His Majesty Ndan Ya Naa Abukari II, has cut sod for the commencement of work on the new Gbewaa Palace project in Yendi, the traditional capital of the Dagbon State. The palace when completed would be a modern state of the art home of the King and Overlord of Dagbon.
The Dagbon King also launched the Dagbon Development Fund which is established to raise resources to support the 10-year Dagbon Strategic Development Plan fashioned out to complement development initiatives of the government of Ghana and development partners in the northern region.
In his remarks, Ya Naa Abukari II acknowledged and commended the role of the committee of eminent Chiefs led by Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Nayiri Naa Bohagu Mahami Abdulai Shariga and Yagbonwura, the government o Ghana and development agencies for their significant contribution in bringing peace back to the Dagbon traditional area.
“In 2020, through the effort of government and allied traditional leaders, a resolution to the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute was reached and I was enskinned as Yaa Naa, Abukari Mahama II. My enskinment inspired hope for a new dawn of peace and development.”
For nearly 70 years, Ya Naa Abukari II lamented the Dagbon traditional area was beleaguered with conflict and disunity emanating from chieftaincy and inter-ethnic disputes, adding these conflicts impacted negatively on the development of the area, with funds for public investments being diverted into peace keeping.
He bemoaned further that the provision of basic services, such as health, education, water, and sanitation had stalled and Dagbon fell behind the pace of development in the rest of the country.
“Seeing the deep development deficit in which the protracted conflict left Dagbon, I resolved to broaden the role of chiefs and traditional authority from chieftaincy issues, to include the wider development of Dagbon, hinged on sustained peace.
He continued, “In support of this vision, the Dagbon Traditional Council has produced a 10-year Dagbon Strategic Development Plan, to complement the development initiatives of government and development partners, in ways that address the priority needs of Dagbon.”
The Dagbon Overlord highlighted one of the key objectives of the development plan is to modernise the traditional governance system, beginning with the modernisation of the Gbewaa Palace, and the offices of the traditional council which together are the spirit of the traditional leadership.
He explained that modernising these traditional structures is necessary in the re-orientation of the role of traditional authority, with me as leader, from managing chieftaincy issues, to improving the standard of living and general wellbeing of our people including, children, women, and youth, and safeguarding our environment and, natural and human resources.
The Ya Naa intimated the overall objective of the Development Fund is to mobilize resources to improve the quality of life of the people of Dagbon by creating opportunities that will harness the full social, economic, cultural, and political potential of the area in an environment of enduring peace.
He stated the Chiefs and people of Dagbon are committed to contributing funds and resources for the development of the area, he also recognized that the resources needed will require broader local and international support.
“This is why I am extending my hand to invite the Government of Ghana, International Development Agencies, the Business Community at large and Philanthropic Organizations to assist the chiefs and people of Dagbon to mobilize the resources necessary to rebuild and re-energize Dagbon to contribute its quota to the socio-economic development of Ghana” Ya Naa emphasized.