07.04.2023 Feature Article

The Gonja And Wala Alliance -A Rejoinder

The Gonja And Wala Alliance -A Rejoinder
07.04.2023 LISTEN

This rejoinder is written for three reasons. First, to explain clearly, statements the writer of the article, Mahama Ibrahim Watara, might have not interpreted correctly for public digestion. In fact, in my opinion, the contents of the article are not systematically and logically presented. The ideas are also mixed up and are not coherent. Therefore, this rejoinder hopes to reappraise, clarify and marshal all ideas found incorrectly stated, not well stated or left out. Secondly, the rejoinder began tracing how both the Gonja and the Waala kingdoms emerged. This is to clarify certain statements made in the article which, compared to facts from primary and secondary sources, seemed not properly stated. In this rejoinder, the corrected facts are established in their correct historical contexts. Thirdly, all incorrect points in the article are explained into detail and supported with references for readers to know what other sources say. This elaborate method should inform future writers on how oral and archival materials should be treated for public consumption. In other words, to send a document like the article reviewed into the social media should aim, inter alia, to ginger ordinary citizens to enjoy reading about their past or their ancestors without much stress. Such a document may serve as a repository.

The records studied informs that a group of warriors from the Malinke and Wangara ethnic groups[1] in Mande (modern Mali) arrived in the area which was called Northern Ghana between “1550 and 1575” [2], and established through conquest the kingdom of Gonja[3]. The exact date the kingdom (Gonja) was founded is unknown or not clear. But, it is known that the founder of Gonja was one Sumaila Ndewura Jakpa, who established and ruled the kingdom from “1675 to 1697”[4]. Similarly, the Waala kingdom was said to have been set up by a Mamprusi Prince called Soalia. He ruled the Waala kingdom from “1625 to 1656”[5]. How Soalia became the Overlord of the Waala kingdom is interesting to read. Investigations by Awedoba indicates that, “through persuasion the Widana of Suuriyiri (the ward or settlement of the Tendaana: the landlord, and Tendaamba: landowners or his people) ceded the chiefship of Wa to the Waala Princely Class”[6]. The Waala Princely class are called nabiihi in Waale, the local language. This meant unlike Gonja which conquered its area, the princes of Wa did not conquer their territory but soon possessed a large tract of land designated as Waala kingdom. Interestingly, it is observed that the kingdom comprises multi-ethnic groups or heterogeneous communities which according to Rattray, “nominally came under the jurisdiction of the chief of Wa and adopted the name Wala (Waala), an arbitrary title derived from the name of the capital town, Wa”[7]. How the Waala Princes established their hegemony over the numerous villages will be highlighted later.

From the brief backgrounds described as the above, it should be clear that the suggestion that “the Gonja and Wala alliance spanned as far back in the sixteenth century prior to [before] the expeditionary arrival of Ndewura Jakpa”[8], does not hold. The reason for the assertion is simple. This is because the word ‘prior’ implied the alliance existed before Ndewura Jakpa arrived. Or the alliance existed before 1550/1575, when there was no Gonja nor the Waala kingdom. If so “the Waala kingdom, and traditional state [could not have been] a vassal age (state) of the Gonja”[9]. And, if the term vassal state refers to people who “promised to fight for and be loyal to a king or other powerful owner of land in return for being given land to live on” or the state that, “depends on and is controlled by another”[10], then, the Waala and their kingdom might have not been a vassal state of the Gonja kingdom. Therefore, the nature of the purported ‘Gonja and Waala alliance’ or relationship, if that existed will be explained as the discussion progresses.

