of Dagbon will be fully investigated and the perpetrators will surely be brought to book.  The Andanis in particular were hoodwinked into thinking that when the NDC comes into power, justice will be served so they voted en-bloc for the NDC in the 2008 General Election.   Fortunately for the Andanis, Ghanaians voted for the NDC in 2008 and the late Professor Mills became the president of Ghana.  When the NDC took over the reins of power, they made sure the roadmap which was designed by the Asantehene and some imminent chiefs to see to it that peace returned to Dagbon was thrown into the dustbin because they were going to set up their “truly independent presidential Commission” to look into the case.

Barely one year in office, the President Mills administration decided to act.  Instead of a “truly independent presidential Commission”, the people of Yendi saw something different.  At dawn on one fateful day, the NDC government ordered a raid on some houses in Dagbon where about fifty-five Abudus and some Fulani herdsmen were arrested and taken to far away Bimbilla to be screened.  Fifteen of them, including one septuagenarian were taken to Accra and locked up in cells.  The government of the NDC then bused some people from Yendi to Accra, housed them in hotels and gave them lawyers to coach them while the arrested poor folks were arraigned before court.

The case did rage on in court for some time and finally when the ruling came, all the men who were arrested on suspicion of taking part in the murder of the Yaa Naa were acquitted and discharged.  Then hell broke loose. The NDC regional office in Tamale was torched and the youth of Dagbon embarked on demonstration on daily basis, calling on the late President Mills to keep his promise.  The Andani youth in Accra threatened to kill some ministers and forbid the president from visiting the Northern Region.  During one of his tours of the three northern regions, Mr. Mills did not visit Tamale and Yendi because the security agencies had picked some signals that when he visit those places, he could face problems because of the failed promises he gave the people of Dagbon.

As time rolled by, the people of Dagbon realized that the NDC had short-changed them and so they decided to put everything behind them and live as one people.  Even grief recedes with time. I have decided to travel memory lane because we are in an election year so we must remind ourselves of how a political party took the people of Dagbon for granted. If care is not taken they will come out with yet another promise to create enmity between the Abudus and Andanis, thereby creating another unnecessary tension again.  The sages say once bitten, twice shy.  The people of Dagbon should “shine their eyes” and refuse to fall victims to the tricks of the NDC again.

When I read the above quoted pronouncement of Nana Akufo Addo, the standard flagbearer of the NPP, I heaved a sigh of relief.  During his recent visit to Yendi, Nana Addo and Bawumia made sure they visit the Regent of Dagbon; Kampakuya Naa and the Bola Lana in their respective palaces.  The multimillion Cedi questions are:  Will President Mahama muster enough courage to pay similar courtesy calls on the Kampakuya and the Bola Lana when he finally visits Yendi?   If he musters enough courage and visits the two palaces, what is he going to tell the two imminent citizens of Dagbon?  Indeed, what moral right has he got to visit the Bola Lana, whose people were singled out and prosecuted for killing the Yaa Naa when the Wuaku Commission suggested the prosecution of some suspects from both gates.  Is he going to promise to retry the acquitted persons?  These are legitimate questions which demand answers.

Change Is Coming In Ghana, Peace Is Coming To Dagbon

Of all the promises that Nana Addo has been giving during his tour, what has touched my heart apart from the one factory, one district is the peace and unity that he promised the people of Dagbon.  As usual, I know the NDC hawks will jump on his neck and say:  “He can’t do it”.  The NDC has muddied the waters in Dagbon so much so that, they cannot bring peace to the people of Dagbon.  The people of Dagbon do not trust the NDC anymore.  I know Nana Addo will reactivate the Otumfour Committee of Imminent Chiefs and resource them to continue with the roadmap.  With the help of Dr. Bawumia, I am sure peace will eventually come to Dagbon.  This is not the first time Dagbon has been in turmoil but what is interesting about this mighty dynasty is that after every war, they become friends again.

Those who don’t come from the Northern Region do not know that the Mamprusi, Dagomba, Nanumba and Mosi tribes trace their ancestry to one grandfather. If you touch one, you have touched all.  The composition of the Otumfour Committee speaks a lot of this dynasty.  The Dagbon Kingdom has been able to stand the test of time because they strictly follow their traditions.  Like the Asante, Zulu, Mosi and Buganda dynasties, the Dagbon dynasty is as old as one can remember.  If politicians think they can destroy this particular dynasty they should be reminded that baring all the pain that the people of Yendi have gone through, the last thing they will do is to sit down for any politician to destroy the kingdom.

Kingship in Dagbon is rotational.  If Nana comes to power and reactivates the Otumfour Committee, I believe whatever decision that the committee will come out with will be accepted by both gates.  After all, one day, the skin will become vacant for another Yaa Naa to sit on it.  What is interesting about the Abudu and Andani gates is that if you are an outsider you cannot identify an Abudu or Andani person, but they do.  When the NDC were making noise about the death of the Yaa Naa and accusing the Abudus of being behind the murder, little did they know that one of the Vice National Chairmen of the NDC in the person of Mr. Huudu Yahya was an Abudu.  Not only Huudu,  but when you go to the regions many Abudus hold very important positions in the NDC.  Similarly, there are so many Andanis in the NPP and some are holding very important positions in the party.

Now that we are in an election year and Yendi is seeing relative calm, politicians are warned to stay away from the Abudu and Andani issue.  The economic problems that the Abudus and Andanis are facing are more than the votes that politicians seek from both of them.  Since the death of the Yaa Naa, development in Yendi has nothing good to write home about because a divided house cannot stand.  It is when there is peace that development can come to the doorsteps of the people.  The last time I was in Yandi, I was not impressed by the level of poverty literally written on the faces of the people.  I saw unschooled urchins roaming the street and poor farmers trying to make ends meet through subsistence farming.  If Nana Addo’s one factory, one district comes to reality, I do not think Yendi district will be left out.  May be the district will be the first to enjoy the programme in order for the youth there to get employment and thereafter eschew violence.

The NDC has stockpiled their war chest and are ready to dole out monies to the youth there to turn up the apple cart because they know defeat is staring them in the face.  The Dagbon youth should look out for such tactics and stay away from anything that will destroy their future because as change comes to Ghana, peace will come to Dagbon.  Is anyone listening to this sermon from Mount Zion?