I was only 7 years old when the last Chief of Bimbilla –Naa Abarika Attah passed on! At this age I certainly cannot remember much but I remember how colourful Bimbilla was in 2003 when the final funeral of the late Bimbila Naa was being performed. There was nothing like Bimbilla conflict then. Nobody thought in few years later Bimbilla was going to be thrown into shambles. Each day we quickly gulped down our breakfast and rushed to the palace to monitor activities. At this time everyone was a friend of the other. I cannot remember much of life before 2003 but from the year 2000 to 2003 anyone could tell Bimbilla was a place to be.

Damba prior to Bimbilla conflict

Druming and dancing

Ranging from the impressive hospitality, state of calmness and the spirit of friendliness that filled the whole township just made one fell at home. The town was noted for its agricultural productivity especially with yam. These were the times when visitors were often transformed to natives.

What happened to us?

I cannot attempt to answer this because I certainly have no idea. All I know is that Bimbilla suddenly became a land of chaos after the final funeral. Why? Is it that the people already hated each other secretly?                                                                                                                                     Was the long standing peace in the area just clouded by pretends?                                                        I would have left these questions open but for the non-native readers. Any native of Bimbilla will answer the questions with a big NO!  People of Bimbilla genuinely loved each other and if you told anyone that someday natives will come out to kill each other they would have referred to you as insane.
The current crises clouding the town started like a joke that was meant to pass fast because Bimbilla have always been served by a very clear chieftaincy system which made it easy for the selection of the next chief. As young as I was I knew that the Bimbilla chieftaincy had two main gates known as Gbugmayili and Bangyili and there are series of smaller titles one has to go through from both gates in other to qualify for the paramount chieftaincy as follows:

Gbugmayili: Makayili (Bogu) => Djua => Bakpaba => Nakpaa => Kingship (Bimbilla Naa).

Bangyili: Sakpe => Gbingbaliga = > Chamba => Dokpam => Kingship (Bimbilla Naa).
You can find details of this on Ghanaweb 

This concise system was able to keep the Bimbilla chieftaincy from disputes since the time of Gmantambu (the first chief of the land) to Naa Abarika Attah. Again the questions pop up, what went wrong?
Why are the people crying today? Why are we perpetually in the news for the wrong reasons? Why do we always have to be in curfew? Why can’t we enjoy freedom again in our own home? why do you see Bimbilla Conflict when you type Bimbilla into google?

After the final funeral of the late Naa Abarika, per traditions most people expected things to move smoothly because the sitting Nakpaa Naa was still alive and by the above system no disputes were expected. I can however, not blame the people of Bimbilla for the uncalled for coflict that followed attempts to enskin the then Nakpaa Naa because it is not strange in the struggle among the royals for chieftaincy. Throughout the history of Mole-Dagbon of which the Nanung clan descended there was lots of struggle among brothers even when one was clearly qualified. There are recordings of duels, fights, break-offs and what have you. The chieftaincy was often marked by the ambition of the royals. This shows that it should be expected that at point in time someone in the royal family may try to overtake the line of succession.

What I do criticise is the manner in which the Bimbilla conflict was handled. The law courts are there in anticipation of misunderstandings among the people in which case it would be relied upon for solutions. Our traditional matters however were not a thing for the courts because our grandparents struggled to establish the traditional system independent of the political systems. Unfortunately the dispute in question was not able to be handled by the traditional system because the people involved were also thrown between factions themselves and that was what led the case to the court.

So what is or was the bimbilla conflict?

After the burial of the Naa Abarika Attah disputes irrupted within the same gate (Gbugmayili) between the then Nakpaa Naa( Naa Salifu Dawuni) and Mr. Andani Dasana( then CEO of Nasia Rice Co. Tamale) as to who was qualified for the thrown. Soon Bimbilla became a town of bats with the supporters of Naa Salifu Dawuni being referred to as white bats and the supporters of Mr. Andani referred to as the black bats. Even the kingmakers were divided for reasons only known them. While some of them stuck by the then Nakpaa Naa others stood behind Mr. Andani who himself was qualified by blood to undertake the journey to the kingship by the traditions. These two groups both enskined and recognised their respective chiefs but not without intermittent violence.
The case proceeded to court and this was when things went haywire. The court and Regional House of chiefs ruled the case in favour of Mr. Andani Dawuni but the people of Bimbilla refused the ruling stating that such had never happened in their traditions for someone to be elevated straight from no title to paramount title. Subsequently the family of the then Nakpaa Naa appealed the ruling and the case was kept on hold hence there was no chief.

Unfortunately, Naa Salifu died of natural causes in 2014. Violence broke out in attempts to bury him in his residence since this would mean he was the rightful king of the land. The security kept an embargo on the burial and the body was deposited at the morgue of Yendi Municipal Hospital. This resulted in the gruesome murder of Mr. Andani on the 19th of June, 2014 by unknown assailants.
Following the murder, the then NDC government provided the necessary security that ensured the body of the late Mr Andani was given a befitting burial. Despite the case being in court all media outlets and government officials referred to him as chief of Bimbilla hence Naa Andani Dasana. The family of the late Naa Salifu thought that was unfair and total disregard to the legal proceedings but it did not stop the instalment of the reagent Yakubu Andani Dasana and mass arrests of prominent members of the Naa Salifu supporters.
The reagent was recognised by central government and the necessary respects were paid on him anytime government officials came to Bimbilla. Most of the killings of innocent people and violence took place after the instalment of Yakubu Andani Dasana as the reagent by the supporters of the Andani Family.

