The Paramount Chief of the Bole Traditional area of Gonja, Bolewura Safo Kutuge Feso (I) has I’m a statement issues on 6th April, 2020 cautioned Bandas to stay away from his land.
He said Bandas and Gonjas have cultural and Traditional links dating back hundreds of years which should not be disturbed.
The Bolewura said the Black Volta River is not a boundary between Gonjaland and the Bono or Bono East Regions and that there is Gonjaland in the Bono and Bono East Regions.
Bolewura Safo Kutuge Feso said that everybody recognised and accepts regional boundaries as convenient instruments for administration, but traditional allegiance transcends regional boundaries and examples of these exist in all parts of this country.
Safo Kutuge Feso (I) said even though the Dokochina community belong politically to the Bono Region, traditionally the community is part of the Bole Traditional Area like the case of Kadelso, Kportor, Kawampe, Babato and others finding themselves in the Kintampo North North District of the Bono Region but still pay allegiance to the King and Overlord of Gonja (Yagbonwura).
The Bolewura said no peace is being disturbed or threatened by Gonjas and that Chief Muniru Adams remain the legitimate Chief of Dokokyina and has assumed responsibility as the traditional ruler of the community.
Bolewura assured all Gonjas and Banda people that the Bole traditional council is committed to peace.
Speaking to Bole based Nkilgi FM, an Aide to the Bolewura, Haruna Abdulai Obey said the Bolewura is a peaceful man if not the actions of the Banda people in the Dokochina area would have resulted into a full blown conflict.
Read below the full Press Statement from the Chiefs and People of Bole:
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE CHIEFS AND PEOPLE OF BOLE TRADTIONAL AREA IN RESPONSE TO THREATS AND ILLEGAL CLAIM OF CERTAIN LANDS OF GONJA KINGDOM (DOKOCHINA) BY BANDA TRADITIONAL COUNCIL.
This press statement is in response to the chiefs and people of Banda persistent threats and illegal claim of ownership of certain lands of the Gonja Kingdom (Dokochina) at a press briefing during a meeting held at Banda Ahekrom of the Bono Region on Thursday 23rd March, 2020.
The statement issued by Nana Gbankodi II, the ‘Osiakwanhene of Banda Traditional Area is not only misleading but a calculated attempt to incite the government against the good people of Gonja especially people of Bole.
I wish to state emphatically that the people of Dokochina are farmers not illegal miners as the Bandas put it. If there exist any illegal miner in the area then certainly it is the Bandas not people of Bole.
The Gonja Kingdom was founded in the early 17th century by the great Sumaila Ndewura Jakpa. The Kingdom is made up seven (7) traditional divisions namely; Kpembe Traditional Area, Wasipe Traditional Area, Bole Traditional Area, Tulwe Traditional Area, Kusungu Traditional Area, Kong Traditional Area, and Kandia Traditional Area. The kingdom is partly conterminous to the present day Savannah Region.
The Bole Traditional Area is the third division of the Gonja Kingdom and it shares traditional boundaries with the following; to the North with Wa Traditional Area, to the East with Cote D’ Iviore (Bounkani Traditional Area), to the West with Sonyor and Tuluwe Traditional Area and finally to the South-Eastern part with Bono Region.
It will be realized that some parts of the Bole Traditional Area has been demarcated and placed in the then Brong Ahafo Region following Dr. Kwame Nkrumah post-independence re-demarcation drive.
Even though the Dokochina community belong politically to the Bono Region, traditionally the community is part of the Bole Traditional Area like the case of Kadelso, Kportor, Kawampe, Babato and others finding themselves in the Kintampo North North District of the Bono Region but still pay allegiance to the King and Overlord of Gonja (Yagbonwura).
This situation is similar to some Ahafo Region Communities like Goaso or Bono East Communicaties like Nkoranza paying allegiance to the Asantehene.
It is the same way Dokochina, Sindi (Dollar, Accra, Dablakro), Gbabiape, Sigipe and others historically and traditionally are under Bole Paramountcy since time immemorial. These communities in recent times have been under needless threats by the Banda Traditional Council in making illegal claims for Dokochina and others.
