The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Bede Ziedeng has implored the Abudu and Andani royal families of Dagbon to translate their rhetoric about peace into action.
He said the two sides have to prove to the world that their recent demonstration of goodwill was not a charade, but indeed the beginning of a lasting resolution to the prolonged chieftaincy dispute.
The minister made these comments when he visited the Gbewaa Palace at Yendi to call on the Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya-Naa Yakubu Andani, who was installed as caretaker of the revered skin after the burial of the late Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani II.
The visit was to enable the minister to formally introduce himself and his deputy, Alhaji Abdul-Basit Fuseini, to the regent following their appointments earlier in the year.
It was a beautiful scene to behold as drummers and ‘gonje’ players produced local rhythms, as well as appellations, to the amazement of the minister’s entourage.
On May 2 this year, the regent dispatched a delegation with representatives from the two feuding gates to Tamale to welcome the minister and to reiterate their resolve to co-operate with the government and the Committee of Eminent Chiefs to resolve the lingering Dagbon skin affair.
“When the two sides jointly visited me, it sent a great signal to the world that Dagbon was ready for peace,” the minister said.
He said it, therefore, behoved the chiefs to back these public gestures with action so as to redeem their image and redirect Dagbon on the path of development.
The minister said the government had established the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to lead the transformation of the north.
He said one of the sectors that SADA would focus on was agriculture.
“SADA would introduce new farming technologies, improved seeds and varieties and improved breeds of livestock,” he mentioned.
He, therefore, urged the people to take keen interest in SADA and utilise these interventions to improve their well-being.
He also promised to run an open-door administration that would allow for inputs from various stakeholders in the region, especially chiefs.
The Kampakuya-Naa acknowledged the importance of peace to development and lamented the lack of progress in various Dagomba areas of the region.
“We know that the government is spending huge sums of money on peacekeeping instead of development. As for the Yendi Municipal Assembly, their coffers are empty,” he said.
“Things have gone bad in Dagbon and we need to fix it,” the Regent further noted, adding that “it would only take patience and reason to resolve our differences.”
Story: Nurudeen Salifu, Tamale
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