Funerals Banned In Yendi

THE NORTHERN Regional Security Council (REGSEC), chaired by Moses Bukari Mabengba, has placed a ban on the performance of funerals within the Yendi Municipality and its

environs, with immediate effect.

It has accordingly directed all residents of the Yendi Municipal Area to suspend the performance of funerals until activities related to the impending Damba Festival are dully completed.

The decree comes in the wake of purported threats on the fragile security in the region, reasons for which the move was put in place to ensure maximum protection of persons and property in the build-up to the Damba festivities.   

The regional security body says the move is not aimed at preventing residents from throwing befitting funeral celebrations for their deceased relatives, but to avoid   anything that could breach the security situation of the area, hence the order. Addressing a press conference on Friday, the Northern Regional Minister-designate confirmed that the security agencies will be on the lookout for any person or group of persons who may attempt to ignore this directive and cause disturbances.

He warned that such deviant individuals, who for their own parochial interest ignore the directive, shall incur the wrath of the law, to serve as a deterrent to others.

Mr. Mabengba also stressed that for security reasons, this year’s Damba Festival in Yendi should be celebrated at the Gbewaa Palace only and must be respected as such.

Accordingly, REGSEC cautioned that under no circumstance should any group of persons, chiefs or opinion leaders plan to celebrate the event in Yendi, outside the Gbewaa Palace.

The Council therefore appealed to all sub-chiefs, elders and the general public, most especially those in and around the Yendi Municipality, to take note and cooperate with the security agents to ensure that law and order is maintained.

The Northern Regional Security Council further stated categorically that it should be noted that the directives are to ensure peace and security in the region, especially during this period of Damba.      

It would be recalled that earlier ACP Angwubutoge Awuni, the Regional Police Commander, met various groups following rumours of planned reprisal attacks by some supporters of either royal gates between February and March this year, warning that he was ready to deal squarely with any outlaw.

Reports gathered say supporters of both chieftaincy gates were fuming over the delay in the implementation of the road map to peace, while others were complaining of an unfair deal in the whole process, reasons for these security threats.

According to the police chief, information gathered revealed that there was looming violence that would emanate from butchers within the Tamale Metropolis after tension had been whipped up to set the tone.  
He therefore called a meeting with all the butchers and advised them not to allow themselves to be used in perpetrating violence in the region.

Mr. Awuni praised the butchers for their peaceful co-existence and their interest in restoring lasting peace in region, but said this would be a mirage if they relied on information from violence mongers to operate.  
This was followed by a caution to managers of radio stations by REGSEC to avoid hosting panelists who incite tension and also to endeavour to exhibit professionalism.

From Stephen Zoure, Tamale