Find below the entire speech by HIS ROYAL MAJESTY, YA-NA ABUKARI II, KING & OVERLORD OF DAGBON
REMARKS BY HIS ROYAL MAJESTY, YA-NA ABUKARI II, KING & OVERLORD OF DAGBON DURING A COURTESY CALL BY PRESIDENT NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO AT THE GBEWAA PALACE, YENDI
I welcome His Excellency and his entourage to the Gbewaa Palace, capital of our ancient Dagbon State.
Your Excellency Mr. President, when I asked my chiefs to join me to receive you here today, one of them said to me, and I quote ‘’ President Akufo-Addo is really Na Abdudani I’’. Unquote.
This means that I am not the only one who has lost count of your visits to the Northern Region and Yendi specifically, but the entire chiefs and people of Dagbon and the Northern Region have realised that you are walking your talk by making Dagbon a very important stake in your presidency.
You have visited Dagbon more than any president in the Fourth Republic. But for the story of your contribution to our great traditional State, we leave it in the hands of history students to articulate.
Your Excellency, this year, Hajj 2022 was efficiently organized here in Tamale. Pilgrims traveled to Mecca and Medina and observed their religious obligations in-line with their faith without any hitch.
Whiles pilgrims were in Saudi Arabia, I monitored with keen interest the activities and the welfare of pilgrims over there.
The feedback was great and I am happy that the pilgrims, mostly from the Dagbon State were treated with dignity. The Dagbon State, predominantly Muslim, contributes about 65% of the entire Ghana pilgrims population, therefore I have particular interest in the activities of Hajj in Ghana.
The organizers of the Hajj process here in Tamale did a good job, and I commend your government for such a wonderful feat.
Let me also state, with elation, that contractors are at site and work is progressing steadily on the Yendi-Tatale and the Yendi-Tamale highways, respectively.
These road networks link very important agriculture communities and towns to Yendi and other parts of the Northern Region. They are strategic road networks, when completed, it would significantly change the narrative of food insecurity in the Northern Region, and Ghana as a whole.
These are encouraging steps to spur rural agriculture and economic development in Northern Ghana.
Your Excellency Mr. President, the mainstay of members of this royal court just like many other people here in Northern Region is agriculture.
I am happy to state that this year alone Savanna Agriculture Productivity Improvement Project (SAPIP) has supported many people in land clearing and inputs.
My court benefited about 400 acres of land clearing and agriculture machinery including tractors and its implements.
I thank you and your government for such a good policy intervention under the Planting for Food and Jobs. I would also like to commend the Agriculture Minister, Honourable Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto for a good job.
The people of Yendi are also happy to be included in the Ghana Secondary City Support Programme, which will give added funding to the development of the Municipality.
I intend to be very brief today, Mr. President, but I have few very important issues that require emergency attention, and I would like to raise them here. But before that, let me thank you for your bold assurance to the people of Ghana that your government would negotiate a good deal with the IMF.
I have no doubt that emerging from the IMF with a good deal, would begin to restore some vigour to the economy, reduce hardship in the country and control the spiraling food prices we currently experience.
I therefore hope the IMF would support the government to continue to deliver your optimum to the Ghanaian people.
Your Excellency, the Yendi Water Project is a big problem to me and the people of Yendi. It undermines the socio-economic development of the entire Yendi Municipality and its environs.
I must also mention the need for an urgent lecture theatre for the Yendi Campus of the University for Development Studies, UDS, to enable the pioneer students begin lectures immediately. In addition to our shared objective and vision for a prosperous Dagbon and Ghana, we both also agreed the role education can play in pushing these ideals.
I therefore hope you would assist with the immediate construction of an essential Lecture Hall for the Yendi Campus of the UDS.
Your Excellency, let me kindly remind you of the transport challenges of the hardworking security personnel in Yendi. I receive daily reports of the transport challenges faced by our security agencies in Yendi, this affects their efficient delivery of their mandate and I appeal to you once again to give this request your kind attention.
The people of Northern Region persistently remind me of the government’s pledge for a Military Hospital Project in the Region. May I remind you, Mr. President, that this project is captured in the 2016 NPP manifesto which makes it more imperative now. There is also the need for the immediate completion of the military stadium near the Barwah Barracks in Tamale.
I implore you to give the above-mentioned projects your serious attention. It will facilitate the development of the Northern Region and add to the list of your numerous legacy projects in Ghana.
Mr. President, due to the considerable importance of these projects, I intend to send a royal delegation to your highly esteemed office when you return to the seat of government in Accra, to follow-up for the realization of these important issues.
In conclusion Mr. President, I listened carefully to your speech on reparation. We in Dagbon have our artifacts seized by the German army as recent as December 1896 in the famous battle of Adibo. We would need help to retrieve these artifacts, and also seek reparation for the destruction of Yendi.
Your Excellency, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, once again, thank you for coming to the traditional capital of the Dagbon State.
I wish you Allah’s mercies and the best in your stay in Dagbon as you travel around discharging your social contract responsibilities with the people.
May the Almighty Allah Bless the Dagbon State, and our Homeland Ghana, and make both Great and Strong.