With preparations underway for the commencement of the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Muhammadu Abdulai in Yendi Friday, the leadership of the Abudu Royal Family have expressed their commitment to abide by the tenets contained in the road map to peace in Dagbon by signing an undertaking to vacate the temporary Gbewaa Palace after the performance of the funeral.
According to the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, the Abudus had also pledged to ensure peace during the entire process.
He said they demonstrated their commitment to peace in the deal that was undertaken in Yendi yesterday.
In a statement signed by the Bolin-Lana Mahamadu Abdulai, the leadership of the Abudu Royal Family pledged “to yield vacant possession of the reconstructed Gbewaa Palace to the Chairman of the Northern Regional Security Council on the 28th day of December, 2018 at 23:59 hours”.
“That the Government of the Republic of Ghana, through the Northern Regional Security Council, may use all lawful means, including but not limited to the use of reasonable and necessary force, to evict any Royal of the Abudu Gate or any other person claiming to be an associate, assign or agent of the Abudu Gate still in occupancy of the reconstructed palace on or after the hour 23:59 on the 28th day of December, 2018,” it said.
The minister expressed appreciation to both sides and all other stakeholders for their support and unflinching desire to make the process succeed for sustainable peace in Dagbon.
Meanwhile, more security personnel have been dispatched to Yendi to maintain law and order as the funeral procedure begins today.
In Yendi and surrounding areas, soldiers and policemen have taken positions at strategic locations to prevent any breach of the peace in the area.
They inspect vehicles and search people entering the ancient town as and when necessary.
The performance of the final funeral rites of the two Yaa Naas is part of the recommendations made by the Asantehene-led Committee of Eminent Chiefs in the roadmap document submitted to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra on November 21, 2018.
Other members of the committee are the Yagbonwura, Tuntumba Boresa II, the Overlord of the Gonja Traditional Area, and the Nayiri, Naa Bohagu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, the Overlord of the Mamprugu Traditional Area.
Per the roadmap, the Abudu Royal Family will take occupation of the temporary palace constructed at the old Gbewaa Palace to commence the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV from today, December 14 to 28, a period of two weeks.
They will then make way for the Andani Royal Family to also perform the funeral of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II from January 4 to 19, 2019.
Today's event has been described by some sons and daughters of Dagbon as historic because it will mark the instalment of a regent by the Abudu Royal Family to oversee the final funeral rites of the late Yaa Naa Mahamudu Abdulai.
According to oral tradition, the last time the final funeral rites of a late Yaa Naa from the Abudu Gate was performed was in 1969.
For the Andani Royal Family, the last time they performed the funeral of a Yaa Naa from their side was in 1974.
After decades of a protracted chieftaincy dispute, culminating in the unfortunate incident in March 2002 when Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II was killed, the way has been paved for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The Abudu Regent who will be installed today will sit in state at the Zong (big hall) to receive visitors as activities begin for the funeral.
The two-week funeral will be characterised by a display of the rich culture of the Dagbon people.
Some chiefs will also pay courtesy calls on the Abudu Regent on Saturday, December 15, 2018, against the backdrop of the firing of muskets, drumming and dancing.
As part of the funeral rites, there will be a photo exhibition of past Yaa Naas, cultural displays, a memorial lecture and a youth day.
The funeral will be climaxed with Muslim prayers on Friday, December 28, 2018.