Members of Parliament from Dagbon Traditional Area in the Northern Region have expressed dismay on how government has trampled on the rights, interests, history, culture and traditions of the Dagombas with the creation of the new region, North-East Region.
The MPs said the attempt by the government to decouple Chereponi District from Dagbon Traditional Council will destroy the culture and traditions of the people, hence, the need to take a second look at it.
A statement issued and signed by the Ranking Member of the Communication Committee in Parliament and MP for Sagnerigu Constituency, A. B. A Fuseini, and copied to PrimeNewsGhana on Wednesday said “we are shocked that a government that touts its Democratic credentials and beats its chest that it is a law abiding and listening government, will in such a flagrant manner, trample on the rights, interests, history, culture and traditions of the oldest and one of the most prominent ethnic groups of this country-Dagombas”.
Read below the full statement:
STATEMENT BY DAGBON MINORITY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT ON ATTEMPTS BY THE NPP GOVERNMENT TO DECOUPLE CHEREPONI DISTRICT FROM DAGBON TRADITIONAL COUNCIL
We the Minority Members of Parliament from Dagbon have learnt with shock and dismay attempts by the government of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo to forcibly yank off the Chereponi area from the Dagbon Traditional area where it has always belonged for hundreds of years.
This divisive and potentially destabilising act is anchored on the desire of the government to create a new region-North East Region- as part of efforts to create six (6) more regions in the Country, an action we fundamentally remain unopposed to, as stated repeatedly on various fora and correspondence by our revered traditional leaders and political leaders.
Once again we wish to state clearly that we have no desire to interfere in this matter of the creation of the regions by the government, we nevertheless find it right, proper and expedient to join the many and increasingly loud voices calling on the government to back off from this retrograde and potentially destabilising move of forcefully yanking off the Chereponi area so as to facilitate the creation of the new North East Region.
We are shocked that a government that touts its Democratic credentials and beats its chest that it is a law abiding and listening government, will in such a flagrant manner, trample on the rights, interests, history, culture and traditions of the oldest and one of the most prominent ethnic groups of this country-Dagombas.
We particularly find it incredulous that a government that is the product of a democratic contest would seek to use crude force to hive off significant chunk of Chereponi territory very much against the interests and wishes of the people themselves just for the convenience of creating a new region. We wonder what the motivation for government in seeking to ride rough shod over the people of Chereponi in particular and Dabgon as a whole when they have unanimously and resoundingly conveyed to government their unbending resolve to remain as a united and cohesive one Dagbon Traditional Area.
Could this be the demonstration of the use of raw political power to attempt to intimidate and cow into submission a law abiding people in furtherance of the political objectives of the ruling government? Is this an attempt to fulfil at all or even any cost the promise by the NPP then in opposition to create the new regions even if it means dismembering some traditional or areas like Dagbon and create the basis for social strife or conflict?
We wish to recollect that at a number of fora, the Dagbon Traditional Council had with representatives of government including but not limited to the Committee on Regional Reorganisation, the Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Orientation, the Northern regional Coordinating Council, etc, the representatives of the Dagbon Traditional council under the aegis of Kampakuya Naa Abdulai Yakubu Andani; Acting overlord of Dagbon have made it abundantly clear that while Dagbon will not stand in the way of government in its bid to create any region, it would nevertheless not be willing to cede an inch of its territory to facilitate the formation of any new region. The unmissable voice of the Chiefs and people of Chereponi in asserting their inalienable right and wish to remain part of a united and cohesive Dagbon has also on these and many other platforms been loudly and clearly conveyed to government.
We find it dishonest that though the people of Cheroponi and the larger Dagbon continue to reiterate their quest to stick together as one traditional unit, the President who says “there is no political agenda in this matter, and there is no attempt to create ethnic antagonisms or factions in this exercise” and the minister responsible who reiterates that the creation of the regions are based on requests conveyed through petitions by the people themselves continue to flagrantly support actions that undermine the position of the sons and daughters of Dagbon.
As representatives of the good people of Dagbon, whose Overlord, Chiefs and people have spoken in clear and unambiguous terms about its position on the creation of these regions, we wish to urge the government of President Nana Akufo Addo to exercise the greatest degree of civility, decorum, respect and above all, respect the views of the chiefs and people of Chereponi, the need to take steps to safeguard the peace, order and stability of the area by taking its hands off the Chereponi area and allowing it maintain its status as an integral part of Dagbon. We believe we speak also for our colleagues on the side of the NPP.
We recall with great pain and anguish, how over one and a half decades ago a government of NPP, under its watch unleashed on Dagbon a tragedy of monstrous proportions culminating in the gruesome murder of Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II and dozens of his Elders and advisors-an act Dagbon is still grappling to recover from. Let it not be said of this NPP government that it is about to open another sinister chapter in this obvious attempt or calculation to dismember Dagbon.
We are happy to note that all of the sons and daughters of Dagbon, that is Dagomba, Nanumbas , Konkombas, Chekosis (Anufors) and Basares are all united in the preservation of the unity and territorial integrity of Dagbon and are prepared and ready to stand up to protect it, cognizant of Article 274 (3)c) “A Regional House of Chiefs shall -hear and determine appeals from the traditional councils within the region in respect of the nomination, election, selection, installation or deposition of a person as a chief;” and how ceding one part of our traditional area to another region undermines our collective sovereignty.
The President upon receipt of the recommendations of the Justice Allan Brobbey Commission report stated that he relied on the strength of Article 5(2) of the Constitution which states that a President shall grant a regional status upon receipt of a petition jointly written by a people of a defined geographical area. To the best of our knowledge, the chiefs and people of Chereponi did not at any material time singularly or jointly write nor signed any petition for the creation of the proposed North East Region.
We wish to take this opportunity to urge the President of the Republic Nana Akufo Addo, who has already received petition from the overlord of Anufor and Dagbon on this matter, to act speedily and appropriately on this matter before the conduct of the referendum. We make this point conscious of the fact that as we speak efforts are underway to force the people of Chereponi and its environs to register and partake in the referendum for the creation of new regions in December. If government has no hand in these designs to hive off Chereponi area and undermine the unity and territorial integrity of Dagbon, why is the state under the aegis Of this government deploying massive security and logistics to aid the Electoral Commission force a referendum down the unwilling throats of the people? Clearly, the agenda is unmistakable and no patriotic son or daughter of Dagbon will fall for it.
Lastly, we wish to urge the international community to take active interest in these actions orchestrated and perpetuated by the government in furtherance of its political agenda in the area. The international community must hold this government solely and squarely responsible for anything untoward which happens in the area in the run up to the referendum, during and also after the referendum.
We wish to commend the Chiefs and people of the Chereponi area for successfully resisting the monumental pressure and threats visited on them by the anti Dagbon elements whose dream is to dismember and disunite great Dagbon and also to the Overlord, Chiefs and people of the Dagbon Traditional council for protecting the unity and territorial integrity of Dagbon handed over to us by our gallant and illustrious fathers.
LONG LIVE THE DAGBON TRADITIONAL COUNCIL
LONG LIVE THE UNITED DAGBPON FRATENITY
LONG LIVE THE PATRIOTS OF DAGBON
LONG LIVE UNITED AND UNITED GHANA
ISSUED AND SIGNED BY; Hon A. B. A FUSEINI
RANKING MEMBER; COMMUNICATION COMMITTEE AND MP; SAGNERIGU CONSTITUENCY