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Opinions of Sunday, 12 November 2017

Columnist: Alhassan Marshall

Art of lies: 'Bimbilla Chieftaincy Conflict: The Issues, the Facts and the Fictions?'

Background

The Bangyili Royal Gate wishes to highlight the recent generational free-riding difficulties aggravated by some interest groups like Mr. Danaa and his cohort that disturb the peace and security in Bimbilla by providing misleading analysis of the Bimbilla Chieftaincy. One is the content of a featured article “Bimbilla Chieftaincy Conflict: The Issues, the Facts and the Fictions?” By Mr. Danaa Nantogmah.

In this article, Mr. Danaa fabricates a lot of lies while ignoring strong evidence supporting the underlying customs and tradition of Nanung. We wish to shed light on some anomalies, lies, fiction, unresolved succession questions and wishful thinking that permeates Danaa’s analysis, and follow it up with the "Inconvenient Truth."

It is important to state that the need to use a legal system and not violence as an effective resolution mechanism has been particularly difficult for Mr. Danaa and some members of the Kpatihi Family. Hence, the primary reasons why Mr. Danaa and his like feel that putting the matter before the highest court of our motherland could jeopardize their claims. Contrarily, the Bangyili Royal Gate believes that this is the only way (together with alternative dispute resolution) of getting sufficient evidence and justice that can help rule out the threat to Nanung long-aged customs and traditions.

Load of lies, fiction, and wishful thinking

Mr. Danaa has lied again in his recent article on the Nanung Chieftaincy issue. Does it matter if Mr. Danaa continues to cherry pick his sources and quotations without any context, and write from a position of myside bias in which he consistently commits the fallacy of incomplete evidence? Indeed, Mr. Danaa presents astonishing, self-serving selective claims; a parade of distortions, misrepresentations, misinterpretations, and misquotations of the facts of ascension or succession to the throne of Bimbilla Paramountcy.

Why can Mr. Danaa leave the truth behind entirely on the Nanung Chieftaincy? One must wonder what Mr. Danaa hopes to achieve with these perpetual lies and wild claims about the ascension of the Bimbilla Nam. Often, these kinds of unfounded rhetoric by the likes of Mr. Danaa fuels entrenched positions and divisiveness, making it difficult to find a lasting solution to the Nanung Chieftaincy dispute, as well as peace in the Nanumba Traditional Area.

Unlike Mr. Danaa, the Bangyili Royal Gate is not going to play this gutter game of smear and baseless attacks on personalities. Mr. Danaa is entitled to his "alternative facts or fake news," which he is bent on polluting the minds of his readers with these fabrications. On a factual point, his readers deserve to know that these kinds of finger-pointing propaganda is a self-serving distortion and has no basis in the intra-chieftaincy gate dispute in the Gbumayili Royal Gate.

Consider how remote and estranged Mr. Danaa is from the facts and reality of Nanung Chieftaincy. He inhabits a fanatical realm where Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas used his political position "in the P.N.D.C. and N.D.C. Government to tamper with the course of justice in the Nakpa Skin Affair” in favor of late Naa Salifu Dawuni, that His Excellency Nana Akuffo Addo and other NPP government officials are interfering in the Bimbilla Chieftaincy Crisis, and that Naa Salifu Dawuni is related to Gbumayili Royal Gate (one of the two royal gates in Nanung) only by matrilineal relationship and not both matrilineal and patrilineal relationships (Personal Communication by Mr. Danaa Nantogmah). These wild unsubstantiated claims and allegations are unfortunate, particularly, associating prominent personalities with the Bimbilla Chieftaincy Crisis will never bring a long-lasting solution and peace to Nanumbas.

The Bangyili Royal Gate consider Mr. Danaa as a leading exponent of “Bimbilla Chieftaincy truth"- a reliance on mere assertions, unfounded claims, misguided allegations and anecdotal evidence that "feel ugly true" but have no basis in fact. It is fiction or a misconception as aptly captured in his title. Despite the deep-rooted issues of what the article may be trying to convey, because of the self-serving selective lens that drives Mr. Danaa’s perspective and write-up, in most cases the content of his write-up can be described or considered as a typical fiction or a convenient lie that is told to distort facts of the Bimbilla Nam.

