President John Dramani Mahama on Saturday said the Dagbon tradition was a prominent citadel of culture in the world that should not be sacrificed on the altar of conflicts and other misunderstandings.
He said the rich culture of the people is ample proof that they stand for peace and not negative assertions that had over the years been equated to their lifestyles on account of the assassination of the King of Dagbon over a decade ago.
President Mahama said this when he joined the chiefs and people of the Dagbon Traditional Area to celebrate their annual Damba festival.
The annual festival, apart from celebrating the birth of Prophet Mohammed, also unites the people from all over the country to thank God for the successful harvest season and offers an opportunity for the people to deliberate on development in the area.
It also creates a platform for re-unification talks among the various divisions to re-build the broken parts that resulted from chieftaincy disputes in the past years.
The festival also creates the opportunity for the people of Dagbon to showcase their rich traditional drumming and dancing with their splendid traditional paraphernalia among others.
Also in attendance were; Mr Prosper Douglas Bani, Chief of Staff, Mohmamed Muniral Lumina, Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister for Roads and Highways, Dr Kwaku Agyeman Mensah, Minister for Health and Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini, Deputy Northern Regional Minister.
President Mahama said the people of Dagbon and people of the northern extraction for that matter cherished peace and called on them to eschew tendencies that undermine peace, unity and development.
He said government would continue to play its role in the sustenance of peace and development in the area, a situation he said could only be achieved through unity among all people irrespective of their sect, religion and ethnic background.
President Mahama said Otumfuo Osei Tutu I I who initiated the peace talks between the Andanis and Abudus some years back had agreed to continue with the negotiations and called on all stakeholders to lend their support to the peace negotiations.
He commended the two gates for celebrating the annual festival together and expressed the hope that such peaceful co-existence would pave the way for further integration of the two gates.
On development projects, the President gave the assurance that Dagbon would receive their share of the national cake calling for their commitment to partnering government to achieve that feat.
Naa Andani Yakubu Abudulai, Regent of the Traditional Area, commended government for rehabilitating the Tamale Regional Hospital and upgrading it to a teaching hospital.
He appealed to them to upgrade the Yendi Government Hospital to cater for the growing number of patients in the area.
He also applauded government for the construction of the Eastern Corridor road, which he said would efficiently connect the southern part of the country to the northern sector.
Naa Abudulai however appealed to government to delve deep into steps that led to the assassination of Naa Andani Yakubu II in 2003 and subsequent killing of prominent chiefs in Bimbilla and Zabzugu, since failure to investigate could sustain the melancholy that engulfed the traditional area since the killing of such prominent sons.