v Kumbugu Naa Issah Bla's enskinnment as chief of the area

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Kumbugu Naa Issah Bla's enskinnment as chief of the area

Kumbugu Naa Issah Bla's enskinnment as chief of the area



Kumbugu Naa Issah Bla was a prince of kumbugu who lived at Yapei. Kumbugu Naa Issah Bla was a Prince of kumbugu because his father was Zuɣu Lana Sumani . Zuɣu Lana sumani was the father of kumbugu Naa Issah Bla. Zuɣu Lana sumani father was kumbugu Naa Issah kpԑma whose father in turn was kumbugu Naa Zakali. When Zuɣu Lana Sumani died,the realm of Zuɣu was entrusted into a prince of  Naa Yakubu Nantoo by name Zuɣu Lana Yunufa. There is a community under the jurisdiction of Zuɣu called Laɣazɔbihi. The skins of Laɣazɔbihi also became vacant which the ultimate prerogative lies with the chief of Zuɣu to give its chiefdom a new chief and Zuɣu Lana Yunufa was fortunately the chief of Zuɣu at the time. Zuɣu Lana Yunufa gave the mandate of Laɣazɔbihi Laan Yili to Kumbugu Naa Issah Bla. When the then kumbugu Naa Sumaila(Yɔɣu Yԑlli) who deserted his paternal  line of succession in Dagbong Namship(Tolon wunyuɣuri Yili) at the expense of his maternal line of succession in dagbong Namship(Kumbugu Binbiԑm Yili) finally kicked the bucket,the skins of kumbugu became vacant in the year 1918. This period in question coincided with the period dagbong was partitioned. After the ascension of Ya Naa Alasani to the

skins of Yani, Dagbong was partitioned into Togoland Dagbong and British Dagbong . On November 14, 1899, the colonial powers of Britain and Germany signed a convention to establish boundaries to their colonial territories. The British Dagbong mainly consisted of Western Dagbong, stretching from around Mion (Sambu) to Tamale. Whereas Yendi, Mion (Sambu) and most of Eastern Dagbong made up Togoland Dagbong under German administration. The partition of

Dagbong created intense friction between Ya Naa Alasani on one hand and Yani gate skins in

Western Dagbong on the other. Especially, his uncle Karaga Naa Bukari Narkaw.

After the partition of Dagbon the British administration instructed all Western Dagbong chiefs to sever all links and communication with Yani. In fact when Yoo Naa Mahama (chief of Savelugu and brother of Ya Naa Alasani) was found to be communicating with Yaa Naa Alasan,he was removed as chief of Savelugu and throw into British jail . Karaga Naa Bukari Narkaw on the other hand heeded the instruction of the British and severed all communication with Yendi. Karaga Naa Bukari was so cooperative with the British administration that he was described as one of the most loyal chiefs in Dagbong. After the removal of Yoo Naa Mahama, the second son of Yaa Naa Andani II, Savelugu Naa Bukali Bofo, was

enskinned chief of Savelugu. Other son’s of Yaa Naa Andani II had also taken the skins of

Sagnarigu, Tampion, Zangbalung, and Kpatinga. Even prior to the enskinnment of savelugu Naa Bofo,he had earlier been diskinned as chief of piɣu. Life became so miserable for savelugu Naa Bofo and his wives after savelugu Naa Bofo's diskinnment as chief of piɣu. The wives of savelugu Naa Bofo thought it wiser seeking greener pastures down south and embarked upon that quest. They were on their way going till they bumped into kumbugu Naa Issah Bla at Yapei who was still a prince(Nabia Yonŋ) at the same time a trader. kumbugu Naa Issah Bla greeted them and inquired where exactly they were heading to?  kumbugu Naa Issah Bla was shocked to have learn the reason behind their drift for greener pastures. kumbugu Naa Issah Bla intervened by providing them with some cloths of beautiful fabrics coupled with some desirable amount of money and urged them to returned back to their husband in the person of Savelugu Naa Bofo. This kind gesture from kumbugu Naa Issah bla made Savelugu Naa Bofo forever indebted to the then prince kumbugu Naa Issah Bla. When Kumbugu Naa Sumaila ended his reigns in 1918,the skins of kumbugu became vacant inspiring his( kumbugu Naa Issah Bla)