Ndewura Jakpa established the kingdom of Gonja through conquests. According to records examined, Ndewura Jakpa began his expeditions from Bourna (Bona) and Bundugu, two towns in modern Cote d’Ivoire[11]. From there, he moved westwards into Kapuyase and Sakpa areas where the Dagaaba inhabitants, seeing the size of his army, surrendered[12]. Then, Ndewura Jakpa moved southwestwards into the area now called the Bole division where the inhabitants warmly welcomed him. There, he (Ndewura Jakpa), rested briefly and after refreshing appointed his “fifth son (name unknown) as the Bole wura”, meaning chief[13]. Then, Ndewura Jakpa went northwestwards where other Dagaaba people frightened by the size of his army agreed “to be loyal subjects”[14]. Thus, the territory which came to be known as the (Kandia) Kendia and (Kong) Kung divisions[15]. Kendia extended over a great part of the present Waala district as far as to Walembelle (town) and included Chassie and Ducie (towns)[16]. This territory was entrusted to one Osuman, who was the seventh son of Ndewura Jakpa[17]. Kendia area is no more part of the Gonja kingdom due to circumstances which will be explained later. The Kung Division included villages in the North-Western part of Gonja and present Southern Waala[18]. Some of the villages belonging to Kung are now ‘temporally’ part of the Bole division and permanently part of the Waala kingdom. How Kung lost her villages will also be substantiated later.

After establishing Bole, Kung and Kendia, Ndewura Jakpa extended his conquest eastwards where he defeated the Dagbamba in areas presently called Damongo, Wasipe, Tuluwe, Kusawgu and Kpembe (names of towns and divisions)[19]. For the people of the town of Damongo, he (Ndewura Jakpa) appointed the Sonyonwura (name unknown), who was Lanyon’s brother, as the chief. For the other towns the sons of his father, Dingoro Jakpa (also called Bure Lanta) were appointed as the Divisional Chiefs[20]. Whilst on his conquest, Ndewura Jakpa was informed about the resurgence of attacks by one of his half-brothers called Sulemana, who was the grandson of one Chari Manwura. Based at Nyanga to rest, Ndewura Jakpa rather dispatched a large army under the leadership of the Sonyonwura against the forces of Sulemana. The two forces, that of Sulemana and Sonyonwura, met at Chefisi (Jefisi), a town located presently in the Sissala district of the Upper West Region of Ghana, where Sulemana was defeated[21]. Unfortunately, in 1697 the Mbong or Brongs had attacked Gonja. Ndewura Jakpa gathered few warriors to defend Gonja at Tarkpa, and there he was wounded and later died[22]. Before his death, Ndewura Jakpa had “bequeathed a large known territory to his children who pledged to maintain it at all cost and extend it beyond to ancient Mali”[23].

Tampuori says, Ndewura Jakpa was succeeded by his son, the Kongwura, So’ara Sulimana, who ruled for sixteen years[24]. Other successors were name as: Limu, Lanyon, Abbas, Mahama, Labayiru, Bure Lanyon and Kankanga[25]. The periods during which each king ruled Gonja are not clear or known. What is clear is that when those early rulers died they were buried at Mankuma, beside their aunt Jafo Soni, the late sister of Ndewura Jakpa[26]. This site presently serves as the mausoleum for the Yagbonwuras and it is in the care of the Chief, Elders and people of Mankuma, who informs that it is only the oldest male or son of the agnatic descendant of Sumaila Ndewura Jakpa who succeeds as Yagbonwura[27]. A record studied showed a long list of the Yagbonwuras since the foundation of Gonja. From the record it is incorrect to state that, “when Yagbonwura Danga (Dangbonga) died, Sarfo the Bolewura took the Yagbon chieftaincy but Tuluwewura Kali claimed it”[28]. The reason for this opinion is that Yagbonwura Mahama Dangbonga ruled from 1912 to 1937 and, according to the list of kings, was succeeded by the Tuluwewura, Banbanga Iddi, who also ruled from 1937 to 1942[29]. Therefore the above assertion is contested or is false.

