Dagbon youth has gone beyond fighting for identity – DAYA



The leadership of the Dagbon Youth Association (DAYA) says the Dagbon kingdom has gone beyond fighting for identity, and that, the youth is focus in creating conductive environment for economic development.

Responding to a war drum pronouncement made by Magal Kuunboln, a member of the Konkomba tribe, Mr. Adam Baba Issifu, DAYA National President urged Dagbon youth not to be distracted by amateur street historians especially issues of national interest.

Magal Kuunboln claimed in a television interview that, they Konkombas own potions of lands in Dagbon which Dagombas are now occupying, this he said, they would resist very soon.

His statement has therefore sparked tension between Dagbamba and section of the Konkomba ethnic group.

Mr. Baba mentioned that, “Dagbon is poised for accelerated economic and social growth, and no one can stand in our way. All that we do as the youth in Dagbon is to help stakeholders and duty bearers create a conducive environment to attract investors to our area. In fact, we have gone beyond fighting for identity”.

According to him Dagbon youth have been silent over the years not because the Konkombas have monopoly on spewing treacherous comments, but because Dagbon youth own it a duty to safeguard the peace and security in the region and the country at large.

Mr. Baba said the Dagbon kingdom is poised for accelerated economic and social growth, hence any action or statement that would undermine the peace of the traditional area will not be countenance.

He called for the reshuffling of the Defense Minister, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, stating that his continue stay in office is the biggest threat to peace in the Northern region. “The President should therefore reshuffle him since his presence there is emboldening the Konkombas to create security problems”. He added.

Read the full Press Statement Below



Good morning, fellow Dagbamba, ladies and gentlemen of the press.
DAYA wishes to thank you for honoring our invitation at such short notice. We are indeed grateful for your kind indulgence whenever necessity calls on us to serve Dagbon, the Northern Region, and Ghana at large.
The purpose of today’s press conference is mainly to draw the attention of Government, the National Security, Konkomba Chiefs and elders, and the Ghanaian public to some disturbing developments that have the tendency to derail the peace of the Northern Region.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, there is a widely circulated treacherous video on social media that has heightened inciting comments on social media. In the said video, one Ubor Magal Kuunboln, who calls himself Tema Konkomba-Basari chief, had the tenacity to not only spew palpable untruths about Dagbon history but also play the inter-ethnic war drums without regard to their security implications. The said video is a recorded version of the Wednesday, June 21, 2023, good morning program of Maranatha TV with Nana Akwasi Amofa as host. It is preposterous to find that a national TV network would allow such content on its network without adhering to the ethics of broadcast journalism in this day and age. We must all bear in mind that it was a radio station’s irresponsible broadcast of hate speech akin to what has been portrayed by Ubor Kuuboln that triggered the 1994 Rwandan genocide between the Hutus and Tutsis, leading to the massacre of over 800,000 people. Consequently, we call on the National Media Commission to act by bringing Maranatha TV and the host, Nana Akwasi Amofa, to book.

Friends of the media, permit me to quote some of the words of Magal Kuunboln in reference to some lands in Dagbon. He says:
” they should call Dagbamba, their leadership. Let them know that portions I have just mentioned, they should take off that portion out of their constitution….

If not Dagbamba are going to face serious resistance from our people. If they don’t let Dagbamba take it off they are going to face a lot of resistance from Konkombas and the Basaris. That one, I can bet you, we were Konkombas, and we were the occupants of those lands..

Gentlemen and ladies of the media, it is important to note that this is not the first time this kind of claim has been fed to the public by Konkomba youth. You may recall, in 2021, the numerous posts of unrestrained use of provocative language on social media regarding the same claim.

There are even recent threats and throwing of open challenges to Dagbamba to dare they the Konkombas. One faceless Facebook account by the name of John Jagiri and a number of other Konkombas continue the unprovoked social media onslaught. There is yet another anonymous letter released on June 28, 2023, purported to be coming from an unknown group calling itself “Nkpakpaando Aabomukl”. That release, aside from throwing support to Magal Kuunboln’s claims, used extremely vile language.

Has the security apparatus become so lame and adamant about these developments? Has it become so impossible to fish out the perpetrators behind those faceless social media handles and anonymous letters?
You may recall that sometime last year, Hon. Nitiwul and some northern Ms were at Gbewaa Palace to clear the air on a similar situation. When the question was put to the Defense Minister, he disassociated himself from the publications and went further to deny any plans of war by Konkombas.

Hon. Nitiwul is a Konkomba opinion leader in every sense and knows what goes on among them. It is by no caincidence that after his denial at the Gbewaa Palace, the publications petered out only to resurface, this time with known faces on social and traditional media, with impunity.

Now let us delve into the nuggets of Dagbon history to educate Magal Kuunboln, Peter Mbanye, and others who have also been running similar commentaries on YouTube among other Konkomba elites seeking to mislead the public. It is public knowledge that in the 1500s, Naa Zuu Titugri, the 14th King of Dagbon, moved Dagbon’s capital from Yeni Dabari in the West to New Yeni (Vendi) in the East. From this period to the 1890s, about 15 kings also ruled Dagbon from Yendi.

