The former head of the West African Network for Peace Building, Emmanuel Bombande, has stated that the assumption that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II can automatically resolve the protracted Dagbon chieftaincy conflict could prove illusive.
The Otumfuo-led eminent chiefs committee mediating the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute is expected to resume sitting at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region this month [January].
The Regent of Tolon has said the Otumfuo-led committee cannot resolve the protracted Dagbon chieftaincy dispute.
According to the Tolon Naa, Major (Rtd.) Sulemana Abubakari, the government should be using the Dagbon traditional methods of conflict resolution to tackle the dispute.
The regent’s call seems to have received some support from WANEP.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, the former Executive Director of WANEP, Mr Bomabande said the only best alternative to resolving the protracted conflict is for negotiations to be held between the chiefs involved to ensure that peace prevails.
“If you look at the issue today, there is only one alternative and that is to sit down and talk for a rigorous satisfaction between the two royal families, that will lead to a long lasting solution. That should conclude everything,” he stated.
Bombande also stated that Otumfuo’s committee will only serve as a mediator and platform for peace and not offer a solution to the dispute,
“My understanding is that the committee of eminent chiefs is only providing that stage or third party role and not the solution providers so let’s appreciate the contribution of Tolon Naa, not in terms of it contributing to an obstacle in the process, but rather informing how that process could be better improved,” he advised.
“It is not possible to start any peace process on the premise of a perfect ground, the process informs what needs to be corrected and the commitment to the process is what leads to the outcome that is mutually satisfactory,” he added.
He, therefore, advised the committee to go back to its key fundamental ground rules in order to restore its confidence and what it has been set up to achieve, saying“ it should start from the start”.
The three eminent chiefs mediating the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute are the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the overlord of Mamprugu Traditional Area, the Nayiri, Naa-Bahigu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga and the overlord of Gonjaland, Yagbon-Wura Tuntumba Boresa II.
They have over the past 10 years been working to resolve the Dagbon chieftaincy crisis.