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Consolidate Peace In Dagbon - Security Experts   
 
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28-Jan-2019  
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Mr Emmanuel Bombande
 
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Three security experts have urged the government and the people of Dagbon to work towards consolidating peace in the area, following the successful enskinment of a Yaa Naa after 17 years of the skin being vacant.

The experts, Mr Emmanuel Bombande and Dr Festus Kofi Aubyn, were unanimous in their advice that the enskinment of a new Yaa Naa should be seen only as stepping stone for lasting peace in Dagbon.

The third expert, Mr Emmanuel Sowatey, called on the Eminent Chiefs to continue to shepherd the Yaa Naa with counsel when necessary.

Mr Bombande, now a Senior Mediation Adviser of the United Nations (UN), said with the installation of a new Yaa Naa in Dagbon, efforts should now be geared towards consolidating and sustaining peace in the area.

He said the enskinment of Yaa Naa Abukari Mahama II should only be seen as just one of the building blocks of the peace-building process.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Bombande, whose West Africa Network for Peace (WANEP) played a significant role in maintaining calm in Dagbon after the March 2002 violent clashes that led to the killing of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani, said efforts should now be targeted at sustaining the existing peace in the area.

He said a large part of the responsibility now rested on Yaa Naa Mahama to demonstrate his commitment to building an all-inclusive system in which all the skin gates would be broadly consulted to have a fair hand in the management of resources, the selection of sub-chiefs, among other important decisions to be taken.

“It is not just about the peace; it is also about how we sustain the peace that we are seeing today. The new Yaa Naa must be the custodian of the unity and reconciliation process that will bring everybody in Dagbon together in unity and peace,” he stated.

Moving on

While applauding the people of Dagbon for their cooperation in the peace-building processes, Mr Bombande, a former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said it was important for the people to appreciate the importance of dialogue and consultation in every aspect of their endeavour.

“Dagbon has to now create a new narrative which must be centred on how the culture of dialogue, consultation and tolerance will guide a new pathway in which every problem with the likelihood of leading to violence is resolved within the traditional norms and customs of the land,” he advised.

Continuous security

Another security analyst, Dr Festus Kofi Aubyn, called on the various security agencies, including the military, to maintain their presence in Dagbon until a risk assessment proved that the threat level in the area was low.

In an interview, Dr Aubyn corroborated Mr Bombande’s position that the installation of a new Yaa Naa should not be used as the benchmark for peace in the area because some levels of grievances could still exist, especially at the grass-root level.

He said until an extensive risk assessment of the situation proved otherwise, there should be continuous policing of the area to maintain law and order and forestall any act of violence among the people.

“The reconciliation process mainly focused at the top level of affairs. The dialogue and reconciliation process should equally be extended to the grass-root level to ensure that all manner grievances are roundly resolved,” he said.

Emmanuel Sowatey

For his part, Mr Sowatey said the continuous work of the Eminent Chiefs would enable them to identify any shortfalls in the peace building process and respond to emerging challenges with the potential to reverse the progress made.

He also called on the National Peace Council to continue to facilitate the peace building process by monitoring situations on the ground regularly and making itself accessible to all the chiefs and elders of Dagbon to avert any stalemate.

Mr Sowatey, however, urged the media to be conflict sensitive in their reportage and desist from providing the platform for discussion that had the potential to fuel conflict.

“Events after the installation of the new Yaa Naa are as important as the efforts that led to his installation. We should be mindful that there are people who benefit from conflict and for that matter will not rest in their efforts to reverse the successes achieved,” he stated.

Background

The Committee of Eminent Chiefs, on November 16, 2018, made a declaration to bring finality to the decades-old Dagbon conflict between the Abudu and the Andani Royal families when it presented a road map to peace in the troubled kingdom to President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra.

The committee was set up by former President John Kufuor in 2002 to find a lasting solution to the protracted Dagbon chieftaincy dispute after the killing of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II in Yendi in March 2002.

The road map gave the Abudu Royal Family two weeks to perform the funeral of Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV from December 14 to 28, 2018, after which the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II would take place from January 4 to 18, 2019.

The latter funeral was delayed for a week due to some misunderstanding.

With the funerals of the two Yaa Naas over, the four kingmakers of Dagbon, who include Kuga-Naa Abdulai Adam and the Gushie Naa, consulted the oracles to guide them in the choice of the right candidate for the ‘Namship’ before settling on the Paramount Chief of the Savelugu Traditional Area, Yoo Naa Abubakari Mahama, who was subsequently enskinned last Friday.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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