The Abudu royal gate has announced its decision not to participate in the ongoing Dagbon constitution review committee, accusing Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama of attempts to plunge the kingdom into the past over his selfish interest.
This was contained in a statement read at a press conference in Yendi today Thursday, October 21 upon what they described as “sobber reflection”.
“Indeed, the Abudu Royal Family may be right in seeing what is going on as a surreptitious adventure or bite the bullet tactics from two persons under the tutelage of no person other than Ibrahim Mahama whose self-seeking agenda since 1969 has been to keep Dagbon perpetually in a state of anarchy. We want the people of Dagbon and of Ghana to know that we as a family have called for proportionate representation from the beginning of this exercise. At a stage of first draft of the review work, we detected that it is only Lawyer Mohammed Mumuni and Ibrahim Abass (Rtd) both Andani Royal Family sympathizers as consultants, doing the work”, the Abudu family said.
“Our chiefs officially raised eyebrows and their calls were unheeded. Now we have copies of a second draft still done solely by the select few without recourse to bringing onboard sympathizers of Abudu Royal Family nominated to various committees. Question is; what is there to hide that we can’t open up the system for participation from Abudu family sympathizers? We are left with no other option under these circumstances than to pull out completely”, they added in a statement.
Read the full statement below:
A PRESS CONFERENCE BY CHIEFS AND OPINION LEADERS OF THE ABUDU ROYAL FAMILY IN THE WAKE OF ATTEMPTS TO REVIEW 1930 DAGBON CONSTITUTION FOR A SELFISH INTEREST; ORGANIZED HERE IN YENDI ON THURSDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2021.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, good morning to you, and to the chiefs and people of Dagbon kingdom. We have invited you to this press briefing to state our royal gate’s position on what is currently going on regarding the processes to the review of 1930 Dagbon Constitution. We have followed keenly what is going on but have painfully come to the conclusion that the process is not only resurrecting the two gates’ dispute but rather creating another quagmire for Dagbon to behold.
You may recall that on 23rd June 2021, some of our chiefs wrote a letter as “Concerned Chiefs of Dagbon” to His Majesty, N’dan Ya-Naa, stating germane issues for which they are unable to participate in the 1930 Dagbon Constitution Review. For the avoidance of doubt, we will paraphrase some of their concerns here for your readership and appreciation:
-That Abudu representatives in the various thematic committees have not been part of the process. They have neither been invited nor given an opportunity to participate in reviewing the 1930 document let alone to produce a first draft. So, all the sub-committees which Abudu representatives have been recommended for; be it Legal Committee, Advisory Committee, or whatever committee, none of Abudu Representatives have had the opportunity to participate in the process.
-That it is completely absurd, customarily and historically preposterous to not only remove Gushei Na from being the head and member of the selection committee as contained in the 1930 constitution, but also to suggest that Kuga Na is head of selection committee of four namely; Kuga Na, Tugri Nam, Kpatii Naa and Gomli.
-That before 1969, all selections of Yaa Naas of Dagbon have been done under the leadership of the Gushei Naa and that each time the selection committee met, Kuga Naa, Tugri Nam and Gomli have all participated in the past without any hitches. What has changed?
-That attempts at legitimizing the Andani family’s position that Kuga Naa is head of Yogu Kpamba cannot be accepted by Abudu Royal Family because it erodes our time-tested tradition, revives our Abudu/Andani feud, mires our chieftaincy institution and topple the ship of Dagbon peace and reconciliation.
This letter needed a serious attention so as to take a re-look at the posturing of those behind the review of the 1930 document and correct the anomalies therein. We thought that the incongruities as espoused in the letter by the concerned chiefs cannot heal Dagbon. We have believed that what Dagbon needs now in the process to update our law is to offer an opportunity for every thorny issue to be reviewed in an open, frank and dispassionate atmosphere to engender the peace, unity, trust and progress we all yearn for.
