The Overlord of Dagbon, Ya Na Abukari Mahama II, Thursday visited the Jubilee House for a historic courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
This is the first time a sitting Ya Na has paid a call on a sitting President at the seat of government.
His visit was to formally introduce himself to the President Akufo-Addo and to thank him for securing peace in Dagbon.
Ya Na Mahama was enskinned on January 25, 2019, at a colourful ceremony held at the forecourt of the Gbewaa Palace in Nayilifong, Yendi, in the Northern Region.
The enskinment followed the completion of the final funeral rites of two previous overlords of the Dagbon Kingdom, which was delayed following protracted chieftaincy disputes over two decades.
Riding on a horse into the Jubilee House, the Ya Na was accompanied by the Buipe Wura, Abdulai Jinapor II, who represented the Overlord of Gonjaland, Yagbonwura Tutumba Boressah; the Overlord of the Mamprugu Kingdom, Nayiri Naa Bohugu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, and the Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, representing the Ashantihene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
He was also escorted by a retinue of other chiefs and subjects, who danced and displayed the colourful culture of the Dagbon people.
Ya Na Mahama, after an elaborate reciprocal customary greeting between him and President Akufo-Addo, through his spokesperson, said the visit to the Seat of Government was a “historic day for Dagbon and Ghana”.
He said the people of the Dagbon area were grateful for the extraordinary support he rendered to the Dagbon peace process, which “has opened a new chapter of peace and prosperity for our kingdom.”
Ya Na Mahama told the President that since his investiture, last year, he, alongside his court and advisors, worked to foster a sense of unity in Dagbon.
He disclosed that to promote peace and unity in Dagbon, 33 skins that were rendered vacant as a result of the demise of their occupants had been filled with 22 members from the Abudu Family and 11 members of the Andani Family.
The Ya Na was happy that the work being done by him and all stakeholders in the Dagbon peace process was fostering amicable relations between the various sections of the area, adding that that positive development encouraged the youth and future generations to accommodate each other.
“To all Dagomba, I say Dagbon belongs to all of us, the young generation I say the future belongs to them,” he said.
The Regent, who reaffirmed his commitment to unite the people of the Kingdom through the fair and equitable access to traditional skins and resources, asked for the “genuine and impartial support” of the Government to sustain the peace and tranquillity in Dagbon.
He appealed to the President to cement his efforts and that of all stakeholders in the peace project by ending the problem in Nanton, a situation that is undermining the relative peace in Dagbon.
“Certainly, when you attempt to embark on a new direction of sustainable peace, few dissenters will try to undermine the process for their selfish gains. Mr President, I appeal to you and all stakeholders to provide zero tolerance for such unscrupulous persons and their cohorts,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo, on his part, thanked the Ya Na for the visit, saying, “It is a moment I will always treasure.”
He reaffirmed a commitment he made to the Regent to make sure that the peace secured for the area lasts.
“So long as I remain the President of the Republic, I will do everything in my power to assist you administer Dagbon in an atmosphere of peace, serenity and tranquillity.”
President Akufo-Addo took the opportunity to thank again the Committee of Eminent Chiefs who brokered peace for Dagbon “for not giving up on the people of Dagbon even when at the time, the situation seemed hopeless.”
“Their display of tenacity, patience, statesmanship and patriotism is worthy of emulation by all and I’m certain that posterity will continue to applaud their efforts,” he said.
The President assure the people of Dagbon that government was determined to exploit and add value to the resources of the area, improve the infrastructure and promote sustainable development.
“The fruits of this development can only be appreciated by the people of Dagbon if the peace being enjoyed there is nurtured and maintained and if chieftaincy disputes are not allowed to become a part of the fabric of the great state of Dagbon, nor of any part of our country.”
“Development can never take place in an atmosphere of confusion and chaos,” he said.
The occasion was witnessed by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, senior government officials, ministers of state, and Members of Parliament among others.