President Nana Akufo-Addo has disclosed that the 62nd Independence Celebration on 6th March, 2019 will be held in the Northern Regional Capital, Tamale.
According to him, the move has been necessitated at solidifying the peace and unity achieved in Dagbon this year .
“In order to reinforce and support the process of reconciliation and the restoration of peace in Dagbon, I have decided that this year, the 62nd Independence Day celebration will be held in Tamale on 6th March,” he said.
The President stressed that this will be the first time in the country’s history the anniversary will be held outside Accra.
Addressing his 3rd State of the Nation Address in Ghana’s Parliament in Accra, Akufo-Addo further noted that, ”We’ve spent enough emotional stress, enough time, enough energy and enough money on the Dagbon dispute. I wanted that amount of emotion, time, energy and money to be spent on trying to make Dagbon and Ghana prosperous”.
Background to Dagbon conflicts
Though chieftaincy tensions in Dagbon existed since the 60s, the gruesome killing of Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II, in March 2002 in a coordinated attack on the palace, plunged Dagbon into years of intermittent violence.
Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II was dismembered, and his head paraded on a spear after the killing with shocked the country. The assailants also killed 39 of his elders.
Hundreds of lives have been lost, with properties destroyed in the age-long conflict in Dagbon, since the death of Ya Naa Yakubu Andani II.
In the wake of the escalating tensions, former President Kufuor set up the Otumfuo Committee of Eminent Chiefs to use all customary means available to settle the matter.
The Committee succeeded in greeting the Abudu and Andani royal gates to commit to the roadmap to peace despite several breakdowns of talks.
This led to the performance of the funeral rites of the two late Ya Naas; Naa Mahamadu Abdulai and Naa Yakubu Andani.
The funeral of the late Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II was held on Friday, January 18, 2019, with the then Yoo Naa, Alhaji Abukari Mahama selected by the royal custodians of Dagbon to be enskinned as the new Yaa-Naa.
Abukari Mahama was contesting with four others including the regent of Dagbon, Kampakoya Naa Abdulai Yakubu Andani, Bolin Lana Mahamadu Abdulai, and Tampion Lana.