We, the Bangyili Royal Family thought the article was going to be an impartial interesting read that speaks to the common good and calls for a lasting solution and peace and development in the Nanumba Traditional Area. Unfortunately, Mr. Danaa’s write-ups are simply built around baseless claims and unfounded allegations to defame the character of great personalities, including one of the finest gentlemen of our motherland, Ghana, Africa and the world, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas. It amazes the Bangyili Royal Family and the majority of Nanumbas, and we believe every reader who knows the caliber of Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas will equally be amazed, how Mr. Danaa concluded that Dr. Chambas is attempting to pave the way to qualify himself to ascend to Bimbilla Nam in the future. This blind conclusion is why we cannot, and the public should not take Mr. Danaa as a serious-minded person.

Mr. Danaa for the second consecutive time, peddling lies is not news: alleging that “Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas’ support for Nakpa Naa Salifu Dawuni seeks to introduce matrilineal succession into Nanung kingship with the ascension of Nakpa Naa Salifu Dawuni to the Bimbilla skin and thereby paving the way for not only great-grandsons (patrilineal) but more importantly non-Bimbilla royals like Dr. Chambas who is related to the Bangyili gate maternally to also aspire to ascend to the Bimbilla skin” (Personal Communication by Mr. Danaa Nantogmah). Is Mr. Danaa seeking to deflect blame for his incompetence that always manipulates truth and defame character? Some losers have always accused innocent persons of losing. The truth cannot be falsified or contested. Mr. Danaa’s purpose of lying is to create a false view of Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas and the entire Bangyili Royal Gate, but lies of men like Mr. Danaa do not work against these renowned personalities (name of Bangyili family members mentioned in Mr. Danaa’s article) of shared reputation. These lies lack substance to convince the reader from knowing the inconvenient truth about the Bimbilla Chieftaincy crisis.

In fact, one would have thought that Mr. Danaa will stay on the issue under discussion, using enough data and his long-lived experience in Bimbilla to provide valuable insights, but he seems to be interested in peddling falsehood to serve his parochial interest in the ongoing Nanung Chieftaincy dispute. Mr. Danaa is taken for granted that Nanung custom and tradition can be re-written overnight for selfish interest. We strongly recommend magnifying the outliers to expose the realities (fight the moldering truth) around the Bimbilla Nam qualification and succession, in particular, the details of the erstwhile ruling on “Nakpa throne” in favor of Naa Salifu Dawuni instead of dismissing them as insignificant. This will carry more weight to Mr. Danaa’s poor quality analysis of the Nanung Chieftaincy issue.

Mr. Danaa’s excuse that the 1993 erstwhile ruling on Nakpa throne that was in favor of Bimbilla Naa Abarika Attah II and Nakpa Naa Salifu DAWUNI could not be accessed by the Kpatihi family even though is a public document weakens the robustness of his article to convince readers that he comprehensively worked to understand the relevant documents from multiple data sources on the Bimbilla Chieftaincy dispute.

As a scholar that Mr. Danaa claims to be, he should know that triangulation of different data sources or even within the same data will rapidly advance our knowledge and understanding of the Nanung Chieftaincy dispute. Mr. Danaa's failure to develop strong inference from the Bimbilla Chieftaincy dispute speculates that “On the verdict of the Committee, one of the three panel members observed: My father Kpatihi Naa, you presented a formidable case, we should have ruled in your favour, but Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas used his political influence to deny you justice” (Personal Communication by Mr. Danaa Nantogmah).

This is a fabrication, a concoction, and an interpolation that is again consistent with Mr. Danaa's wishful thinking and ardent machination to tarnish the image of one of the illustrious sons of Nanung and a world diplomat, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas. It is important for the readers to know that Mr. Danaa has always been obsessed with tarnishing the image of Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, leveling baseless and unfounded accusations against a man with an international reputation for inclusive leadership and as a peace broker, cannot hold.

No scholar in his rightful mind, and with good intentions for the well-being and development of Nanung, without a hidden agenda to further his unpopular position in the intra-chieftaincy dispute among the Gbugmayili Royal Gate in Bimbilla will be so bent on wrongfully castigating the efforts of the likes of Dr. Mohamed Chambas in finding a peaceful resolution to the intra-chieftaincy dispute of the Gbugmayili Royal Gate through discursive dialogue.

Mr. Danaa blatantly overlooks the fact that the fragile peace we enjoy in Nanung today is as a result of the efforts of people like Dr. Mohamed Chambas, the situation in Nanung could have been worse if people like Mr. Danaa are giving a listening ear. We must establish that the appeal on 1993 erstwhile ruling on Nakpa throne met a strong rejection and resistance within the traditional and modern legal avenues thereby inoculating our Nanung customs against the threat of unchecked corruption of existing succession to the Nanung-Bimbilla Nam.

