The Ya Naa Yakubu Andani II Funeral Planning Committee has petitioned the Chairman of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II over what it describes as “fresh obstacles to the performance of the funeral of Ya Naa Yakubu Andani II.
According to the Funeral Planning Committee, the continues stay of the Regent of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV, Boliŋ lana Abdulai Mahamadu at the Palace of Mba Dugu presents a major obstacle to the performance of the funeral.
The petition, signed by the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Tong-lana Yakubu Andani and copied to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and National Security Minister, Mr Kan Dapaah explained that the Palace of the Mba Dugu would house the Ya Naa’s Chief Imam and the Queen Mother of Dagbon, the Gundo Naa who play critical roles during Ya Naas’ Funerals.
“While the house in question is the traditional residence of Mba Dugu, it is also the place where the Yeni Limam (Chief Imam) and the Gundo Naa (Queen Mother) take up temporary residence before the commencement of the funeral rites of a Yaa Naa, in which all the three play vital roles. The significance of the house in question is also in the fact that it is the final stop of a newly enskinned Yaa Naa upon leaving Zohi, before he is eventually ushered into the Gbewaa Palace. Therefore, if the said premises are under alien occupation, the funeral of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II cannot proceed.” the petition, dated January 3, 2019 noted.
The Mba Dugu ‘s Palace, located a few meters from the Gbewaa Palace in Yendi was destroyed in 2002 during the three day attack on the Gbewaa Palace which led to the murder of Naa Yakubu Andani II.
It was rehabilitated during the erstwhile Mahama administration with the keys handed to the Northern Regional Security Council.
It is unclear who ordered the release of the keys to the Abudu Royal family but the Andanis accused their half brothers of “forcibly occupying” the Palace.
Below is the full petition written to the Asantehene
3 January 2019
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
OTUMFUO OSEI TUTU II
Your Royal Highness,
FRESH OBSTACLES TO THE PERFORMANCE OF THE FUNERAL OF YAA NAA YAKUBU ANDANI II
As Your Royal Highness would recall, at our meeting with you on Thursday 20 December 2018, the family of the late Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II affirmed its readiness to commence the process of performing his funeral as per the schedule of the roadmap rolled out by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs which you chair. We write to confirm this our commitment. At the same time, we would like to draw your attention to the following developments which are likely to torpedo the entire process if immediate action is not taken to address them.
Seizure of the house of Mba Dugu by the son of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai
The house which is the traditional home of Mba Dugu was literally broken into, seized and occupied by the son of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai following the performance of the funeral of his father which ended on Friday 28 December 2018. This ambush was totally unexpected and constitutes a reckless infraction of Dagbon traditions and customs.
While the house in question is the traditional residence of Mba Dugu, it is also the place where the Yeni Limam (Chief Imam) and the Gundo Naa (Queen Mother) take up temporary residence before the commencement of the funeral rites of a Yaa Naa, in which all the three play vital roles. The significance of the house in question is also in the fact that it is the final stop of a newly enskinned Yaa Naa upon leaving Zohi, before he is eventually ushered into the Gbewaa Palace. Therefore, if the said premises are under alien occupation, the funeral of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II cannot proceed.
As Your Majesty is probably aware, the houses of Mba Dugu, Gulana, Malli, Kpahigu and Kumlana were destroyed during the attack on the Gbewaa Palace in March 2002 resulting in the murders of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II and scores of members of his royal household and elders. Through the instrumentality of the Kampakuya Naa, these houses were reconstructed in 2014 and early 2015, but the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) took custody of the keys and has still not released them.
We would like to draw the attention of Your Majesty to the fact that during the funeral of a Yaa Naa, all these houses are needed for occupancy by some particular individuals in the hierarchy of traditional authority, all of whom have roles to play in the said funeral. The Kuga Naa, for example, takes up temporary residence in the house of the GuLana, the Kpatu Naa is accommodated in the house of Kpahigu, while the Zohi Naa and Gulkpe Naa stay in the house of Mba Malli Palace. Emissaries from Bimbila are accommodated in the house of Kumlana.
These are customary requirements that must be met before the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II can proceed.
According the son of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai the illegitimate status of a de facto Yaa Naa
Apart from forcibly occupying the house of Mba Dugu, the son of Naa Mahamadu Abdulai has taken the provocation a step further by carrying himself as a de facto Yaa Naa. Such provocation has, among other things, taken the form of carrying out certain rituals and the beating of drums, especially the tumpana, in a manner permissible only in the premises of the palace of a Yaa Naa. Such confrontational indiscretion is counterproductive and potentially injurious to peace which has eluded Dagbon for so long, and which we are all hoping and praying for.
Open threats to repeat the violence of March 2002
Threats from extremist elements in the Adubu Royal family of violent attacks reminiscent of what happened in March 2002, have increased in frequency of late. These threats should not be ignored especially when they are coming from someone whose military career included a stint as a commander in the army of a one-time war lord in the Liberian civil war. An audio recording suspected to be the voice of this particular individual is making the rounds in the social media in which he is barking out commands to some militant youths. This seems to be a prelude to hostilities which may have been planned in advance.
This individual in question is suspected to have played some role in the events leading to the murder of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II in 2002. We urge Your Majesty to bring to the attention of this individual and his ilk that the confidence they have in their capacity to unleash violence is misplaced.
Our final appeal to Your Royal Highness is for you to intervene and have these concerns addressed in a manner consistent with Dagbon traditions and customs. We will be unable to proceed with the performance of the funeral of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II in the face of such infractions of our customs and traditions and the blatant manifestation of impunity emanating from the other side
We thank Your Majesty in advance, in anticipation that this matter would be treated with utmost urgency.
(Chairman – Funeral Committee)
The President of the Republic of Ghana
His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo
National security minister
Hon. Albert Kan Dapaa