By Martin Awuku.
The people of Yendi in Tamale are today looking ahead for the historic ceremony to crown Yaa Naa Abubakari Mahama as king of Dagbon.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo arrived in Tamale Thursday afternoon ahead of the coronation on Friday.
Touching down to a crowd of ecstatic residents and dignitaries at the Tamale Airport, the President responded with a firm fist in air, a wave and wide smile.
Photo: The President was greeted by an ecstatic crowd holding placards to thank him for securing peace in the area.
The President can smile today because it has not been an easy journey to broker peace between the Abudus and Andanis who have shed blood for 17 years over bitter chieftaincy dispute.
The President will be the special guest of honour at the investiture ceremony of the new Overlord of Dagbon.
Yaa Naa Abubakari Mahama was selected by Dagbon Kingmakers last Friday, January 18, 2019, in Yendi after a difficult peace process led by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, led by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
As part the coronation process, there would be a recital of the Holy Quran at the forecourt of the Gbewaa Palace in the morning before the event would be moved to the Jubilee Park at the Yendi SHS.
Until his selection, Yo-Naa Abukari Mahama, about 70, was the Paramount Chief of the Savelugu Traditional Area. He succeeds his nephew, the late Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani II who died in March 2002.
The successful performance of the final funeral rites of both Yaa Naa Mahamadu Abdulai and Yaa Naa Yakubu Andani in the Dagbon Chieftaincy divide in December 2018 and January 2019 respectively, paved the way for the selection of the new Yaa Naa.
The processes formed part of the recommendations of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs as contained in the roadmap document submitted to President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra on November 21, 2018.
The Committee of Eminent Chiefs was set up by former President John Agyekum Kufuor in 2002 to find a lasting solution to the protracted Dagbon chieftaincy dispute.
A journey that usually takes about 40 minutes, took the President’s convoy more than two and a half hours to get to the town from the airport as a result of the massive crowd and vehicles that had massed-up on the road.
Some people lined-up the road to catch a glimpse of the President and to show their appreciation to him for his support to the cause of Dagbon.
Some of them held placards with inscriptions such as ‘Dagbon thanks you for giving us a Yaa Naa”, “Peace at last, thanks to Nana Addo”, and “Dagbon appreciates you, Mr President.”
The President was received at the Airport by the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Sa-eed, members of the Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and regional executives of the NPP.
The event that would come off at the Jubilee Park at the Yendi Senior High School will be chaired by the President of the National House of Chiefs and the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State in the Volta Region, Togbe Afede XIV.
Also in attendance would be members of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs that crafted the roadmap to peace in Dagbon. Members of the committee, chaired by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, are the paramount chiefs of Mamprugu and Gonja Traditional Areas in the Northern Region, the Nayiri, Naa Bohagu Abdulai Mahama Sheriga, and the Yagbonwura, Tuntumba Boresa II respectively.
Other invited guests expected to grace the August occasion include representatives of various houses of chiefs, heads of institutions, chiefs and religious leaders, government functionaries, members of parliament and the general public.