President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Dagbon citizens to be resolute and guard their enviable tradition, from "conflict prenuers" and rally behind the new Ya-Naa, Mahama Abukari II as he sets about to administer the affairs of the Dagbon state.
He said the prevailing peace would be meaningful if the newly enskinned Ya-Naa is supported in strengthening the process of reconciliation amongst the people of Dagbon.
Addressing the enskinment and outdooring of the new Ya-Naa at the Gbewaa Palace in Yendi, President Akufo-Addo tasked Dagbon citizens to be mindful that few people in the minority will always be unhappy with the peace achieved.
In this context, he pointed out that there was a handful of malcontents who had benefited, for a long time, from the conflict, and never wanted to see its end.
"Naa, I know you are a man of peace and unity. I know, from a few decisions you have taken since your selection as Ya Na, you are a man of reconciliation.
I believe you are the man to reconcile Dagbon, and blunt the age-old rivalry of Abudu versus Andani, and put Dagbon back on the path to sustained progress and prosperity, as was envisaged by one of the greatest figures in the history of Dagbon, the 18th Ya-Naa, Naa Zangina," the President stated.
He described the enskinment as "a truly historic ceremony" and urged Dagbon citizens to put away the long struggle, over several decades of chieftaincy disputes, which had brought in its wake, death, destruction, and retrogression of the Dagbon State.
"For me, as President of the Republic, I feel a sense of excitement because it is under my tenure of office that Dagbon, hopefully, finally, finds the path to lasting peace," he added.
The President advised the people of Dagbon not to rest on their oars and "assume that every citizen of Dagbon is elated about the new peace and the enskinment of a new Ya-Naa.
"Indeed, there is a new term for people who profit from conflict. They are called, "conflict-preneurs." We have to be resolute in warding off such people by strengthening the process of reconciliation amongst the people of Dagbon.
We are not to fear the strategy of our enemies, but our own mistakes. Dagbon does not have to fear an external enemy. Dagbon is a great state, one of the most ancient traditional states of our history. It has survived many marauding forces, and repelled many enemies. Dagbon can only be brought to its knees by internal malcontents, and it is our collective duty and in our collective interest to fend them off ", President Akufo-Addo stated.
"I shall do everything in my power, as President of the Republic, to assist you to administer this State in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. As I have said before, I am neither Abudu nor Andani, I am an "Abudani", a person who stands for unity, reconciliation and progress in Dagbon", the President assured the new Ya-Naa.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the newly found peace in Dagbon had already started bringing in its wake "good things" as Cabinet, announced last week, that it had approved a $30 million water supply project that will replace the old and dilapidated water system in Yendi and its catchment area.
"My Government is working to put in place the infrastructure that will allow us to exploit the iron ore deposits in Sheini. On the back of that exploitation, we shall put a railway line to run from Accra through the Volta Region and the new Oti Region and through Yendi to Burkina Faso", the President added.
Upon completion of these projects, the President anticipates that Yendi would become a hub for trade and commerce, projecting that "this will bring considerable prosperity to the people of Yendi, and help eradicate the poverty that gives the Northern Region the unenviable title of being one of the poorest regions of our country."
Once again the President congratulated the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, chaired by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, together with the Overlord of Mamprugu, the Nayiri, Naa Bohugu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, and the Overlord of the Gonja State, the Yagbonwur
a, Tuntumba Boresa Sulemana Jakpa, for their unrelentness efforts at bringing the process to a successful end.
He extolled the wisdom of former President John Agyekum Kufuor's decision to establish the Committee of Eminent Chiefs as far back as 2002, to deal with the crisis in Dagbon in accordance with customary laws and usages, stressing that "his decision has been vindicated."
The President also commended the chiefs and members of the Andani and Abudu Royal families, especially the recent Regents, Yakubu Abdulai Andani, formerly the Kampakuya Na, and Abdulai Mahamadu, formerly the Boling Lana their role in the peace process.
"You have written your names in gold for your constructive contribution to the success of today's events, and when the chronicles of Dagbon are written and told to generations unborn, you shall each be mentioned with pride".
President Akufo-Addo was confident that the new Ya-Naa would soon accord the former Kampakuya Na, and Boling Lana, their respectable and rightful positions in the State of Dagbon to seal the process of reconciliation.