Security has been beefed up at the Gbewaa Palace in Yendi in the Northern region following threats by members of the Abudu royal family they will to use all means available to perform the final funeral rites of their late chief Naa-Mahamadu Abdulai IV there.
The outgoing Interior Minister Mark Woyongo is also appealing to the two rival factions in Yendi- Abudus and Andanis- to exercise restraint as government and the committee of eminent chiefs try to resolve their grievances.
The appeal follows a rise in tension in Dagbon, a community which has not seen some peace after the 2002 conflict between the two families which led to the death of the overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II.
The Abudu family gave government and the committee of eminent chiefs led by the Asantehene a two-week ultimatum to finish renovation works at the Gbewaa Palace in order for them to perform the funeral rites of their late chief, Naa-Mahamadu Abdulai IV.
According to the family, the Committee of Eminent Chiefs had agreed at some point that the funerals of the two late chiefs of Dagbon- Naa-Mahamadu Abdulai IV and Ya-Na Yakubu Andani- be performed at the Gbewaa Palace, adding that the President had also given assurances of renovating the palace to pave way for the performance of both funerals.
They threatened to forcibly enter the palace and perform the funeral rites if no word comes from government. The deadline for the ultimatum ends today.
But the Andani family is also resisting any attempt by the Abudu family to enter the palace.
In a statement issued over the weekend, the Andani Family said carrying out the threat by the Abudu family “would amount to declaring war on members of the Andani Royal Family, and there would be terrible consequences”.
The Andani family also dismissed claims that there has been an agreement for both funerals to be held in the palace.
The family has always resisted attempts to perform the funeral rite of the late Naa Abudulai in the Gbewaa palace because they allege he was deskinned in May 1974 upon a recommendation of a Committee of Enquiry by the government of NRC which found that his ascension to the office of Yaa-Naa was “illegitimate and in flagrant violation of Dagbon traditions and custom.”
They insist any attempt by the Abudu Family to enter the Palace to perform the funeral rite of the “illegitimate” late chief will be a declaration of war and will be met with violence.
The Interior Minister Mark Woyongo is unhappy about the turn of events and is asking the committee to intervene.
He told Joy News’ Francis Abban the Regional Security Council is monitoring the situation and will counsel government accordingly.
He also called on the Asantehene and his committee to speed up negotiations between the two families.
“I appeal to the eminent chiefs to speed up processes on the funeral arrangement and the roadmap for peace,” he said.