By: Murtala Issah
The Dagbon Traditional Council has adopted a new constitution to replace the 90-year-old constitution.
At a meeting in Tamale on Thursday, and following exhaustive deliberations, the Nantong Naa, MB Bawah, moved for the constitution to be adopted. He was seconded by the Zangbalun Naa Dr. Yakubu II.
The new constitution, reaffirmed the Supreme court ruling of 1987, which recognises only sons of a Ya Naa as heirs to the Gbewaa skin and Mion, Savelugu as well as Karaga as the only skingates to the Dagbon thrown Prior to the adoption of the new constitution, the Kpating-Lana Yakubu Abdulai, the Tong-Lana Yakubu Andani and the Sagneri Naa Yakubu Abdulai Andani (in writing), argued for the inclusion of grandchildren as having rights of succession to the three gate skins to the Dagbon thrown.
But their arguments were not accepted as it was said to be at variance with the Supreme Court ruling. The Kumbungu Naa, Abu Iddrisu, who sat in for the President of the Dagbon Traditional Council, Ya Naa Abukari II, described the event as historic, adding that, it is the final jigsaw in the Dagbon peace process.
“No nation can work without a constitution, and the Dagbon Kingdom is not an exception. For forty years, Dagbon has been in turmoil, and I am convinced that, this new constitution will enable us to forge ahead together in peace and development,” he emphasised.
The Lead Consultant to the Dagbon Constitutional Review Committee, Lawyer Mohammed Mumuni, in an interview with GBC news after the adoption of the constitution, explained that the new constitution will be forwarded to the Northern Regional House of chiefs for a review after which it will be referred to the National House of Chiefs, then to the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs which will in consultation with the Attorney General’s Department, issue and publish a Legal backing making the new constitution a legal document.
The King of Dagbon, Ya Naa, Abukari II, constituted the Dagbon Constitutional Review Committee nearly a year ago to review the Dagbon constitution which was last reviewed in 1930.
Stakeholders were unanimous that, the ninety-year-old constitution had outlived its usefulness and needed a review to reflect modern trends.