Mr Salifu Saeed, the Northern Regional Minister, addressing the media after the meeting. Also in the picture are some Dagbon chiefs.
The Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has met with two immediate past regents of Dagbon and other chiefs of the Dagbon Traditional Area to map out strategies to resolve the chieftaincy disputes that have arisen after the restoration of peace in the area.
The meeting was to adopt home-grown traditional ways of resolving pockets of such chieftaincy disputes that the area was witnessing after the enskinment of a new Yaa Naa to end almost 17 years of a protracted dispute over who would occupy the skin.
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The meeting also comes on the heels of the recent chieftaincy dispute at Kpatinga in the Gushegu municipality that led to the death of one person, injury to five and the burning down of several houses, leaving many people displaced.
The two past regents of Dagbon who attended the meeting held at the Residency in Tamale last Thursday (January 30, 2019) were the Kampakuya-Naa, Abdulai Yakubu Andani, now the Yoo Naa (Paramount chief of Savelugu) and Bolin Lana, Mahamudu Abdulai, now the Mion Lana (Paramount chief of Mion).
Also in attendance was the immediate past regent of Tolon, Major Abubakar Sulemana (retd), now the Tolon Naa.
Addressing the media after the meeting, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, who is also the Chairman of REGSEC, said the council had recognised the need to use home-grown approaches to resolve emerging chieftaincy disputes in Dagbon.
He stated that the traditional area had witnessed some turbulence in recent times and there was a need to nip it in the bud in order not to derail the gains made so far.
“It is just like when you are travelling by air there may be some turbulence but that does not mean the plane is going to crash,” he said to buttress his point.
Mr Saeed noted that although Dagbon was emerging out of a protracted conflict, which was almost becoming chronic, there was the need to put in place strategies to deal with the issues.
“We, therefore, needed to pause and re-strategise before moving on,” the regional minister stated.
Touching on the Kpatinga issue, the REGSEC chairman said calm had been restored to the area and the security forces deployed there had been maintained to cement order.
Mr Saeed added that the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) had begun assessments in the area to capture those who had been displaced by the conflict to enable the organisation to send them some relief items.
Apart from Kpatinga, other areas where there are chieftaincy disputes pending in the Dagbon Traditional Area are Nanton, Gbabshie, Yong and Yendi.
In Yendi, the dispute is over who should occupy the renovated Mba dugu house around the Gbewaa palace in Yendi.
Currently, there are two Mba drugs, the Mba dugu is an elder within the royal court of the king’s palace and is also selected by the kingmakers.
Recently there were gunshots in Yendi over which of the two Mba dugus should occupy the Mba dugu’s house.
One of the Mba dugus was enskinned by the Overlord of Dagbon, Yaa Naa Abukari Mahama II, who is seen as the legitimate Mba dugu but there is another Mba dugu, also said to have been appointed by the Míon Lana.
However, many have hailed the move to bring the two regents of Dagbon together to bring finality to all chieftaincy disputes in the area as a step in the right direction, considering the differences that existed between the two princes in the past.
Those who interacted with the Daily Graphic expressed the hope that the unity, love and peace between the two royals, who were now the paramount chiefs of Savelugu and Mion, would go further to bolster the existing peace in the area.