President Akufo-Addo is hoping to see the installation of a new chief (Ya-Na) at Dagbon in the Yendi Traditional Area by December this year.
“We are prepared to support fully, any formula that you (traditional leaders) think will bring lasting peace. It is in the interest of all of us that this matter is brought to a permanent end. I would love to see that this year, by the time of the Damba festival in December, there is a new Ya-Na in Yendi. I am counting on you to help make this happen,” he entreated the chief of the Gonja Traditional Area, Naa Tuntumba Yagbong Wura Boresa Sulemana and the Nayiri of the Mamprugu Traditional Area, Naa Bohigu Abdullai Mahami Sheriga in the Northern Region when they paid separate courtesy calls on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra yesterday.
He said, “My understanding is that now, the possibilities for it (peace) are very strong. Peace in Dagbon doesn’t just involve Dagbon. It involves the whole Ghana. It is a matter of high national priority to get Dagbon succeed.”
President Akufo-Addo therefore appealed to the chiefs and people of the area to come together and support the eminent leaders who are working to put the chieftaincy matters to a permanent rest.
He equally appealed to the eminent traditional rulers handling the chieftaincy crisis at Dagbon to quickly find a permanent resolution to the 15-year conflict to help install a new chief before the Damba festival in December.
He commended them for their efforts so far in finding a lasting solution to the crisis there.
The two rulers were invited together with the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in 2002 by then President John Agyekum Kufuor to find a lasting solution to the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute between the Abudus and the Andanis following the gruesome murder of the then Ya Na.
President Akufo-Addo was, therefore, confident that the eminent chiefs would bring the 15-year conflict to a permanent closure.
He stressed the need for them to develop a roadmap for a lasting peace in the area, and gave the assurance that the government would fully support the leaders in their efforts.
Touching on plans to create another region in the Northern Region, he said plans were underway to make the creation possible and appealed to the chiefs and leaders to educate their people to actively participate in the process leading to the creation of the new region.
So far, he said, the Council of State had advised him to go ahead to create the new region and indicated that as per the Constitution, a Commission of Enquiry would be constituted to assess whether there was a substantial demand to create the region.
He urged the people in the area to work with the Commission of Enquiry and make a strong case to them, indicating why there should be a new region in the northern so that they would make a recommendation to that effect.
“The requirements of the Constitution, when it comes to the referendum, are very strict. Fifty percent of the affected area must come out to vote and 80 percent must vote to agree. Those of us who want a new region, there is a lot of work to be done,” he emphasized.
Responding to a request by the chiefs and people, President Akufo-Addo promised to construct a teacher training college to improve the quality of basic education in the area.
The two leaders, in separate addresses, commended the president for his commitment to implementing policies such as the ‘Free Senior High School,’ ‘One District, One Factory,’ ‘One Village, One Dam,’ among others, and wished him well.