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The Dagbon Conference of 1930

CULTURE AND HISTORY

The Dagbon Conference of 1930

The Dagbon Conference of 1930 opened on November 24. Though the primary reason for the conference, from the point of view of the colonial government, was the institution of indirect rule, the conference holds a very significant place in the history of Dagbon. The conference issued a detailed statement of the history and boundaries of Dagbon. The document listed the various classes of chieftaincy and the order of precedence within each class. The conference also specified the elders of Yendi and the constitution of the Dagbon State Council.

The procedures and qualifications relating to succession to Yani were outlined. The conference reaffirmed that only chiefs occupying the gate skins of Mion, Karaga, and Savelugu were eligible for Yani. Also grandsons were categorically excluded from ascending the skins of Yani. Regarding the selection of the Yaa Naa the conference agreed that the Kuga Na, Tugri Nam, Gushie Naa and Gomli constituted the Yaa Naa selection committee. The conference confirmed that all appointments to chieftaincy in Dagbon were to be made by the Yaa Naa, and that the Yaa Naa cannot be deprived of the Nam except by death. The conference also laid down plans to establish a Dagbon Native Authority.

The Dagbon Native Authority comprised of the Yaa Naa and his council. Thirteen subordinate Native Authorities comprising of various divisional chiefs and their elders were also instituted. The Native Authorities had the duty to maintain order and also had the right to arrest, impose penalties, and imprisonment. The powers, so bestowed on the Yaa Naa, made his office very lucrative to all Dagbon Princes. Apart from the political, administrative, and judicial powers the colonial government entrusted to the Yaa Naa, he also was able to hold his own army. He drew a salary from revenue the kingdom generated from direct taxation and levies. Yaa Naa Abdulai II died in February 1938.

Dagbon.net

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