The next point contested is that, when Yagbonwura Kali died (date unknown) it was not the chief of Kung…, who became the Yagbonwura[30]. Rather it was the Kusawguwura, one Jakpa Mumuni[31]. Similarly, it was indicated that, “when becoming Yagbonwura, Nyantachi, sent to the Wa Naa demanding for the repatriation of the Bole refugees back to him as he wish to kill some and sell some as slaves but the Wa Na refused”[32]. This statement is found to be incorrect and the corrected version is explained in two ways. First, the story about the sons of Sarfo happened on a date between 1712 and 1858. During that period four Yagbonwuras, namely Kankanga, Sarfo, Kali and Jakpa, were listed as rulers of Gonja. Agreeing that each of the chiefs ruled for 40years, then by way of conjecturing, the sons of Sarfo came to Chansa in 1780[33], when Nyantachi was not a Yagbonwura. Secondly, Dougah indicated that, the sons of Sarfo came to Chansa during the reign of Wa Naa Mahama Fua, popularly called Mamari, who ruled the kingdom of Wa from 1880 to 1888[34]. If so, the allegation against Nyantachi was not correct because his (Nyantachi’s) regime had elapsed since 1873, already referred to. So linking the repatriation of the Bole refugees to Nyantachi’s time seemed far-fetched and not rightly targeted. Further, mentioning about slave trade in the 1870s seems to be a wrong fact because, as explained already, trading in slaves or slavery had been internationally abolished since 1833. If so, trading in slaves could not have been carried out only in Gonja as some records indicated.

The involvement of the Gyaamanhene, Dati, was also mentioned in Gonja affairs. This is an inaccurate assertion and my opinion is based on accounts about Gyaaman which was conquered and annexed by the Asante in 1744[35]. The records examined informed that, the people of Gyaaman rose up in rebellion “in 1752, 1764, 1799 and 1818”[36]. That, during one of the revolts, “Gyaaman was in alliance with Kong against Ashanti”[37]. The decision of Gyaaman was “a reaction against the deposition of a pro-Muslim Asantehene, Osei Kwame”[38]. As a result of the battle, “the people of Gyaaman dispersed into the Ivory Coast (modern Cote d’Ivoire)”[39], near a town called Kong. If so, it might have been the Kong people in Cote d’Ivoire who allied with the Gyaaman people, who settled in Cote d’Ivoire, to fight against the Asante. This opinion is correct for two reasons. First, the people of Kong in the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) at the time were more pro-Islam and would assist any Muslim in need of assistance than the Kung people in Ghana who at the time were considerably nominal Muslims. Secondly, and as explained, the event occurred in 1790s or early 1800 and, therefore, it cannot be linked to the regime of Yagbonwura Nyantachi, which lasted between1858 and1873.

From the discussion so far, and as stated already, the contents of the article being examined are mixed up. Several inconsistences noticed seemed are based largely on J.A. Braimah’s works on Gonja history and archival sources. Therefore, one is tempted to side with Bin Salih’s opinion that, “the narrations of J.A. Braimah (and for that matter Ibrahim Watara) on the genesis of events … does not agree with facts on record”[40]. Similarly, concerning his (J. A. Braimah’s) write-up on the History and Traditions of the Gonja, Ivor Wilks, according to P. L. Shinnie, “decided that the nature of Braimah’s text made it difficult for him to do justice to it and withdrew from the project”[41]. Such difficulty is noticed in works by Dougah (1966), Braimah (1970), Bin Salih (2008) and Tampuori (2016). Their pieces of information or contents on Gonja history, compared to what is found in files at the National Archives (Tamale), in my opinion, are recycled. Hence, scholars should consider doing further investigations into issues found not clearly stated and are pointed out in the article being reviewed. For instance, the Sarfo/Kali episode in Braimah (1970) and Bin Salih (2008) followed word by word or are on the same trend. The list of kings are also not properly dated. This handicap does not give a good or coherent flow of texts concerning several Yagbonwuras. The first point found in the article being investigated in this rejoinder need a thorough re-examination. The second is a suggestion. My findings on any ambiguous point pointed out are clearly established in their correct contexts, citing other sources or references, and in detail for public consumption and good comments.

