Yendi turns ‘war zone’ as fresh crossfire kills one ahead of royal funeral
The Yendi township has turned into what appears to be a war zone as security personnel and some unknown persons exchanged gunshots near the Gbewaa Palace where funeral rites for the late overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani II, was scheduled to begin Friday evening.
“There is no soul on the streets; there is currently a self-imposed curfew in Yendi township as security takes over the town. They are combing the entire town,” our correspondent reports from the zone.
One person is feared dead and several others sustain gunshot and machete wounds in the town which was buzzing with pomp Friday morning as chiefs and their people within the Dagbon Traditional area arrived for the final funeral rites of the lake king who died in 2002.
“Two houses have been burnt down, our correspondent” our correspondent reports, adding a military officer has also been shot in the thigh.
Similar violent incident Thursday evening led to the death of one persons and the burning of houses in the area, the Police confirmed.
According to the Police, a 50-year old Iddrisu Abdulai of Abudu Royal Gate who was shot in the hip and Abdallah Somed 46, who was also shot at in the upper part of his thigh in the Thursday incident are receiving treatment, as well as 26 year old Abdulai Issah of the Andani faction.
According to the Police, though calm has been restored to the area as of Friday morning, they were still touring the affected areas to ascertain the damage caused by the incident which happened at a time some chiefs were arriving in the town for a royal funeral.
But the latest disturbance which started around 2:00pm, just moments after the Friday Muslim prayers, has caused the funeral that was to start Friday evening has been halted.
Leadership the Andani Royal Family and the Northern Regional Security Council are currently in a crisis meeting, our correspondent adds.
The inability of the Andani family to have access to one of the palaces, the Mba Dugu Palace, to be used for the performance of aspect of the funeral rites, caused their sympathizers to agitate over the issue.
They have for since the end of the funeral rites for the late Ya-Naa Abdulai Mahamadu I, been insisting the Bolin-Lana Abdulai Mahamadu, who is the Regent of the Abudu Family, vacates the palace for them to have access but unconfirmed reports say he has been adamant.
Our correspondent reports that the Andanis on Friday proceeded to the Mba Dugu Palace to demand for the keys but were unsuccessful; something that triggered a commotion in the area.
One sympathizer was said to have rushed to the Gbewaa Palace but returned with machete wounds in the head with blood oozing out.
“This infuriated the sympathizers who began setting an Abudu house close to the Gbewa Palace ablaze,” our correspondent who witnessed the events said.
The police in an attempt to calm the agitating crowd allegedly fired a warning shot which hit one person, who was believed to have died.
“This began a free for all fight as gunshots were fired everywhere from homes around the palace, causing the security in the area to also return fire,” the correspondent said.