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Ethnic fragmentation dragging development of Upper East Region back – Chief of Kotintaabig

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The chief of Kotintaabig, a community under the Sakote Traditional Council in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region, Naba Bilheesong Lagwongt has indicated that the highly heterogeneous nature of the region, with regards to ethnic grouping, oftentimes presents a slight challenge to chieftaincy and development of the region.

He said this when he spoke in a recent interview with A1 Radio.

“Do you know why in the Upper East Region, our chieftaincy seems to have a little problem? It is because we are made up of different tribes. When you go to Wa, you see that they have one central point; the Wa Naa. If the Wa Naa communicates something, it goes down to the last chief. But here, because we are made up of different tribes … Nabdams have their chief. Kassenas have their chief. Kusaasis have the chief; who takes instructions from who?”

“Who will pin Bawku Naba if he is not doing well? Who will pin my father, Sakote Naba if he is not doing well? If we were one tribe,  just like in Bole in the Savannah region; the Yagbon Wura, and he speaks and is final, [it may have been better]. When you come [to the Upper East Region], we are fragmented,” he said.

He suggested that in areas where the was smaller ethnic fragmentation, development moved faster.

The chief of Kotintaabig continued to say, “you can see that the level of development in our area is not as fast as compared [to other areas]. We were a region before the Upper West Region. Because I am in academia and I deal with academia, research has it that Upper West Region is fast developing than Upper East Region. Why? Because they do not have fragmented chiefs. One chief talks and it carries weight.”

“When you go to the Ashanti region and you say something against the Ashanti Kingdom, and the Asantehene says something, you cannot do anything about it. But here [in the Upper East Region], I only pay homage to the one who enskinned me. It is only the Sakote Naba who can bring me to order. Nangodi Paramount chief cannot bring me to order. Bawku Naba cannot bring me to order. Sandema Naba cannot bring me to order.”

He went on to say that if the traditional system in the Upper East Region has a more central point, “there will be sanity in the system.”

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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  1. Does the Tumu Koro or Jirapa Chief take orders from Wa Naa. It is in the Frafra areas that your chiefs are independent of each other. In Bawku, all chiefs in the six districts are answerable to the Bawku Naaba unlike in the BONABOTO area where they are independent. Bolga, Bongo, Nangodi, Sekoti, Tongo are all of equal status and therefore non is answerable to the other. This is so because the BONABOTO area still depend on an ancient tradition of being enskinned by the Overlord of Mamprugu, the Nayiri. It is therefore high time the BONABOTO come together to break this slavery mentality and reorganize their chieftancy system around themselves rather going to waste money in Nalerigu in the name of chieftancy. The BONABOTO zone is equally made of 4 districts and one municipality just like the Bawku zone with 5 districts and one municipality. All the major chiefs in the 6 districts/municipality are enskinned by the Bawku Naaba and all including sub-chiefs are answerable to him.


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