Dagbon Constitution Rejected by National House of Chiefs over Savannah Chiefs concerns


Representatives from the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs on the National House of Chiefs vehemently opposed the adoption of the revised Dagbon constitution resulting in a deferred adoption of Constitution which was presented by a delegation from USAiD, Care International and the National peace Council and which sought to serve as an administrative framework for the governance of the Dagbon kingdom.

At the National House of Chiefs meeting held at Kumasi on 19th October, 2023, the Paramount Chief of the Kpembe Traditional Area in the Savannah Region, Kpembewura Banbange Ndefeso (IV) raised an opposition to it’s acceptance citing inconsistent land boundaries between the the Gonja Kingdom and Dagbon as stated in the revised constitution.

According to the Kpembewura, accepting the revised constitution without settling the land boundary inconsistencies may brew tension in the future.

Kpembewura read a letter from the Gonjaland Youth Association which called for all inaccuracies in boundary points in proposed Dagbon Constitution to be resolved.

The Gonjaland Youth Association in a rejoinder letter dated on 16th October, 2023 has said, the leadership and membership of the Association’s attention has been drawn to some. inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the boundary points in a proposed Dagbon Constitution, which is before the National House of Chiefs for consideration and possible adoption in a meeting slated for yesterday.

The Gonjaland Youth Association has indicated that; “While commending the drafters of the Dagbon Constitution, we wish to state that some of the provisions in respect of land boundary points as contained in the proposed Constitution are inadvertently making incursions into lands belonging to communities of the Gonja Kingdom.
The boundary points in the proposed Dagbon Constitution which appear inaccurate and therefore, conflict with the land of Gonja”

The Association asserted that, the Territorial Extent and Boundaries of Dagbon appear grossly inconsistent with available traditional and administrative boundaries that have existed between the Gonja Kingdom and the Dagbon Kingdom over decades and may be a recipe for conflict if allowed by the Honourable House.

The Gonjaland Youth Association in their letter vividly marked the correct boundary points between Gonja and Dagbon.

The Gonjaland Youth Association therefore urged the National House of Chiefs to conduct further due diligence by effectively engaging the relevant stakeholders, particularly from the Gonja side, to ascertain the veracity of the claims being made in respect of the existing boundary points between Gonja and Dagbon in the proposed Dagbon Constitution, before its consideration and adoption.

A former Foreign Affairs Minister Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni who served as a consultant to the committee that reviewed the Dagbon constitution, insisted that boundary issues should not prevent the adoption of the Dagbon Constitution. He appealed to the house to accept the constitution whiles the Dagbon and Gonja Kingdoms resolve the said land boundary inconsistencies.

But in an anonymous decision, the National House of Chiefs meeting chaired by the Paramount Chief of the Lawra Traditional Area and Vice President of the House Naa Puowelle Karbo (III), Vice President of the National House of Chiefs disagreed.

Speaking to Mr Issah Zakariah Jnr reporting for Bole based Nkilgi Fm after the meeting, the Paramount Chief of the Kpembe Traditional Area said it is absurd for Dagbon for instance to claim up to the White Volta means the land from Kusawgu all the way to Yapei which is a whole Traditional Area of Gonja.Kpembewura said the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs is prepared to dialogue with Dagbon over the wrong Traditional boundary demarcations in their revised constitution and thay anything less than that mean the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs will continue to oppose the revised Dagbon Constitution.The Kpembewura urged the people of Gonjaland to strive to protect Gonjaland.