In 1858, Kungwura Seidu Nyantachi became the Yagbonwura and he ruled up to 1873[42]. Basing on works by Dougah, Braimah, Bin Salih and Tampuori, Seidu Nyantachi was accused for causing series of battles between the Gonja and the Waala, very assertive, tyrannous, blood thirsty, ruthless and had absolute control over the kingdom. But, using Sampsons words, and in my view, Nyantachi was, “to dare nobly, to will strongly and never to falter in the path of duty”[43]. In other words, he (Seidu Nyantachi) would rule firmly, rightly and ensure Gonja remained safe and intact. Hence, Seidu Nyantachi adopted those principles because of the prevailing political conditions in Gonja at the time, and which was described as being of disagreements, disputes and invasions. Such a situation was a fertile ground for invaders. As already pointed out, Gonja had suffered from series of disputes over the Yagbon and other skins. So some of the divisions of Gonja were at loggerheads with each other and that caused disunity. Perhaps, that caused Gonja to become “a tributary state of the Asante in 1744” (already referred to) and the impact of that was bad for Gonja.

Those internal disputes and the Asante invasion, according to Illiasu, “might have loosened the links between the eastern and western parts of Gonja and the eastern provinces (Tuluwe, Kusawgu, Wasipe and Kpembe) then tended to look to Kpembe as their head rather than to Nyanga[44]. Then the claim by Bole as being the ‘senior chief’ of the western province did not go well with the chiefs and people in the Kung and Kendia divisions[45]. In addition, the activities of looters and marauders made life unbearable for the citizenry and that caused confusion in the region. Hence, towards the beginning of the nineteenth century, and that was from 1800, it appeared there was so little central control and some divisions began to make agreements with other states for various reasons. Those agreements were made between ‘divisions’ or ‘towns’ and not between ‘kingdoms’. This was the kind of alliance developed between the Baulas and the Waale- Nabiihe (princes of Wa) which is wrongly described as ‘Gonja and Waala alliance’. From the above explanation therefore, Gonja needed a king who understood her challenges, needs and aspirations of its people. Such a king must be one prepared to restore the legacies of the ancestors of Gonja. Those were what Yagbonwura Nyantachi stood for and tried achieving. His (Nyantachi’s) actions are discussed as follows.

The first issue Yagbonwura Nyantachi tackled was the political situation. He introduced a locally trained armed force similar to the Constabulary by the British during the colonial period[46]. Those local forces ensured the existence of the administration continually felt before the eyes of the people. For instance, a week before a meeting or durbar was held the ‘dogte’, thus the Gonja chief linguist, escorted by large armed followers visited and reminded all divisional chiefs to attend in person. Following that envoys were sent to chiefs on bad terms and impressed on them to drop the past and co-exist as one people. On market or festival days like the damba, as informed, armed patrols were on the roads checking against miscreants[47]. Similarly, armed personnel stationed along the fringes of the Black Volta River checked against possible attacks by the Asante or the Brongs[48]. The use of this sort of centripetal force drew the communities under a central authority, and that is Yagbon. The impact of using such a police force largely forced the Chiefs to attend meetings, palavers and endorse all Council decisions. The decisions endorsed seemed misconstrued by Braimah and some other scholars who remarked that “Nyantachi’s word was final or became law” (referred). This assertion was also incorrect.

Understanding his (Nyantachi’s) profile, Yagbonwura Nyantachi, should be described as a concerned king. His main task was to ensure that Gonja under and after him remained intact. So, chiefs who disobeyed orders like not attending meetings or durbars were invited to the yagbon palace. After listening to the side of their story the chief found guilty was never fined but pardoned and asked to cooperate[49]. That sort of verdict psychologically would impress upon chiefs to reason and cooperate. The military displays and consensus endorsement of Council decisions, perhaps, lured Braimah to misinterpret Yagbonwura Nyantachi as “a despot and that his word was law”[50]. That was not the case. His (Nyantachi’s) actions were security measures good for a forested and undulating hilly terrain such as found throughout the territory of Gonja. As mentioned already, the actions of Yagbonwura Nyantachi employed ensured peace, safety and consequently the territory for Gonja citizens remained intact.

