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General News Wed, 20 May 2009

Abudu Family demands removal of Northern Regional Minister

Tamale, May 20, GNA - The Abudu Royal Family of Dagbon has called on President John Evans Atta Mills to remove Mr. Stephen Sumani Nayina from office as Northern Regional Minister.

The family said Mr. Nayina was interfering in the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute and not abiding by the roadmap to peace as drawn up by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs.

The Abudu Family who made the call at a news conference in Tamale on Tuesday said Mr. Nayina's biased demonstration of partisanship in the Dagbon chieftaincy divide made him unsuitable to preside over the administration of the Region. Mr. Ziblim Iddi, spokesperson for the Abudu Royal Family said the family was reacting to the recent renovation of parts of the Gbewaa Palace, specifically the royal mausoleum also known as the "Yilikpani" or "Katini duu"

by the Regent, Kampakuya Na Abdulai Yakubu Andani. Mr. Iddi said the Abudu family had objected to the renovation on the

grounds that according to Dagbon custom and tradition, it was only the Ya Na

who could authorise any works to be done on the "Katini duu" in consultation

with the Kuga Na, an elder of the Dagbon Traditional Council. The Abudus noted that in view of the peculiar circumstances of Dagbon

where there was no sitting Ya Na or Kuga Na, it was prudent that the Abudu

and Andani families abided by the roadmap to peace on matters pertaining to

the Gbewaa Palace. Mr. Iddi said the roadmap to peace clearly stated that the old Gbewaa

Palace should remain free of occupation or any activity until a date was set for

the performance of the funeral rites of Naa Mahamadu Abudulai. He said the Regional Minister therefore had no power or jurisdiction to approve any request from any party to renovate any portion of the Gbewaa palace adding that such power resided in the Committee of Eminent Chiefs or the National House of Chiefs. Mr. Iddi said the unilateral decision by the Regional Minister to renovate the palace under the protection of state security was in clear violation to the roadmap to peace.

"We have credible information indicating that the renovation of the Katini duu is in line with a grand plan by the Andani Family to perform all funerals of chiefs under the jurisdiction of the Kampakuya Na to pave the way for the substantive chiefs to occupy the relevant skins," he said. The Abudus explained that by Dagbon custom, all persons enskinned as divisional chiefs must enter the Katini duu to perform final rituals before they

were declared chiefs and noted that the Kampakuya Na's interest in renovating

the "Katini duu" was informed by that agenda. They said the agenda was a violation of the roadmap to peace, which states:

"The powers of the regent shall be limited because of the peculiar

circumstances of Dagbon today. In this context, the regent shall not have powers to appoint any chiefs or alienate any lands or other resources belonging to the Dagbon State". The Abudu family said Mr. Nayina had allowed himself to be used in an illegal way to facilitate further illegality by the Kampakuya Na, adding: "The family wishes to serve notice that it will not allow the Kampakuya Na in collaboration with the Regional Minister to continue to violate the provisions of the roadmap to peace with impunity".

"We shall resist any attempt by the Kampakuya Na to carry out his expressed agenda of enskinning chiefs in the renovated Katini duu. We shall explore all necessary means to prevent further violation of the roadmap to peace," the Abudu Royal Family stressed.

Source: GNA