In fact, it was in 1896 under Naa Andani Girlong that the Germans approached Yendi at Adibo, and a battle popularly referred to as “Adibo Dalila” ensued. Dagbamba warriors gallantly fought the Germans. In the 1900s, the British gained control over eastern Dagon from the Germans and declared the whole area part of their colony. The questions to ask then are:
Where were the Konkombas?
Who was their sovereign ancestral head, leader, or chief?
At which battle did they meet the Germans?
Is somebody justified in his commentary on Dagon in the east if his narration begins with the advent of the Germans and the British?
These and many other questions reveal the untruths peddled by the self-acclaimed historian on Maranatha TV.

The onus still lies on Konkomba historians laying claims to lands in Dagbon to prove their ownership of those lands instead of relying on mere conjectures as though the history of Dagbon began with the advent of the Germans and the British.

Assuming without admitting that all Dagbamba trace their origins to Naa Gbewaa and all lands east and west of Dagbon were acquired by conquest, how different is the story from other kingdoms in Ghana and the world over? An attempt to rewrite this history is similar to an attempt to erase from the history books the ills of wars and expansion of kingdoms, slave trade, colonization,etc.

Gentlemen and ladies of the media, it is imperative to note that these peace-threatening utterances are encouraged by the fact that none of the previous perpetrators have been identified and punished.

Knowing the pedigree of the nation’s security, it would be strange if all this time they have been unaware of these matters. If they are aware, what has been done to halt such occurrences?
Hindsight compels us to ask the security agencies and Defense Minister Nitiwul the following questions:
1. What is the security situation after Magal Kunboln’s release?”
2. Has Defense Minister Nitiwul really emboldened Konkomba youth to publicly instigate ethnic conflict over land ownership?
3. Why has Hon. Nitiwul, all of the sadden, turned a deaf ear to these people after promising before His Royal Majesty Nan Ya Naa that he was going to arrest those behind even the faceless social media account holders and those sharing their comments?
4. Is it because he has succeeded in enrolling numerous of his tribe’s men in the military and arming them?

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we at DAYA, after the release of Magal Kuunboln’s video on Maranatha TV, have been monitoring to see KOYA’s action.

Their recent press release failed to name and shame Magal Kunboln for his needless and condemnable comments on TV. We at DAYA see this gesture as unfortunate.

DAYA wishes to use this opportunity to set the records straight by making available to the general public documentation pertaining to the matter of the often repeated Konkombas’ land claim. We would as well refresh the memory of the Konkomba elites-who hoodwinked their tribesmen into the failed 1994 war-about the peace document authored by the government-sponsored Permanent Peace Negotiation Team (PPNT), to which both Dagombas and Konkombas signed in 1995
to end hostilities.

Those who signed on behalf of Konkombas were Kenneth Wujanji, Dan Kojo Ngula, and Ali Kamshegu, all of KOVA. Signatories for the Dagbamba were Alhaji Malik Al-hassan Yakubu (Secretary General, DAVA), Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni (DAYA), Sunson Na Shanni A. Hamidu (The chief of Sunson), and Mr. M. S. Mahami (representing the Dagbon Traditional Council).
The peace accord signed between Dagbamba and Konkonbas carries a commendation in article (1], which states, inter alia:

“The present scheme of land tenure in Dagbon reflected in the customary laws, usages and practices is non-discriminatory and satisfies the aspirations of all citizens of Dagbon regardless of ethnic background. It is recognized that the Ya-Na holds the allodial title to all Dagon lands and he holds same as a trustee in trust for all citizens of Dagbon.

The divisional chiefs whether they are Dagbamba, Konkombas, Basares etc. are the caretakers of the land and all citizens through their respective divisions have a birth-right of equal and unimpeded access to the land in accordance with customary law”.

The signed accord also states in article [3], amongst others:
We note with satisfaction that even before the conflict, Konkomba, Basare, and Anufo chiefs had representation in the Dagbon Traditional Council.

This is testimony to the fact that the traditional system as operated in Dagbon even before the referred conflict has been non-discriminatory. At least it debunks all the falsehoods about being marginalized. After the 1994 conflict, revelations emerged that some Konkomba elite were the ones beating the war drums just to be lords over the several Konkomba clans put together.

In conclusion, and most importantly, we wish to call for the immediate arrest of Magal Kuunboln and those behind the Nkpakpaando Aabomukl anonymous press release for preparing the grounds for inter-ethnic conflict between the Konkombas and the Dagbamba. DAYA entreats all Dagbamba to desist from releasing rejoinders to similar messages. If they must do so, they should be mindful to be factual and civil, no matter the provocation. We believe that our collective effort as a people should rather be directed at fighting poverty and underdevelopment than fighting one another.

Dagbon is poised for accelerated economic and social growth, and no one can stand in our way. All that we do as the youth in Dagbon is to help stake holders and duty bearers create a conducive environment to attract investors to our area. In fact, we have gone beyond fighting for identity.

We have been silent over the years not because Komkomba youth have the monopoly on spewing treacherous comments, but because we think we owe it a duty to safeguard the peace and security in Dagbon and the country at large.

Therefore, our silence must not be taken to mean weakness. We are proud ragbamba, and we shall forever be Dagbamba.

lastly, and most importantly, we believe that the continuous stay of the Defense Minister, Hon. Nitiwul, at the Defense Ministry is the biggest threat to peace in the northern region.

The President should therefore reshuffle him since his presence there is emboldening the Konkombas to create security problems.

May Allah Bless Ghana and Dagbon.
Thank you for indulging us this long.

Adam Baba Issifu
(National president).

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