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General News of Friday, 3 May 2002


Chieftaincy crisis looms at Bimbilla

The choice of the next Bimbilla-Naa, the Paramount Chief of Nanumba Traditional Area in the Northern Region is generating heat as two contestants from the same family vie for the position.

The two, Jua-Naa Andani Dasana and Nkpa-Naa Salifu Dawuni are both from the Gbu-mayili Gate. The Jua-Naa Dasana is a son of a former Bimbilla-Naa while Nakpa-Naa Dawuni is a great grandson.

The Bimbilla kingship rotates between two gates - Gbu-Mayili and Bang-Yili. Bimbilla-Naa Abarika Atta, who died in September 1999, came from the Bang-Yili and the next Bimbilla-Naa is to come from the Gbu-Mayili gate.

At a press conference organised by the Gbu-Mayili Gate in Tamale on Wednesday, Jua-Naa Dasana said in the history of the Nanumbas, it was only sons and grandsons that occupied the Bimbilla skin and, therefore, Nakpa-Naa Dawuni "whose father is a great grandson of a Bimbilla-Naa was not qualified to occupy the skin.

He said the enskinment of Naa-Dawuni as the Nakpa-Naa was being contested at the National House of Chiefs. Jua-Naa Dasana said the Northern Regional Security Committee invited both parties to a meeting in Tamale and asked them to go home and resolve the issue amicably since they were from the same family.

He said he asked the kingmakers to resolve the issue "but when the kingmakers scheduled a meeting for last Tuesday, the security personnel asked them to suspend the meeting". One of the nine kingmakers, who was at the press conference, Kpatihi-Naa Azindow Nantogmah appealed to the government not to politicise and interfere in the choice of the next Bimbilla-Naa but to allow the kingmakers to decide.

He said the government should, however, mediate by bringing the two contenders and the king makers together to resolve the issue. "When that is resolved, the government must ensure that the funeral of Naa Abarika Atta is performed immediately".