Fears of violence is rapidly rising in the Bole Traditional Area in Northern region after the demise of the Paramount Chief, Awuladese Pontomprong Mahama (II) on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.
Tensions is rapidly grow between supporters of two rival chiefs of Mandari, an important community within the traditional area where chiefs succeed the Bole Skin.
Reports indicate that tensions are already escalating in Mandari, just four days after the death of the Bolewura, between supporters of two rival chiefs who were enskinned respectively by the Yagbonwura Tutumba Boressah and the now late Bolewura Mahama (II).
Relationship between the Bole paramountcy and the Ndewura Jakpa’s palace deteriorated when the Yagbonwura refused to accept and recognize one Abdulai Issahaku Kant appointed by the Bolewura as chief of Mandari. The Yagbonwura disregarded the Bole kingmakers and also named one Abubakari Abutu as Mandari chief, setting up two brothers from the same safope gate against themselves.
The Mandariwura loyal to the Yagbonwura has since been unable to visit the community and is currently hiding in Sawla following loads of threats on his life by rival supporters of the Mandariwura loyal to the Bolewura.
The Judicial Committee of the Regional House of Chiefs which took over the matter is yet to make a ruling raising fluid sentiments among impatient supporters.
Ultimate News sources also said although the chief is yet to be buried, there are multiple reports of increased acrimonies among supporters of the rival chiefs who have been living a delicate relationship. The two individuals are aggressively laying claim to the Bole skin unleashing a wave of dire predictions of uncertainty among residents in Bole, Mandari, Sawla and Damongo.
Per the custom of the Bole Traditional Council, chief of Mankuma, a village near Bole now acts as chief of Bole until a new chief is enskinned. The Mankumawura is expected to handover the Bole Skin to the Yagbonwura Tutumba Boressah (II) after the 7th Day Funeral rite of the late king.
The Yagbonwura upon advise of kingmakers selects a successor who is normally the sitting chief of Mandari.
Many chiefs and other traditional authorities arriving in Bole for the late chief’s funeral rites have expressed grave concern about a possible chieftaincy clashes between the two factions which could spread to other parts of the Gonjaland and have devastating effects.
A kingmaker in the Damongo traditional area Alhaji Abass Dangba confirmed the tensions and asked that the Yagbonwura be held responsible for any bloodshed in the Gonjaland.
According to him, gauging people’s mood and pronouncements, the Bole traditional authorities may sidestep tradition by attempting to exclude the Yagbonwura from the funeral arrangement.
He says Bole is sitting on a time bomb and would explode sooner than may be expected if authorities joke around the situation, adding the only way to avert another potential chieftaincy violence is for the faction loyal to the Yagbonwura to hold back and dismantle it claims of inheriting the Bole skin.
“Now the fear we have is that, definitely the Yagbonwura would still insist that his Mandariwura should be the Bolewura, and when that happens, the one too nominated by Bolewura – everyone, if only you are a Gonja knows that he is the right person to become the Bolewura. The man has messed from A-Z now by creating two people at Mandari, Sonyo, Kibelma, Damongo and all over. So I know definitely that Bole issue would be volatile because signal have started moving around,” he said.
Spokesman for the Gonjaland Youth Association Mr. Mahama Haruna commenting on the situation touted the previous succession processes and called for calm after asking whether authorities would be able to resolve the matter peacefully.
“There is a chieftaincy controversy at Bole with two chiefs for Mandari (gateway to Bole) recognized by the late Bolewura and the Yagbonwura respectively. Both factions have been counting on the adjudication of the case in their favor by the Judicial Committee of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs. The Bole Traditional Area has witnessed a peaceful process of succession for over hundred years making this traditional area one of the most peaceful in Gonjaland. Can Bole withstand the test with the current situation of two rival chiefs for Mandari recognized by the late Bolewura and Yagbonwura respectively”, Haruna worriedly quizzed.
Chieftaincy violence is not new in the Bole traditional area. Last year, more than nine people were reportedly killed including a chief who was allegedly beheaded at Kibelma in a clashes between factions over land and kingship.
By: Ghana/Ultimatefmonline.com/106.9FM/Eliasu Tanko