On 9th July 2021 our chiefs received an emotionally-charged letter bereft of conciliatory gesture and giving us doubts as to it’s authenticity. The author(s) did not only muddy the waters the more, but failed to deal with those resurfacing embers of the very issues that once tore us apart. If the purpose of this review was to put Dagbon on an even keel with united and progressive states of the world, then we cannot escape a review of these thorny issues raised in our letter.
Now to the gravamen of the Supreme Court’s ruling the author(s) copiously quoted to make a case for those qualified to nominate a Yaa Naa to ascend to the Skin of Yeni. Point 7 of the Supreme Court’s ruling vividly states “That selection to the skin alternates between the two Royal ruling gates of Abudu and Andani”. It is indisputable and public knowledge that the occupants of the skin of Yeni from 1974 to 2002, Ndan Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II, was from the Andani Royal Gate and his elder son, currently Yoo – Naa Abdulai Yakubu also acted as Yaa Naa for thirteen (13) years from 2006 to 2018. Hence, His Majesty’s ascension to the Lion Skin of Dagbon afterwards from the same ruling gate was a clear violation and an affront to the Ollenu and the Supreme Court’s ruling of 16th July, 1986. Question is; Which Supreme Court’s Ruling have we set aside for the sake of peace and reconciliation of Dagbon and which one are we asking to enforce now?
Assuming, without admitting, that the Supreme Court of 1986 upheld the Ollennu Committee report, does error of judgement and misinterpretation of the law suffice to change what the true custom and tradition of Dagbon is? In any case, is the Dagbon State Council a creature of statute? We should not under any circumstance allow the product of technicalities of law and or its misinterpretation determine what the true custom is. Instead of hiding under the cloak of 1986 Supreme Court Ruling, we would rather expect to be educated by anyone when in our history Kuga Naa ever headed a selection committee and which Yaa Naa that committee selected.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, isn’t it strange that a second draft is produced and all the grave worries we raised earlier have still not been addressed? And that Abudu representatives at various sub-committees have still not been involved in the process? It now appears to us that the new constitution is already a decided one and what anyone else says is irrelevant. We say so after carefully looking at what is happening.
The people of Dagbon need to be told at this juncture that there is a calculated attempt to shelve the truth about what even our chiefs are agreeing on to be the truth about Dagbon custom. When Yogu kpamba for instance met in Yendi, Gushei Naa narrated to the committee his role as head of Yogu Kpamba and Selection Committee. This fact was repeated recently when Lawyer Mumuni sat Gushei Naa and Kuga Naa down to educate the committee on who the head of yogu kpamba and of Selection Committee has always been. At each of these sittings, Kumbung Naa corroborated Gushei Naa’s presentations as undiluted fact of history. These facts have been repeated time without number by Kpating Lana and Tolon Naa until they and other concerned chiefs stopped attending those meetings because of the undemocratic and unfair means by which the two consultants have deployed to subtly push through what they want in the new constitution.
Indeed, the Abudu Royal Family may be right in seeing what is going on as a surreptitious adventure or bite the bullet tactics from two persons under the tutelage of no person other than Ibrahim Mahama whose self-seeking agenda since 1969 has been to keep Dagbon perpetually in a state of anarchy.
We want the people of Dagbon and of Ghana to know that we as a family have called for proportionate representation from the beginning of this exercise. At a stage of first draft of the review work, we detected that it is only Lawyer Mohammed Mumuni and Ibrahim Abass (Rtd) both Andani Royal Family sympathizers as consultants, doing the work. Our chiefs officially raised eyebrows and their calls were unheeded. Now we have copies of a second draft still done solely by the select few without recourse to bringing onboard sympathizers of Abudu Royal Family nominated to various committees. Question is; what is there to hide that we can’t open up the system for participation from Abudu family sympathizers? We are left with no other option under these circumstances than to pull out completely.
The work thus far is for an interest which defeats genuine reforms of our constitution and this disaster if approved is a recipe for chaos, disunity, mistrust and litigations. Dagbon interest should be more Paramount and protected than anybody’s or gate’s. We as a family cannot be parties to this unjust erosion of our custom and tradition as bequeathed to us by Naa Gbewaa.
God bless Dagbon
God bless Ghana