There is heavy security deployment in Karaga Township in the Karaga District of the Northern Region as Kari Naa Abdulai Naatogma is expected to set off to Karaga today Thursday, January 12.
The Paramount Chief of the Karaga Traditional Area who was enskinned by Ya Naa Abukari II in 2020 has been ruling the town from Yendi, following the decision of the former Regent of Karaga to enskin himself as the Karaga Chief.
However on Tuesday, January 10, the Northern Region House of Chiefs unanimously upheld Naa Abdulai Naatogma-who petitioned the house over the matter-, as the legitimate Paramount Chief of Karaga.
The Judiciary Committee of the house gave the former Regent of Karaga, Naa Mahama Sumani 48 hours to vacate the Karaga Palace to pave way for Naa Abdulai Naatogma, to occupy the skin.
The 48 hours ultimatum elapses today Thursday, with local reports suggesting that the embattled Regent is still occupying the Karaga Palace, Thursday morning.
Naa Abdulai Naatogma is said to have left Yendi already and will be in Gushegu to exchange felicitations with the Regent of Gushegu and his elders, before visiting some key communities under the Karaga Paramountcy as custom demands, before entering Karaga Thursday afternoon.
With reports that Naa Sumani is still occupying the main Karaga Palace, Naa Abdulai Naatogma is expected to arrive and stay at a makeshift palace while efforts, albeit unclear, are made to move him into the main Palace.
Even before his arrival, there is heavy security presenceat the makeshift Palace to ensure the safety and security of the Karaga chief and his entourage.
A combined team of military and police are currently patrolling the Township to forestall any possible violent confrontation between the two parties.
The Karaga skin is one of three gate-skins to the Dagbon kingship- the others being Savelugu and Mion and is occupied by only sons of previous kings of the Dagbon State.
In 2020, as part of efforts to fully implement the Roadmap to Peace in Dagbon pact, agreed by both the Abudu and Andani Royal Families and in consonance with an earlier ruling of the Supreme Court that a ruling family should occupy one gate skin while the family in waiting occupies the other two, Ya Naa Abukari II who hails from the Andani Family enskinned Naa Abdulai Naatogma from the Abudu family as the Paramount Chief of Karaga. This was after he had enskinned the late Mion Lana Abdulai Mahamadu another Abudu to the gate skin of Mion while the former Regent of Dagbon, Yoo Naa Abdulai Yakubu Andani who hails from the Andani family, was enskined to the gate skin of Savelugu.
The decision to enskin Naa Abdulai Naatogma as the Karaga Chief did not go down well with the Regent of Karaga who in a counter move enskinned himself as the Karaga Chief and has since continued to occupy the palace. The move was widely condemned across Dagbon as many saw it as a move that undermined the authority of the Dagbon Overlord.
Naa Abdulai Naatogma petitioned the Regional House of Chiefs over the matter. He has on several engagements with the media insisted a peaceful resolution of the matter is the best solution, adding that there was no need for a bloodbath between the two factions.
In his petition, he invoked the judiciary authority of the committee to declare that, the respondent by virtue of his father not being a Ya Naa was not qualified to be enskinned as Kari’ Naa.
He also sought a declaration that, the act purportedly done by the defendant was null and void in line with the norms and customs of Dagbon; a declaration that the petitioner having been enskinned as Chief of Karaga by the Ya Naa is the proper and legitimate occupant of the skin; and an order compelling the respondent to handover the Chief palace and any other chieftaincy regalia in his possession to the appropriate authority and a perpetual injunction restraining him [Regent] from holding himself as Kari’ Naa.
The defendant however in his response stated he was against all the reliefs that the petitioner was seeking and brought forth a counter reliefs that the purported selection and enskinment of the petitioner as Kari’ Naa by the Ya Naa was null and void as violating the customs of Dagbon and its off no effect.
He also sought a declaration that, succession to the Karaga skin is not the sole preserve of the sons of Ya Naa but rather the exclusive preserve of Mahami sons and grandsons inclusive of the petitioner; an order of permanent injunction restraining the petitioner, his assigns, servants and successors from hindering the respondent in any way from performing the roles and functions of Kari’Naa; an order of permanent injunction directed at the petitioner, his assigns, servants and successors from carrying/holding himself out as Kari’Naa, cost including the solicitors fee.
But the committee in their judgment by virtue of the evidence and facts adduced upheld the petition and fully dismissed the counter petition by the defendant.