 decision to put in a bid. It was a perfect opportunity for Savelugu Naa Bofo to also return the favour. kumbugu Naa Issah was the chief of Laɣazo bihi Lana Yili when he expressed his interest to become chief of kumbugu. During the era of the partition of dagbong, all chiefdoms within the kumbugu realm which initially was under the authority of Yendi(yani) had all fallen under the jurisdiction of Savelugu and Savelugu Naa Bofo was the chief of savelugu during the period in question. It was then within the powers of Savelugu Naa Bofo to select a chief for the people of kumbugu and Savelugu Naa Bofo  gave the mantle to kumbugu Naa Issah bla whose selection to the vacant kumbugu skins was greeted with so much objections. kumbugu Naa Issah bla

 was a known trader during his stay at yapei and his trading sometimes took him to the realm of kumbugu. Some sectional natives of kumbugu also believed strongly, kumbugu Naa Issah Bla was a fishmonger at yapei and a habitant at the same time while others stated and alleged that, he was an inhabitant of Yapei and a Gonja for that matter. Those who were vehemently against the selection of kumbugu Naa Issah Bla lodged a complaint at the office of the commissioner for the northern territory. The commissioner for the northern territory was known by many in dagbani parlance as "Commissioner Bajaaki". The people who contested the selection of kumbugu Naa Issah Bla directed the commissioner to ascertain the truth or otherwise of their claims from the then chief of Tolon in the person of Tolon Naa Abdulai(Ninbiԑɣu buɣuli soɣiri maani Ku yi polo,wunyuɣiri Naa,Alijanda dindoli  ban paɣa kpԑ ŋun paɣawu dabuɣu lana, Gbewaa kpandaa Lana). When the commissioner contacted Tolon Naa Abdulai, he stated without an inkling of unequivocations that kumbugu Naa Issah Bla was a true Prince of kumbugu whose grandfather ascended the kumbugu skins under the skin name kumbugu Naa zakali. Kumbugu Naa Zakali then gave birth to kumbugu Naa Issah Bla's biological father by name zuɣu Lana sumani. The protesters were unyielding and proved stubborn to the narration of Tolon Naa Abdulai hence requested the commissioner to turn to Nanton Naa Issah (Galwei paɣa bia,fonŋ memunatu bia, Ma ka duu  koduɣubaɣisi nyura,konŋ ma taachi,Batanŋ Naa zabӠirigu Naa) for his opinion whose narrative account also exonerated kumbugu Naa Issah Bla. Tamale Dakpԑma Nsunŋ Naa's(Maan waya Naa,Gurinŋ din karigi Ku yoli shԑԑ,Dam naaya ka dabiԑɣu da,Ni Tamale pa tinŋa tiku Ӡimi ka bԑ kana timi lan yan Ӡimi ka bԑ yi) views on the matter was next inline to be sought. Tamale Dakpԑma Nsunŋ Naa accounts also reiterated the points of Tolon Naa Abdulai. It was then agreed that,the chief drummer of kumbugu by name kumbugu Lunŋ Naa Ajԑi should drum to organize and summon natives of Kumbugu at the kumbugu's chief palace. The gathering was expected to come off on Friday. Kumbugu Naa Yiri was the regent as at then whiles the chief butcher of kumbugu(Nakoha Mahama) and his second in command in their butcher's rank of Namship( Baba Zakali) were the notable indigenes cum subordinate chiefs of kumbugu so their say concerning the matter was more or less paramount and binding in some way. It should be clarified that Baba zakali was a nephew of kumbugu Naa Issah Bla who shared same father with the mother of Baba Zakali. It was on that premise on that exact Friday that, Baba zakali queried the audience in attendance at the kumbugu's chief palace if he(Baba zakali) was a Gonja? The gathering stayed mute to Baba Zakali's question and that brought finality to the whole brouhaha giving way for kumbugu Naa Issah Bla to be duly enskinned in savelugu by savelugu Naa Bofo. The former member of Parliament for the Kumbugu constituency (Ra's Mubarak) is one of Kumbugu Naa Issah Bla's great,great descendant.. 


IMAGE: KUMBUGU NAA SUMANI ISSAKA.  The picture was taken when Kumbungu Naa Sumani Issaka traditionally invaded the funeral performance of Naa Andani Zolikuɣili as customs demanded of him.

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