General News Fri, 31 Jan 2003

Traditional Curse Placed On President & His Family

The murder of the Overlord of Dagbon Tradition Area, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II and 29 others in Northern Ghana seems to be causing the two-year-old New Patriotic Party administration a great deal of problems.

The area, which is still under curfew imposed some eight months ago, is yet to see peace. Not even the report of a Commission of enquiry into the conflict could bring the two Gates – Andani and Abudu, as one of the gates has rejected the commission’s report and the government white paper.

The NDC minority in Parliament has also sent signals to the government that it is no more going to co-operate as far the extension of the curfew in the area is concerned.

But perhaps the most disturbing development as far as the conflict is concerned, is a report carried by “The Insight” a local newspaper. The report says, “For those who believe in a mysticism, a letter sent to the president by the Dagbon Traditional Council ought not to be taken lying down.

They claim that the letter effectively places a traditional curse on the president and members of his immediate family.

The last paragraph of an 11-page letter reads, we plead with His Excellency President J.A. Kufuor to reverse the decision of the Government on the Wuaku commission Report and the Attorney General’s void White Paper on the report otherwise the memorable relations between him and the late Ya-Na will forever be a stain on him and members of his immediate family.”

The letter also described the findings and recommendations of the Wuaku Commission as being contrary to the principles of natural justice and commonsense.

“Rejection of the Wuaku Commission Report and the White paper on it by chiefs and People of Dagbon and the Andani Family of Dagbon.

It is indeed strange and incredible that the Wuaku Commission which described the events leading to the murder of the Ya-Na as “the three-day war’ came to a shocking conclusion that two people should be presumed the killers of the Ya-Na.”


With this conclusion of the Commission, the Andani family and Dagbon Traditional Council and good people of Dagbon have come to a conclusion that the Commission has not been able to identify the killers of the Ya-Na.

This conclusion of the Andani family and the Dagbon Traditional Council is based on two premises; first we are aware that there is no such thing as presumption in the offence of murder. A person can only be charged with the offence of murder if he/she intentionally and unlawfully kills another person. Therefore, to charge Yidana Sugri and Iddrisu Jahinfo as the presumed murderers of the Ya-Na will be an exercise in futility.

The exercise the Attorney General wants to undertake is similar to taking a sieve to the riverside to fetch water.

Secondly, after three days bombardment of Gbewaa Palace by members and supporters of the Abdulai family it is indeed incredulous for the commission to say that only two people should be presumed as the persons responsible for the end result – the murderers of the Ya-Na and probably the murderers of twenty-nine others who were killed alongside the king. If it is the wicked scheme of the Government to shield its party supports and then lays the criminal responsibility for these heinous crimes on the doorsteps of only two riffraff, then we will urge the Attorney General not to prosecute Yidana Sugri and Iddrisu Jahinfo.

The government should set them free so that the killers of the Ya-Na and the 29 others have not yet been found. We of the Andani family, who believe that Allah will soon expose the killers of the Ya-Na and the 29 other persons.

It is hoped against hope that the findings and recommendations of the Wuaku Commission and the government White Paper will help the process of reconciliation in Dagbon. It should indeed be clear to any casual observer that the findings and recommendations of the Wuaku Commission being contrary to the principles of natural justice and common sense will rather push the pail of reconciliation farther away.

We wish to make it clear to the Ghanaian public and the entire world that the government’s statement that it would punish whoever is found guilty by the Wuaku Commission is nothing but smoke screen calculated to throw dust into the eyes of members of the Andani family, the Ghanaian public and the international community.

The government and the Wuaku Commission planned together and made sure that evidence, which will identify the perpetrators of the heinous crimes, was not led at the commission.

A few examples will suffice: