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Gonjas and Tamplumas beat war drums in North Gonja District over paramountcy

imageTension is brewing in the North Gonja District of the Northern Region between two ethnic groups, the Tamplumas and the Gonjas.

For about a week now, the two have started beating war drums over a request by the Tamplumas for recognition of a paramount chief title.

Tamplumas who reside mainly in the Wasipe traditional area which encompasses the Daboya and Mankarigu areas want the King of Gonja-land to give their chief paramountcy recognition as it is done in the Dagbon and Mamprugu traditional areas.

The two started pouring out their concerns through dueling press conferences. But even before the king of Gonja-land made any comments on the mater, the two have already started engaging in violent confrontations.

So far, six people believe to be members of the Tampulma ethnic group have sustained severe injuries in what appears to be reprisal attacks by a group of armed young men suspected to be members of the Gonja ethnic group.

According to the spokesperson of the Tampulmas, Amadu Latif, the Tampulmas were traveling from their community, Gbansikpa, to Tamale, in the northern regional capital when the Gonjas armed with sticks, clubs and sharp objects blocked roads with tree trunks and subjected them to severe beatings.

Three motorbikes belonging to the traveling Tampulmas, Mr latif said, were reportedly seized. The Tampluma ethnic group last week at press conference in Tamale appealed to the paramount chief of the Gonja kingdom–Yogbun-Wura to grant them their paramountcy.

The Tamplumas argued that they constituted about 80% of the population in the North Gonja district estimated at 250,000 to 300,000.

At the said press conference organized by the Tamplumas, the Wasipa-Wura was fingered as the one thwarting their efforts to be elevated to paramountcy, claiming that the Gonja-land King appreciated their concerns at the last Gonja traditional council meeting held in Damongo on March 1st this year.

'We are aware that our request for this recognition is always a threat to the Wasipe-Wura who is currently ruling the area. So much as we would continue to respect the authority of the King of Gonja traditional kingdom we would also urge His Royal Majesty to stamp his authority on the fact that Tamplulmas deserve to have our own chief who must be a Tampluma by birth'.

However in a counter press conference by the Wasipe traditional council on Thursday, the council said the only one who can approve the leadership of Tamaplumas is the Wasipe-Wura and not the King of Gonjaland.

The Wasipe traditional council also claims that the Tampluma chief, Kadicharitina Musah Mahamadu, is not qualified to be the leader of the Tampluma ethnic group in the north gonja district. It also said Tamplumas do not have chiefs at the traditional council level and therefore cannot have a paramount chief.

The council mentioned Naa Lawal resident in Gbasimpa in north Gonja as the rightful person to be enskinned as paramount chief because he was enskinned by the Wasipe-Wura.

District Security Committee (DISEC) is said to be working hard to bring to an end to the issue which has the potential to plough the area into chaos.

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