All is set for the performance of the final funeral rites of the two Yaa Naas at the old Gbewaa Palace in Yendi, the seat of the Dagbon Kingdom in the Northern Region.
The temporary palace which is being constructed in the form of the traditional round huts consists of five rooms and a Zong (a big hall) that will be occupied by the Abudu Royal Family for the funeral rites of Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai from Friday, December 14 to 28, 2018.
Also to be erected are 13-room air conditioned tents to host some of the chiefs who will be playing various traditional roles during the funeral.
When that funeral ends, there will be a week’s break, after which the final funeral rites of Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II will also be performed from January 4 to 19, 2019.
Meanwhile, the atmosphere in Yendi (Yani) two days to the funeral is one of calm and anxiety.
Even though people are going about their daily activities peacefully, there are high expectations, especially on the part of the youth, concerning the nature of the funeral rites.
The last time a funeral of a Yaa Naa was performed in Yendi was in 1969.
A 21-year-old student, Rahinatu Issah, said she had never witnessed such an event.
“I am just wondering how the funeral will be because we have only heard about such rare events from our elders,” she said.
For his part, 68-year-old Mba Fuseini described such events as momentous in the history of Dagbon.
According to him, there was usually a display of the rich cultural heritage of Dagbon, marked by tradition and the time-tested customs of the people.
“My son, such occasions are better witnessed than be told,” he told this reporter.
Work on the temporary palace is complete, except for the compound which is expected to be finished by the close of day today.
The precincts of the old Gbewaa Palace have been condoned off for security reasons.
Security in the Yendi municipality has be tightened as the days draw closer towards the funeral. Heavily armed military and police personnel can be seen at some vantage points.
There are also armoured vehicles and other military machinery and equipment to support the personnel to carry out their duties to ensure peace during the entire process.
The Northern Regional Minister and Chairman of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) led members of the council to visit Yendi to inspect work on the temporary palace and also interact with some of the stakeholders in the Dagbon chieftaincy divide.
They included the Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya-Naa Abdulai Yakubu Andani; the Kuga-Naa (the Kingmaker) and the Bolin-Lana in their respective palaces.
The meetings with the Regent and the Kuga-Naa were held behind closed doors.
According to the regional minister, they all agreed to ensure the successful implementation of the road map presented to the President by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs in Accra.
He stated that there would be no turning back and that the funeral rites of both Yaa Naas would come off as scheduled.
The minister expressed appreciation to the chiefs and the people of Dagbon for their cooperation and support for the entire processes leading to the performance of the funeral rites.