The Yagbonwura Tutumba Boresa I, Overlord of Gonjaland Traditional Council has announced the removal of Issahaku Abdulai Kant as chief of the Bole paramountcy, sparking renewed atmosphere of uncertainty in the small busy town already under a state of emergency following chieftaincy hostilities last year.
The announcement came after a consultative meeting Tuesday, January 9, 2018 by traditional and customary authority of the Bole Traditional Area accepting chief Issahaku Abdulai Kant as the new legitimate Bolewura.
The authority made up of almost all chiefs under the Bole Traditional Area deliberated and adopted about thirteen (13) resolutions seeking to end the ongoing chieftaincy dispute between members of the divided Safope gate.
Part of the resolutions read: “that we the traditional and customary authorities wish to state that we respect the ruling of the Judicial Committee of Northern Region House of Chiefs which gave judgement in favour of Abdulai Issahaku as the legitimate Mandariwura”.
Another said, “that in accordance with Gonja custom and tradition, Mandariwura Abudulai Issahaku had duly performed the final funeral of the Bolewura Pomptomprong II, and therefore the rightful Mandariwura to succeed the Bolewura Pomtomprong II”.
“That the Yagbonwura has no traditional and customary right to nominate and enskin a paramount chief for Bole Traditional Area. That the Yagbonwura is “primus inter pares(1st among equals) and does not nominate or enskin a Bolewura. That as the overlord of the Gonjaland, he is therefore for the people and must respect their wishes and aspirations and not to embark on policies that has the tendency to promote anarchy, lawlessness and violence”, the chiefs said in resolutions 10, 11 and 12, respectively.
However, in response, the Yagbonwura has not only refused to accept and recognize chief Issahaku Kant as Bolewura but served notice to all his subjects in the Gonjaland, particularly those in Bole traditional area, to disregard him as well.
In a response dated January 16, the Yagbonwura explained that the enskinment of Abdulai Kant as Bolewura was not in conformity with the Gonja customs and traditions, “therefore be treated as null and void and given necessary contempt it deserves”.
The overlord also stated that all purported nominations and enskinments of sub-chiefs to towns and villages within the Bole Traditional Area by the self-styled Bolewura were unacceptable and invalid without any effect within the Gonja customs and traditions.
The Yagbonwura also referred to himself as the only legitimate Kingmaker of the Bole skin, further said he had not under any circumstance, any time in his reign pronounced Issahaku Kant as Bolewura, “hence his self enskinment as Bolewura remains illegal and breach of the customs and traditions of Gonja kingdom”.
The overlord has also directed through the letter to leaders of all minority tribes in the Bole Traditional Area to “disregard the purported self-styled and self- imposed Bolewura and all his appointments”.
He ended with a call to the “REGSEC and DISEC to intervene with immediate effect for peace to peace in the traditional area.
Chieftaincy violence broke out in Bole on December 10, last year, leading to the death of two and destruction to properties, and imposition of a curfew.
The violence was an outcome of continued tensions in the town after two disputed chiefs – Bukari Abudu and Issahaku Kant, who had been embroiled in similar dispute over the Mandari skin, moved to Bole after the former refused to accept the Regional House of Chiefs’ ruling against him.
The late Bolewura Awuladese had chosen Issahaku Kant as chief of Mandari but his nominee was rejected by the overlord, Yagbonwura Tutumba Boresa, who settled on Abukari Abudu.
The dispute ended up before a Judicial Committee at the Northern Regional House of Chiefs and after eight years of legal battle, the committee ruled in favor of Issahaku Kant and the late Bolewura.
Following the decision, Issahaku Kant entered Bole to succeed the late Awuladese in accordance with a tradition, which makes the Mandari skin an ultimate gateway to Bole skin.
But his rival, Bukari Abudu, also joined him and after separate enskinments as parallel authorities, the violence followed last year during the Damba festive event.
Bukari Abudu, the Yagbonwura’s Bolewura fled the town during the violence and has since not returned, leaving the reigns into the hands of his brother, Issahaku Kant, who has already appointed sub-chiefs to help him rule one of the most powerful paramountcy in the Gonjaland.