Those explained above were the cardinal roles of Nyantachi and for that matter every Yagbonwura of Gonja. As the Yagbonwura and custodian of the land, Nyantachi was aware that the territory of Gonja “expanded to encompass the area between the Black Volta and the Oti Rivers”[51]. Precisely, and according to Buah, the territory stretched “320 kilometres from Bole to Basari in present-day Republic of Togo”[52]. This area was claimed after defeating “the Dagbamba during the reign of Na Dariziago, chief of Dagbon, who ruled from1543 to 1554”[53]. This territory was allocated, by the founder, Ndewura Jakpa, to the citizens of the Kung and the Kendia divisions. Hence the citizens of Kung and Kendia preserved these areas by conquest and by occupation[54]. For instance, in the Charia, Daga-Sombo and Jonga towns, sections of the people trace their root to Busunu, a town in Gonja, In Chago, Torsa, Issa, Dussie, Gulumbele, Motigu, Katuo, Kullum, Boffiama, Yala, Jumo towns citizens still point to Kendia as their division in Gonja[55]. The Manyala, that is people in the Issa, Wogu,Tabiasi, Sajia, Kajokperi and Kpare communities, still claim that they originated from “Kung (Kong)…but have turned Dagaaba and speak Dagaare[56]. Other towns where Kung people live in are Mangu, Biihe, Busa, Wa-Sombo, Wiechau, Polee, Narro and Mwankuri[57]. These Gonja citizens later came to be called Jabagihe (in Waale) or “Zabog (in Dagaare), meaning warriors from across the border”[58]. Another view says the word Jabaga (sgl.) was corrupted from the word “nbanja, used by the Juula or Dyula Muslims from the Kamaghatey ward of Bighu (Begho)”[59]. In the Dagomba language, “Gonjas are called Zabagsie (plu.) or Zabaga (sgl.) … all others (people) are simply Gurungu, referring to the Gurunshie speaking people of the Northern Territories”[60]. Further investigations reveals that some of the Jabagihe people, particularly those living in Charia, Biihe, Sing, and Bole, are the landlords of their respective communities for being “the first settlers in their respective habitats”[61]. From the discussion so far, it should be understood that Yagbonwura Seidu Nyantachi’s aim was to preserve the territory of Gonja, especially the areas under the jurisdiction of the chiefs of the Kung and Kendia divisions. So attempts by the Waala princes (Waale-nabiihi) and the chiefs of the Bole division to capture some Kung and Kendia communities for their sons were checked by Nyantachi. Why the Bole and Wa decided to claim some possessions of Kung and Kendia are discussed in turns.

All the villages found around Wa town were, as Rattray indicated (already referred to), “heterogeneous communities which nominally (for certain reasons) came under the jurisdiction of the chief of Wa”[62]. This meant unlike in the case of the Gonja which subdued inhabitants in the area, the Waala Princely Class did not conquer the area they claimed as their territory. It has been established that, “through persuasion the Widana of Suuriyiri, that is the section of the Tendaana and his people, ceded the chiefship of Wa to the immigrants (the Waala Princely Class)”[63]. Having gotten power in that manner, the Waala chiefs felt they commanded no respect and could not impose or enforce their authority on villages in the area. Therefore, they hoped to reverse it by defeating and incorporating communities close to Wa into their kingdom[64].

Hence, the first village attacked was Charia, located ten kilometres west of Wa. As Dougah explained, “there was no reason for this raid and when the powerful chief of Kaleo, Gbani, interceded, Maman Fua (the Wa Naa) withdrew his forces[65]. The next village attacked was Papu, also found about twenty kilometres northwest of Wa, “for killing a Waala man called Abu, from the Yijiihe gate. And again, all the Dagaaba villages aided Papu and that matter soon died[66]. Having tried and failed to capture Dagaaba villages, the Waala princes turned on Gonja villages. To stop the Waala princes, Yagbonwura Nyantachi was said to have adopted diplomacy instead of to war. This option, as explained below, was the nature of how inhabitants in the area lives. So, close door discussions were said were held between the Yagbonwura Seidu Nyantachi) and the Chief of Wa, Naa Seidu Takora[67]. Their reason being that the inhabitants in the villages trace their roots to either Mande (in Mali) or Gonja and Manprusi (both in Northern Ghana). The Gonjas, as already mentioned, promised to develop villages westwards with the aim of linking up to Mande. So the assertion that Yagbonwura Nyantachi ordered the Wa Naa, “to repatriate all Bole refugees back to him as he wish to kill some and sell some of them as slaves”[68] seemed faulty for two reasons.