I Bolewura Sarfo Kutuge Feso (I) wish to state emphatically that both legal and traditional evidence available to my palace indicates that Banda Traditional Council do not and canner claim ownership of Dokochina and its catchment area. I therefore respectively urge the government to completely ignore the contents of their two separate press release dated 1st May, 2019 and 23rd March, 2020 of the Banda Traditional Council and treat the same as totally irrelevant.
Many of Ghana’s Guans once peopled the entire catchment area until the invasion of Begho and the subsequent founding of the Gonja Kingdom by Sumaila Ndewura Jakpa in the 15th Century. In fact the Gonja movement started from this area. No wonder we have place names like Di-Nkanachena (feed and stay put) corrupted to Dokochina,
Boope, Bagiape and Wasipe which relocated to Daboya.
Apart from Dokochina, all these communities are no longer in existence. Boope was the last to move out in the mid-1970’s as a result the creation of Bui National Park in 1970 or thereabouts. The people of Dokochina should have vacated the park long ago but owing to luck of funds to compensate the people to resettle hence they had all this while ‘fed and stayed put’ as the name of the village enjoined them to.” It is unfortunate on the part of the Banda Chiefs to describe them as illegal miners.
The Balck Volta River is not a boundary between Gonjaland and the Bono or Bono East Regions. In fact there is Gonjaland in the Bono and Bono East Regions.
For instance Kulaw is a traditional area under the Gonja Traditional Area, headed by the Kulawwura, a Paramount chief and Kingmaker of Gonja. The area has about 84 villages.
The Kulaw area is on the South of the Black Volta and shares boundary with Yeji and Atebubu in the Brong-Ahafo region but remain Gonjaland.
Even though Kulaw is on the south of the Volta it is not Brong- Ahafo. The Chiefs and people of Kulaw resisted an attempt to be incorporated into the Brong-Ahafo Region after Kwame Nkrumah created it in 1959 and has since been part of the East Gonja District.
Everybody recognised and accepts regional boundaries as convenient instruments for administration, but traditional allegiance transcends regional boundaries and examples of these exist in all parts of this country.
For instance the land on the Kintampo-Buipe trunk road starting from Babatukuma is an integral part of the Gonja Traditional Area but in Bono East Region.
What is being bandied around by the Banda Traditional Council as ‘’trouble brewing’’ by Gonjas is only a smokescreen employed by a few irate and ambitious Banda Youth intent on inviting the government against the good people of Gonja in Bole to guarantee their selfish interest.
It would be recalled that shortly before the demise of late Bolewura Awuledese Potonprong (II), a delegation of elders from Banda Paramountcy called on the then Bolewura with an appeal for the mutual use of our lands for collective interest of Gonjas and Bandas.
They came with the traditional drinks and cola to appeal for mutual participation and benefit of the area consequent upon the fertility of the land for farming purposes.
Indeed and in truth there is no ‘wolf’, the current happing’s is an arrangement between some youth of Banda and Banda Traditional Council to serve their selfish interest. The Bandas have been our allies for long and under no circumstance would we used violent as a tool for solving issues.
I Bolewura Safo kutuge Feso (I) wish to state emphatically that the Bandas should find themselves dialoguing. Under no circumstance should a Chief be outdoored in a community by the Banda paramountcy that he presides over.
The Gonjas and Bandas have cultural and traditional links dating back to the hundreds of years. We wish to say that the warrior status of Gonjas is well documented but we urge the Banda Traditional Council to be concerned with what unites Gonjas and them rather than engaging in needless threats and scare policies that has the tendency to polarized the two tribes (Gonjas and Bandas).
I wish to further add that the issue at stake is purely a traditional and customary matter which can be amicably settled without the hands of the politicians or government.
No peace is being disturbed or threatened and that Chief Muniru Adams remain the legitimate Chief of Dokokyina and has assumed responsibility as the traditional ruler of the community.
I therefore conclude by assuring all Gonjas and Banda people that the Bole traditional council is committed to peace.
Bolewura Sarfo Kutuge Feso (I)
(Paramount Chief of the Bole Traditional Area)