So what now?

It is 2017 and both leaders are now buried and both reagents installed. The question now is; what is next? What do we have to do differently to get the Bimbilla we had before 2003? Everyone is waiting on the Supreme Court to give the final judgement and it is expected that things will move forward from there but  I believe it is the same expectations that has led the case to this point. The politicians are at their game and as a native of the land don’t ever think they care about what you do. Politicians care about their political ambitions and for us to depend on them spells doom. Unfortunately that seems to be the only hope of ending the Bimbilla conflict.

The cry of the youth of the land goes; when is Bimbilla going to get back to normal? When is the curfew going to go away for good? When are the rights of the people going to be respected again? when are the stake holders going to make the hard decisions? Is the traditions of the land important at all? 

 

 

Facebook Comments

Medical Laboratory Scientist

Medical Scientist || Blogger || Entrepreneur || Farmer

4 Comments

  1. I like the presentations as it is just based on common sense. But am so sorry my brother the issue goes beyond common sense and total bias.
    1. As the eldest son of the gbewaa lineahe, the Naayiri tho is the senior brother to both the dagombas and the nanumbas serve as the supreme court of the mole Dagbon and therefore chieftaincy disputes are sent there. The Nayiri passed a verdict on this Bimbilla case, so why can't we respect it or the Nayiri took sides too or is because it was NPP era.
    2. The family of the late Nakpa Naa sent the case to the high court of which they lost the case again.
    3. They appealed the case at the Regional House of Chiefs, and after several years, a verdict was passed again not infavor of Nakpa Naa.
    4 another appeal to the National House of Chiefs, which also passed a verdict not favoring the Nakpa Naa as well.

    Lesson from a write up of Bias.
    U cleverly defined the gbugmayili and the bangyili gates and their lines to the Bimbilla throne, well done. For the benefit of the readers and fairness you could have also stated the reasons behind the conflict or misunderstanding when Nakpa had the Nakpa skin in other to put all in fair play grounds.
    Secondly please I would like to learn from you who won the case in 2012 ? Obviously is " Mr. Andani" so when he passed on upon appeal u were expecting them to bury the winner not a chief ? Mind you he was not the one appealing. Reasons why there was a contempt on his burial and enskinment of a Regent, but the contempt case also went in favor of the Regent and their family.
    I love the introduction because I was expecting a young and foresight youthful brains to put a bright picture of Nanung out there for investors and development practitioners to stay focus on Nanung. Upon reading further I realised it was a piece rather pick sides and make the defenseless defendable.

    In what capacity does people reject verdicts of the courts?
    In what capacity does people take lifes of others? You can't be at the right side and take someone's life to win, that is pure common sense.
    In what capacity does people challenge a verdict that does not have a stay of execution like the case if 2012 verdict.

    Like I said in the beggining , the issue that has made the outside world see us as disrupts and conflict people should be well presented and create opportunities for the development of Nanung moving forward. You cannot be wiser than all the panels who sat on the case all this while, and in both government
    NPP and NDC so let's not create political lines. Let's respect our custom and not belittle it.
    God bless Nanung

    • Thanks for your review the reason I didnt speak of the Nakpaa naa contention is that he worn the case at the regional house of chiefs as the legitimate Nakpaa Naa hence If I added that it would still have seem biased. there is no way this story can be narrated correctly without a feeling of bias from one side.

    • Mr wumbei upon ur write-up I see nothing wrong with KANNDE' S own. Bimbilla skin is bigger than any of us here but the hard truth must be said once and for all. The road map to the apex must be respected. You are a royal from both gates and we expect you to know better when it comes to issues of chieftaincy in bimbilla. All the court rulings are base on technicality not by the tradition or our way of chiefdom kindly refer to those verdicts well and get back here to explain well brother Wumbei. Is this the way your great grandfather's pass through to apex per your write-up? Settlely big no. Bimbilla NAA Dassana pass through the road respectively likewise his own biological father Naa Abdulai. Let's go to matrileanial home did your grandfather Bimbilla Naa Nantogmah used his name to ascend to the throne by self name chief and Naa Abarika? H.mmm let's be factual you guys have no good to Nanung rather in a mess situation. In Shaa Allah our tradition will not be change no matter how hard it will be we must see through the end in the supreme court. Thanks

  2. Hmm! my brother Ehm kannde let's be truthful to ourselves. If we want to see our dear land in peace we have to make things clear to the best of our knowledge. Why do you conceal some parts of the message? as you stated in your response to Wumbei comment.

    My brother, it's not fare to put a sensible message like this on the media without taken the pain to get answers to all the questions, because any objective reader will still have questions hanging on these write-up. And this will depict the bias nature of the writer.
    1. Why do the Naayiri ruled in favour of the "Mr. Andani"?
    2. Why was it ruled in favour of him in all the instances you yourself stated,?
    3. My brother, you made a point that it was ruled in favour of "Mr Andani" "base on reasons known to themselves" oh how can that be possible? A ruling just passed without making what informed the judgement clear?

    Mr Ehm, you also put down in brief the route to the Bimbilla throne. However, I want to humbly suggest to you to go through the chieftaincy history of Bimbilla and you'll discover some who didn't go through the route as it is. This confirms the saying that "every rule has an exception"

    My brother you would have done the readers great good if you got answers to all these and more.

    Thank you for your effort.
    Nanung Must Rise!!! No doubt -In shaa Allah!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *