Ya-Na Abukari Mahama

The planning committee of the 2019 Damba festival is using the celebration to consolidate peace and security in the Dagbon.

According to the Chairman, if the Logistics sub-committee for this year’s Damba, Sintaro Mahama, the festival is significant because it is the first time in nearly two decades that Dagombas are celebrating Damba under a single authority.

He was speaking in an interview with Radio Ghana in Tamale.

The Damba festival is celebrated among most ethnic groups in Northern Ghana.

Even though it is a traditional festival, it has taken an islamic dimension since the introduction of Islam to the area many centuries ago.

One of the famous Kings of Dagbon, Ya-Na Zangina is credited with celebrating the first Damba in 1648.

However,  following the unfortunate incident of 2002 and subsequently, the bitter division of the Kingdom along two royal gates, Abudu and Andani, the Damba has never been the same.

Nineteen (19) year old Hasana Sandow,   for instance is witnessing Damba under a King for the first time in her life.

“I have never witnessed the Damba before, this is my first time and we’re really having fun even before Saturday. May Allah make it a success and may this continue forever.”

Ya-Na Abukari Mahama is using the first Damba under his reign, to consolidate peace and attract development to his Kingdom.

He has therefore constituted a strong committee chaired by a retired diplomat and one of the illustrious sons if Dagbon, Sagner Na Abdulai Yakubu.

The theme for the celebration is: “A New Dagbon Peace and Unity for Development “.

The chairman of the logistics sub-committee for the Damba festival, Sintaro Mahama, explained that, the festival is a moment to savour and to consolidate the peace in the Kingdom

“Quite historic, historic in the sense that, it is the first time in sixteen years, we are having a unified Damba unlike before, where the supposed  factions are coming together to celebrate the Damba unison, peace and Development.”

The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saed, for his part, expressed joy at the development, saying the peace of Dagbon is key to the development of the region.

“This year’s celebration is unique in the sense that, for us at the regional security council, we would have been running around beefing up p security around all the paramountcies, this comes with a lot of tension, but this year, nothing of that sort, is happening, we’re only looking at how to control the crowd on Saturday.”

Mr. Saed revealed that,  President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will be in attendance and  will be honored at the celebration.

“President Akufo Addo will be in attendance, and he will be crowned as Naa Abudani I.”

When GBC news visited the Gbewaa palace in Yendi preparations were ongoing in anticipation of the day.

Workers were busy tiling and plastering portions of the palace.

The Yendi township has also received a facelift as non functioning street lights have been fixed to give the township a new glow at night.

‘Chinchinga’  (Khebab) sellers and other businesses are all excited about the festival, which is scheduled for Saturday, November 16.

Radio Ghana news also met some women performing in front of the palace, to give a feel of what awaits visitors on Saturday.

Besides the cultural performances that will be on display, visitors could also sample some tourists sites in the area.

These include, the Greenwich Meridian, which lies five minutes walk from the palace, the  thomb of the infamous slave raider, Babatu and the site of the Dagomba- German war of 1896, locally called “Adibo Dallah” which is one of the first major anti colonial resistance in northern Ghana.

The grave of the chief warrior who led the German resistance also lies at Adibo.

Story filed by GBC ‘s Murtala Issah

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