General News of Saturday, 5 January 2019
The Andani Royal Family in the Dagbon chieftaincy divide has deferred the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II, following claims by the family that the Bolin Lana, Muhamadu Abdulai of the Abudu Royal Family, is occupying part of the temporary Gbewaa Palace in Yendi in the Northern Region.
According to the Andanis, that part of the palace was significant to the performance of the funeral, since it was usually occupied by some chiefs who played significant roles in the performance of a Yaa Naa’s funeral rites.
As of the time of filing this report yesterday, the Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) was holding a meeting with the leadership of the Andani Family to discuss the way forward in the stalemate.
The Andanis were supposed to begin the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II yesterday, January 4, 2019. But they have rescheduled the event to take place from January 11, 2019 to January 18, 2019.
The Regent, Muhamadu Abdulai, is said to have moved into the Mba Dugu’s Palace moments after the performance of the funeral rites of Yaa Naa Muhamadu Abdulai on December 28,2018.
Keys to the palace are said to have been given to the Regent by the REGSEC.
The Andanis have, however, argued that the palace could not be occupied by the Bolin-Lana because it was not only against tradition but could also incumber the funeral service and enskinment of a new Yaa Naa should the kingmakers select a candidate
After the sticky issues have been cleared, the funeral will commence with the shaving of the hair of the sons and daughters of the late Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani and the Regent of Dagbon, the Kampakuya-Na, Yakubu Andani.
At a meeting in Yendi last Thursday, the Head of the Andani Family, Yoo Naa Abubakar Mahama, expressed the willingness of the family to begin the funeral process on January 11, 2019 on condition that Bolin Lana Muhamadu Abdulai vacated the Mba Dugu Palace.
An Andani youth leader, Alhassan Basharu Daballi, who spoke on behalf of the Yoo Naa after the meeting, said rather than using two weeks for the funeral, the Andani Family intended to complete the entire process within a week, in line with the tradition and practices of Dagbon custom.
“The Andani Family already has a regent and so we will not need two weeks. We will use one week to perform the funeral,” Mr Daballi said.
Meanwhile, some chiefs have been appointed to inform the entire Andani Family members and their sympathisers of the new dates.
Security in Yendi still remains tight as preparations are underway by the Andani Family to perform the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani.
The performance of the funeral rites of Yaa Naa Andani ll is part of the road map to ensure lasting peace in Dagbon after 16 years of a protracted chieftaincy dispute between the Andani and the Abudu Royal gates.
According to the road map presented by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, the Abudus were given two weeks to perform the funeral of Yaa Naa Mahamudu Abdulai IV, who died in October 1988.
Those rites started from December 14 to 28, 2018, after which the Andanis are also to perform the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II, who was murdered, along with some of his elders, in March 2002.
The Asantehene-led Committee of Eminent Chiefs, on November 16, 2018, made a declaration to bring finality to the over a decade-old conflict between the Abudus and the Andanis over who had the right to occupy the Dagbon Skin.
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 murder 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.