General News of Monday, 26 March 2018
Hundreds of security forces have been dispatched to Yendi in a renewed tension between Abudus and Andanis in the Northern Region.
The Yendi Municipal Chief Executive, Alhaji Ahmed Yussif Abubakari, confirmed the deployment of the military to Starr News, saying the security reinforcement was to prevent clashes between soldiers and some organized youth of the Abudu royal family who intended to forcibly occupy the old Gbewaa Palace, the seat of Overlord of the Dagbon Traditional Area.
The Abudu family has withdrawn from the mediating talks led by the Asantehene and requested that it should be granted permission to occupy the Gbewaa Palace to perform the funeral of a late royal, Naa Mahamadu Abdulai.
The MCE after an emergency security council meeting last Wednesday issued a statement reminding the Abudu youth that the old Gbewaa palace was still a security zone under the protection of the National Security since 2002 and warned that any trespassing attempts would be scuttled by the soldiers.
“MuSEC wishes to reiterate that any trespassing of the facility by any individual and/or group would be met with the full force by the security agencies. MuSEC therefore advises the general public to KEEP OFF from the OLD GBEWAA PALACE and its PRECINCTS to avoid any infringement with the directive,” he said in the statement.
He told Starr News in a later interview that a joint security team had arrived from Tamale to defuse the tensions and avert any violent confrontation in the town.
He said the security council was being proactive to prevent a repeat of the 2007 incidnet where two persons were killed during a force occupation of the Gbewaa place by some youth.
“Security is tight”, he said. “We have beefed up from Tamale, we have beefed up our special military and we also beefed up the police,” the MCE added.
The President during a tour to thank chiefs and people of Yendi for his 2016 victory on Saturday, October 7, 2017, said the “crowing achievement” of his first year as president of the Republic was to help get a new overlord of Dagbon.
The president urged the regional House of Chiefs and all mediating parties to ensure the enskinment of a Yaa Naa before the celebration of last year’s Damba festival.
However, sporadic tensions have persisted as the announcement drew angry response from some sympathizers and family of the late Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II, whose death sparked the nearly two decades old Dagbon chieftaincy hostilities.
The family of the late Yaa Naa Yakubu II have maintained that the only path to a compromise is the arrest and prosecution of the 2002 Dagbon Massacre perpetrators.
Last year, few weeks to the celebration of the Damba festival, government had doubled down efforts towards implementing the ceasefire document until tensions escalated after a symbolic street protest by a youth group in favor of implementation of the peace document.
The Andani Family and sympathizers of the late Yaa Naa held a press conference accusing government of attempts to facilitate the repeat of the 2002 carnage.
“Clearly, the provision in the Kan Dapaah delegation, which allows the family of the Mahamadu Abdulai to occupy the Gbewaa palace for one week to perform the funeral of the said Mahamadu Abdulai is a continuation of the process that led to the murder of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II. We have no doubt in our minds that the NPP government is hell-bent on fulfilling their earlier promise to the Mahamadu Family”, the family said.
Few days after the news briefing, a radio station in Tamale was attacked in December and also a palace at Kpatinga in Gushegu also suffered an arson attack.