More importantly, Mr. Danaa also left out important custom and precedence of Bimbilla Nam that the reader deserves to know the truth. Can a royal without chieftaincy title have access to Bimbilla Nam due to his political powers, irrespective of our age-long and proven-tested customs and traditions in Nanung? Can a commoner, which also includes a royal without a chieftaincy title by-pass other royals with chieftaincy titles who occupy the senior most titles to become Bimbilla Naa? This is what we are confronted with in the intra-chieftaincy dispute of the Gbumayili Royal Gate, and it is the assumption upon which Mr. Danaa’s analysis is based, that as long as one is the son of a past Bimbilla Naa, you can corrupt your way to Nanung paramountcy without a skin title.

While Mr. Danaa selectively and falsely claims that Naa Salifu Dawuni is not qualified to become the Bimbilla Naa, he fails to tell the reader the facts of Bimbilla Nam, that in no part of Nanung’s customs or history is it written or possible for a royal without skinship or chieftaincy title to ascend or have ascended the throne of Bimbilla Naa. It is quite unfortunate that despite the facts, Mr. Danaa cherry picks and falsely professes knowledge of the Bimbilla Nam.

Mr. Danaa again fails to tell the reader that our tradition in Nanung have no evidence of royals without a skin title ascending to Bimbilla Naa. Clearly, Mr. Danaa is an Adjunct Professor at peddling lies, distorting facts and making wild and unsubstantiated claims against renowned personalities and individuals, thus his article failed to explain its intended path-breaking contribution to the on-going discussions for a peaceful resolution of Nanung Chieftaincy dispute.

Facts, not feelings and not cherry picked self-serving selective astonishing claims, are what matters in this case. When lies make the traditional governance system dysfunctional, like the case in Nanung, its poor results can feed the alienation and lack of trust in our traditional institutions, and the community, as well as individuals within the community, pays the cost.

Respect for distinguished personalities and elders, our customs and traditional institutions are the cherished virtues of Nanumbas. The embodiment of virtues such as humility and respect is the first step for people like Mr. Danaa to reform. The collapse of communism and unity in Nanung is because liars like Mr. Danaa, who are prepared to re-write Nanung customs and traditions that allows a royal without a skin title to ascend to the Bimbilla throne. It is common knowledge among the citizens of Nanumba Traditional Area about the facts of the succession to Bimbilla Naa.

We, the Bangyilli Royal Gate state categorically that there has not been anywhere or anytime in the history of Nanung that, as a kingdom, we have sat down to say only sons and grandsons can become paramount chiefs of Nanung (Overlord of Nanung). Moreover, it has never been the practice in Nanung that family heads determine who should be paramount chiefs of Bimbilla as referenced in Mr. Danaa's article about the gathering together of elders of the Gbugmayili Royal Gate, who selected Mr. Andani Dassana to contest Naa Salifu DAWUNI for the throne of Bimbilla Naa.

Historically, the choice of paramount chiefs (Bimbilla Nanima) in Nanung are based not only of son's, grandsons and great-grandsons (bloodlines) but also the rank of a royal in terms of sub-and-divisional chieftaincy titles they hold or occupy as established and agreed upon by both the Bangyilli and Gbugmayili Royal Gates. However, the customary rites of enskinment have always been left to the institution of kingmakers to perform that role. We hope that our response to Mr. Danaa's article exposed the lies and wild claims, as well as provided a context for the readers to understand the full picture and circumstances of the Bimbilla Chieftaincy issues rather than be polluted by the myside bias or cherry-picked analysis by Mr. Danaa to further his parochial interest.

In conclusion, we believe that the truth has powerful forces always on its side. Any lies on the Bimbilla Chieftaincy issue will be exposed. Let us keep trusting the traditional system and the rule of law. Our nation, Ghana has institutions that can help. Independent legal systems have mechanisms to establish truth on the Bimbilla Chieftaincy dispute. Let’s together as Nanumbas fight against “us-versus-them mindset” that distractors thrive on.

Like we, the Bangyili gate family always say we have just built a chieftaincy casino in Nanung and started rolling the chieftaincy dice. This is likely to produce surprises, but there is enough time for us Nanumbas to turn around, walk around and destroy the casino. The earlier, the better for Nanung. It starts with you and me, and together, people like Mr. Danaa and his cohorts, who have entrenched position will have to join us towards the path for a long-lasting solution to the intra-chieftaincy dispute among the Gbumayili Gate royals, for peace and development in the Nanumba Traditional Area.