|Yagbonwura, King of Gonja Kingdom|
At long last, the protracted Buipe chieftaincy dispute between the Lebupe and Jinapor royal families in the Buipe Traditional Area –one of the key traditional skins of the Gonja Kingdom in the Northern Region of Ghana, has finally been resolved and the dis-enskined Mahama Abdulai Jinapor reinstated as Buipewura.
This followed the intervention of the President of the Republic and a son of Gonjaland John Dramani Mahama through Businessman Alhaji Asuma Banda and the King of Gonjaland Yagbonwura Tuntumba Borese Sulemana Jakpa I who were ably supported by Sports Administrator Lepowura M.N.D. Jawula, Savannahnews gathered.
From a reliable source, it first started with the formation of a committee comprising of eminent chiefs of the Gonja Kingdom that was put together by the King of Gonjaland sometime in February 2013. The committee members included the Damongowura [Chairman], Kpansheguwura, Choriwura, Mankpanwura [represented by Sorwura], Wasipewura, Kpembewura [represented by Kanyasiwura], Bolewura [represented by Salawura], Tuluwewura, Kusawguwura and Lepowura M.N.D. Jawula.
The mandate of the committee was to find a lasting solution to the Buipe chieftaincy dispute that had been raging on for many years between the Lebupe and Jinapor royal gates. About 99 percent of the committee members with the exception of the Damongowura, eventually decided at the end of the committee meeting that Mahama Jinapor should be reinstated as Buipewura which the Yagbonwura also gladly endorsed.
A copy of minutes of the committee’s meeting held on Monday and Tuesday 18th to 19th February, 2013 in Tamale at Gariba Lode which is in the custody of Savannahnews, said Mahama Jinapor who was invited to the meeting, admitted his misbehavior to the Yagbonwura and the entire Gonja Kingdom. The minutes added that, having realized his fault he [Jinapor] even sent many responsible personalities few amongst them included the Asantehene Otumfour Osei Tutu II, the Nayir of the Mamprugu Kingdom and Businessman Alhaji Asuma Banda, to plead on his behalf. Mahama Jinapor told the committee that he was guilty and pleaded for forgiveness.
The Damongowura in a telephone interview with this blogger confirmed chairing the committee that was formed to resolve the Buipe problem. However, he indicated that, he left midway during the committee’s meeting to go for medical checkup in Sunyani. Thus, the meeting was chaired by the Kpansheguwura in his absence and how the committee resolved the issue, he observed, was not in conformity with Gonja custom considering the fact that, Mahama Jinapor committed a serious offence against Gonja custom and was therefore, dis-enskined.
He stated categorically that, the decision by the Yagbonwura and the committee to rescind a 2010 resolution of the Gonja Traditional Council to reinstate Mahama Jinapor by dis-enskining an innocent and legitimate chief for that matter [Jewu Awusi Bawa Lebu of the Lebupe family] was unheard-of.
The Damongowura, however, cautioned that the agreement by the Yagbonwura and the committee that Jinapor be reinstated whiles his successor dis-enskined would most likely lead to serious repercussions in Buipe very soon.
When contacted, spokesperson to the Yagbonwura, Doliwura also confirmed to this blogger that the Buipe chieftaincy dispuate had been resolved amicably. He explained that, what the Yagbonwura and the committee of eminent chiefs did was to review their decision to dis-enskin Mahama Jinapor in 2010 and also on the whole, respond to a court ruling in 2011 which ordered the Gonja Traditional Council to reinstate Jinapor because the council erred in its decision to dis-enskin him considering the fact that he was not heard.
The Dis-enskinment of Jinapor
|Mahama Abdulai Jinapor|
It would be recalled that, in 2010 the King of Gonjaland and his Traditional Council unanimously dis-enskined Mahama Jinapor as Buipewura for gross misconduct. He was alleged to have engaged in some nefarious activities including assaulting a chief and was therefore summoned by the King. However, in the course of the meeting tempers flared up and Mahama Jinapor purportedly pulled a pistol and attempted to shoot the king but the gun did not respond.
Savannahnews gathered that following his dis-enskinment, Mahama Jinapor who felt his fundamental human rights had been infringed upon, headed for court to have the decision of the Gonja Traditional Council overturned. Indeed, he did succeeded and in 2011, an Accra High Court ruled in his favour and the Gonja Traditional Council was ordered to reinstate him to his position as substantive Buipewura.
Since the court ruling, there had been a purported stalemate between Gonjas and the then administration of President John Atta-Mills and Vice President John Mahama because the people [Gonjas] believed that the government particularly the former Vice President and now President was supporting the dis-enskined Mahama Jinapor, hence his ability to win the court case.
Besides, following the dis-enskinment of Mahama Jinapor, the Yagbonwura enskined a new Buipewura from the Lebupe Royal Family in the name of Bawa Awusi Jewu Lebu II and refused to follow the order of the High Court that came later. Thus, there had been two chiefs superintending the Buipe Traditional Area until recently, the President reportedly got involved again by resolving the dispute.
The Buipe Chieftaincy Resolution Accord
|Bawa Awusi Jewu Lebu|
According to Savannahnews sources, there is already an agreement [a verbal one] that after the demise of Buipewura Mahama Abdulai Jinapor II, the Lebupe Family which is next in succession to the Buipe skin would have their candidate rule twice as Buipewura.
Also, all chiefs enskined during the reign of Buipewura Awusi Jewu Bawa Lebu II would still remain as legitimate chiefs and all lands sold considered valid to their owners without the need for them to change or acquire new documents.
Furthermore, from now onwards any development agenda or project to be carried out in Buipe must come under the watch and supervision of Buipewura Mahama Jinapor II and the dis-enkined Buipewura Lebu II for the sake of peace and unity to prevail.
Any Danger Ahead?
At the moment, the longstanding Buipe chieftaincy conflict which over the years had led to the loss of lives and property is resolved but no one knows how long it will last. There may be peace and harmony prevailing among residents of the Buipe Traditional Area currently, but there is certainly no doubt that this peace and harmony is fraught with acrimony that would definitely lead to another conflict in the near future. This is because the agreement reached following the dis-enskinment of Bawa Awusi Jewu Lebu is not being fulfilled as expected of the Lebupe Family.