PEACE IN DAGBANG; President Akufo-Addo deserves more credit – Islamic scholar, Shaykh Anas, declares

Outspoken Islamic scholar, Shaykh Anas Abubakri Tawfic, has commended President Akufo-Addo for what he described as a demonstration of decisive leadership and political will in helping to bring an end to the age old Dagbang Chieftaincy crisis and the selection of new Ya-Na.

According to Shaykh Anas, though successive governments have over the past 16 years attempted resolving the longstanding crisis and duly deserve some credit, the current administration, led by President Akufo-Addo, deserve a special commendation and gratitude for finally ensuring that lasting peace is restored in Dagbang.

From 2002, since the gruesome murder of [the then]Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, an incident believed to be the immediate cause of the Chieftaincy crisis, efforts have been made by successive government to bring together the two feuding sides to the table to discuss the way forward, as far as the restoration of peace in dagbang is concerned, but to no avail.

Speaking to the media during a press conference organizedat Darul-Hadith mosque in Kumasi in the early hours of Sunday evening, a day he cheerfully dubbed “Thanksgiving Day”, the learned Shaykhindicated that they are excited that there is finally peace in Dagbang.

“We are Darul-Hadith Institute of Islamic Studies have followed the peace process for the past 16 years, Shaykh Anas revealed. “So, today, that by the glory of Allah, a new Ya-Na has been crowned, we at Darul-Hadith are exceptionally excited that at long last Dagbang has found a path to a lasting peace”, the Shaykh said to a cheering crowd present at the press conference.

Scores have died, properties have been destroyed and many have fled their homes and the development of  Dagbang has been stampeded over the period that the chieftaincy crisis persisted; Shaykh Anas noted and said that development cannot take place in an environment full of chaos and confusion.

He prayed for long life for Ya-Na Abukari Mahama II and pledged the support of Darul-Hadith for him. He also commended the ‘Bolin lana’Mahamadu Abdulai and ‘Kampakuya Naa’Andani Yakubu Abdulai, both of whom he described as heroes, the Otumfuor-led committee of eminent Chiefs for their role and mentioned especially the people of Dagbang for their cooperation in the entire peace process and for recognizing the need to unite in the collective interest of dagbang.

Through the same medium, Shaykh Anas also expressed appreciation to President Akufo-Addo, Vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the Minister for Inner City and Zango development, Dr Mustapha Hamid, for ensuring that justice was given to the people of Zango in the matter of the murdered ‘Zango 7’ young men last year.

In July 2018, the Ashanti regional police command allegedly upon a tip off gunned down some 7 young men atPoano in the Manso Nkwanta district on suspicion of armed robbery. The incident sparked controversy within Asawase and plunged the community into a near pandemonium, after some irate youth took to the street to register their displeasure over the killing of their brothers.

Few days after the incident, Darul-Hadith organized a press conference to add their voice to the clamor for government’s intervention in the matter to ensure that justice was done.

Shaykh Anas during Sunday’s press conference said that as Muslims and players in issues of national interest, they won’t be hypocrites who only come out to lament and complain about government’s mistakes and stay mute when and where the government takes a praise-worthy step.

For this reason, he, on his own behalf and that of Darul-Hadith, is grateful to the current administration and all stakeholders involved in the ‘Zango 7’ matter. “He who is not thankful to people is surely not thankful to Allah”, he cited the Holy Prophet Muhammad, PBUH.

In the view of Shaykh Anas, though the GHC250,000 given to each of the seven bereaved families as compensation cannot compensate for the lives lost, the exoneration of the murdered young men of the armed robbery tag by the report of the government’s 5-member investigative committee is somewhat enough for them.

He said, “As much as we know that the monies given cannot return the lost lives, it is important to acknowledge the effort of government in this. For some of us, the clearing of our brothers of any wrongdoing to some extent is enough for us. So, we need to state in categorical terms that we highly appreciate and commend this government for what it has done for us”.

The learned Shaykh also seized the opportunity to indicate how immensely helpful the current administration’s flagship free SHS policy has been to the people of Zango, particularly to them at Darul Hadith Institute of Islamic Studies.

Before the implementation of the policy in 2017, he revealed, Darul-Hadith as an institution had a number of students whose fees they used to pay. But the story has been different in the past two years as government has relieved them of that responsibility.

Story: Mohammed Muntala