From the onset, let me register my gratitude to you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to make this Statement of historic significance on the Floor of this august House, to congratulate Ndan Yaa- Naa Mahama Abukari II, King of Dagbon on behalf of the Northern Caucus of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, the Dagbon Kingdom, which was founded in the 15th Century is one of the ancient kingdoms in Ghana. The Dagbon Kingdom, like many other Kingdoms has experienced a number of challenges over time.
Mr Speaker, for good reason, I do not want to dwell on any of the unfortunate incidents in the recent past, safe to say that Dagbon has always risen after it faced any challenge.
Mr Speaker, in the 17th Century, Dagbon had serious challenges when there were several claimants to the kingship.
Thankfully, as if that was anticipated, it is the custom of Dagbon that if such situation ever arises, the contenders should proceed to Mamprugu for a settlement. Dagbon, Mamprugu, Nanung and Moshie Kingdoms have the same great ancestor and are all sons of Dagbon. Around 1648, the many aspirants headed to the Nayiri, King of Mamprugu who settled on Naa Zangina.
The King of Mamprugu also made consequential orders which have become binding on Dagbon till today. The wise King ruled that henceforth aspirants to the Dagbon Kingship should be
occupants of Savelugu, Karaga and Mion. All the numerous contenders pledged their support to Naa Zangina.
Mr Speaker, shortly after assuming the Kingship of Dagbon, the Kingdom had some challenges with its neighbours and the Ya-Na, Naa Zangina thought it wise to move the capital of Dagbon from Yen Dabari to its present location today, Yendi. This major incident was accepted by all the chiefs and people of Dagbon.
Again, Mr Speaker, in 1888 the Dagbon Kingdom was divided between the British and Germans in what historians termed British Dagbon and German Dagbon. Tamale was part of British Dagbon and Yendi was with German Dagbon. After some years, the divided Kingdom came back united.
Mr Speaker, realising the need to document its history, custom and method of selecting and enskinning chiefs, including the position of the Yaa-Naa, the chiefs of Dagbon held a special conference in Yendi, dubbed Conference of Dagomba Chiefs, from 21st to 29th November, 1930 to enquire into and record the constitution of the State of Dagbon.
The Conference recorded the history of Dagbon, the boundaries of Dagbon land, the chiefs, the hierarchy of the various chiefs among others.
The 1930 Dagbon constitution is the most comprehensive document about the Dagbon history, tradition and custom. There have since been a few amendments to this important document.
Mr Speaker, Dagbon has gone through a number of judicial decisions, including Commissions of Inquiry right up to the apex Court, where in 1986 the Supreme Court pronounced on the Namship of Dagbon.
Mr Speaker, I deliberately traced these instances of Dagbon history to remind my brothers and sisters that when we stand united and are committed to peace, we can overcome any challenge.
Mr Speaker, the biggest challenge that hit the Dagbon Kingdom in modern history is the unfortunate incident in 2002. An incident that left the Kingdom without a substantive King until January this year. May the king, Yaa-Naa Yakubu rest in peace.
Mr Speaker, following the roadmap that was agreed to by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs .and with the cooperation of the chiefs and people of Dagbon, the funerals of Yaa-Naa Mahamadu Abdulai IV and that of Yaa-Naa Yakubu Andani II were successfully performed in December, 2018 and January 2019 respectively.
On 18th January, 2019 the kingmakers of Dagbon selected the then Chief of Savelugu, Yoo Naa Mahama Abukari as the new King of Dagbon under the skin name Yaa-Naa Mahama Abukari II.
Mr Speaker, Yaa-Naa Mahama Abukari II was born in Yendi in 1938. Naa Abukari is the son of Yaa-Naa Mahama II and grandson of Yaa-Naa Andani II. Naa Abukari is not just a royal but one with special gifts. He is a skilful horseman and a successful farmer.
Mr Speaker, prior to assuming the Dagbon Kingship, Naa Abukari was first enskinned chief of Kpunkpano. From there, he was elevated to a paramountcy of Savelugu.
On 25th January, 2019 the chiefs and people of Dagbon were delighted to witness the coronation of the new Ya-Na,
marking the dawn of a new era. The coronation ceremony was beautifully attended by not only the sons and daughters of Dagbon, but by many well- wishers in Ghana and beyond.
Mr Speaker, my Statement would not be complete if I fail to commend certain persons and institutions for their diverse contributions towards the restoration of peace in Dagbon.
I commend the President of Ghana, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as well as former Presidents of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufour, John Evans Atta Mills and last but not the least, John Mahama for the various roles they played in this noble endeavour.
Mr Speaker, I extend my deepest appreciation to the traditional authorities, especially the Committee of Eminent Chiefs comprising the Otumfuo, Nayiri and Yagbonwura, of the Ashanti, Mamprugu and Gonja Kingdoms respectively.
Indeed, the people of Dagbon shall forever remain indebted to them for crafting the Dagbon Peace Roadmap. I also thank the National House of Chiefs for their support. Equally, I thank the chiefs of Dagbon for their cooperation in attaining this enviable feat.
Mr Speaker, let me also thank the security services for keeping the peace during those trying moments. I express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the religious leaders, civil society groups and the entire people of Ghana for the support, sympathy and encouragements they gave the people of Dagbon during those trying periods.
Lastly, Mr Speaker, let me thank the sons and daughters of Dagbon, for their fortitude, singleness of purpose, patience and forbearance all this while and