Gonjas Deny Acts of War
2006-10-16 22:22:47This article has been read 1374 times.TENSION IS mounting like a thick smoke beneath a heap of sawdust between the Gonja Traditional Council (GTC) of the Northern Region and the Nkoranza
Traditional Council (NTC) of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The tension, which led to the NTC issuing a recent statement from the Paramount Chief of Nkoranza, Nana Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom, has attracted a reaction from the Gonja Chiefs, challenging most of the allegations.
The Gonja Chiefs, emphasized that they would not allow the Omanhene of Nkoranzaman, also the President of Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, to deliberately cause unnecessary confusion and disintegration between the two respectable kingdoms. “We the Chiefs of Gonjaland are unhappy and we feel very embarrassed by the insults rained on us by the Omanhene of Nkoranza,” the Chiefs said.
The Yagbonwura, Abudu Bawah Doshie I, through his Spokesperson, the Damangowura-Jakpa Lemu explained with regret that the Omanhene of Nkoranza and his Traditional Council in a press statement issued across the country, unjustifiably tumbled down on the integrity of the people of Gonjaland and seriously described them as “land grabbers, armed bandits, expansionists and non-peace loving people”.
“Omanhene of the Nkoranza Traditional Area, Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom must however, be made aware that a repetition of any provocative pronouncements of this nature would not fail to have the most serious consequences for which rests on him alone,” the Yagbonwura warned.
He was however quick to state that peace and development were paramount and thus entreated the Omanhene of Nkoranza and his Elders to maintain the existing unity and peaceful co-existence between Gonjas and the people of Nkoranza.
The King of Gonjaland was flanked by almost all the Chiefs in the area, including the Bolewura, Zebilawura, Damangowura, Kanapewura and Mandewura among others.
The Yagbonwura recalled however that the Omanhene of Nkoranza on June 30, 2006 paid a courtesy call on him during which a number of issues pertaining to Gonjas South of the Volta River were extensively discussed and vice versa by the Yagbonwura as courtesy and tradition demanded. But the Omanhene of Nkoranza, according to the Yagbonwura, for reasons best known to him, failed to express any sign of worry about the early deliberations between them.
He reiterated, “While recognizing and accepting regional boundaries as convenient instruments for administration, it is an undeniable fact that traditional allegiance nevertheless transcend such regional boundaries and examples of these exist in all parts of this country.”
The Yagbonwura continued, “The Traditional Council therefore wishes to state that as King of Gonja, the Yagbonwura has the responsibility to receive allegiance and services from any Gonja wherever he or she may be in this world. Nothing therefore stops Gonjas from paying allegiance to the Yagbonwura, wherever they are.”
The Gonja leader argued further that “Again, the contention that the Volta River serves as the permanent frontier between Gonja and Nkoranza is a non-starter. This is evidenced by the fact that the whole of the Kulaw Traditional Area, south of the River Volta and also East of the Kintampo-Buipe trunk road for example, is an integral part of Gonja Traditional Area. Therefore the Volta River is not necessarily a marker of stool/skin lands but purely for administrative purposes”.
The Gonja Traditional Council also denied an allegation attributed to the Nkoranzamanhene that Gonjas were seriously involved in destooling of chiefs in his traditional area, and vehemently describing it as a mere fabrication, saying, “As far as the Council is aware, no Gonja has gone anywhere in the Nkoranza Traditional Area to destool any Chief enstooled by the Omanhene of Nkoranza.
“De-stoolment or deskinment is itself not a common practice in Gonja Tradition. It is evident that the Omanhene of Nkoranza is trying to sow seeds of discord between Gonjas and Nkoranzaman, as well as portraying Gonjas as non-peace-loving citizens”.
The Yagbonwura emphasized that all the Chiefs from Benkrom to Babatokuma are Gonjas and that if there had been any destoolments as alleged by the Nkoranzahene, then it was among Gonjas and not with any other tribe.
The President of Gonja Traditional Council, who refuted the assertion that Gonjas living in the Southern part of the Volta River were armed bandits, maintained that “Gonjas in that area are simple farmers who are concerned with their daily livelihood and would not in anyway think of harming anyone”.
The Paramount Chief also denied the alleged assertion by Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom that the Gonjas were struggling for additional lands to enable them get a separate region.
“The request for the creation of another region in Ghana is one that has come from different quarters in the Northern Region and in any case, the request has been for the creation of another region out of the present Northern Region of Ghana”.
“The Omanhene’s assertion that our request could only be met by annexing parts of Brong Ahafo Region, especially the Nkoranza lands is nothing but his imagination. The landmass of Gonajaland is even far bigger than some regions in the country. This is our pride. But suffice it to say, the search for a Region is not the search for a Gonja Region. `
The Gonja Traditional Council however appealed to the Omanhene of Nkoranza Traditional Area to rather adopt pragmatic means of solving the impasses and refrain from any act that would bring the hard-won image and integrity of the Gonja state into disrepute.