First, using war was not possible because the inhabitants in the villages lived as Waala and Gonja and became related by blood, marriage and co-habitation. So it was difficult to distinguish the Gonja and the Waala. They bored, from the earliest time, similar ‘tribal marks’, which as suggested by certain scholars, were “probably copied from the Gonja”[69]. In fact, inhabitants in the villages comprised three or four of either the Lobi, Wangara, Hausa, Moshi, Dagomba, Mamprusi, Gonja or Sissala citizens, who coalesced as either Waala or Dagaaba. Except the Gonjas who still identify themselves as Gonja, the other peoples shy from associating with their ancestral roots because for decades they had severed ties with their ancestral homes and are unable to trace back to their roots. If the above description was how the villages in the North-West of Ghana were peopled, then it seemed wrong indicating that, “Nyantachi wanted to extend his rule over the Waala … and used the repatriation of the Bole refugees as a pretext”[70]. This point is not tenable because the Bole refugees issue was over two centuries and, perhaps, too remote to be used as pretext by a versatile king like Nyantachi to attack the Waala. Secondly, the chiefs of the Bole Division were accused for trying to capture communities in the northwestern part, areas belonging to Kung and Kendia, into their jurisdiction. Their reason was that the Mo and the Banda people were said to be extremely difficult to handle[71]. Even, trading activities that made life in towns enjoyable were unattractive in the south. The reason being that, their towns/villages are far apart, making it tedious for a chief and a small family, at the time, to administer. So for their welfare, chiefs in the Bole division wished to win over communities in the Northwest, towards Wa, belonging to Kung and Kendia. Their efforts were prevented by the might of Yagbonwura Nyantachi.

So, from various narratives both the chiefs of Bole and Wa might have agreed to support each other in future against a third party. This has been described as ‘the Gonja and Waala alliance”[72]. That was not an appropriate statement and that should be called the Waala and Baulas agreement because the other six divisions of Gonja were not part of it. To contain the Baulas, Nyantachi “extended his jurisdiction over Mankampua, areas ruled by the chiefs of Mankuma”[73]. Being the Yagbonwura, Nyantachi ensured that his aunt’s territory remained safe and free from encroachment by the Baulas. The continuous display of his army in the area, according to informants, was to frighten the Baulas into submission. After that, Nyantachi “appointed his sons, brothers, cousins and close relatives to be chiefs of those villages”[74]. This was the best option the chief did because his relatives were trusted and could be controlled. Whilst checking on the activities of the Waala and the Baulas, Nyantachi was informed that his daughter, Balewurchie, had been assaulted and disgraced by the daughter of the Gbipewura, Adjei Ya-fa, at the Gbipe market[75]. Infuriated by that message, Nyantachi, perhaps, lost his senses and prepared to attack Gbipewura, Adjei Ya-fa, in revenge. Braimah further informs that mediation by the Damongowura for Nyantachi to call off the campaign failed. That, assisted by the Tuluwewura, Adjei Ya-fa petitioned the Asantehene, Kofi Karikari (1867 to 1874), to intervene in the matter with the Yagbonwura[76]. When Yagonwura Nyantachi heard about the invitation of the Asante, he abandoned his idea of fighting Gbipewura and advanced to meet the Asante beyond the Black Volta River[77].

Nyantachi’s first encounter was against the Mo and Brongs (Bono) people because they refused him free passage. This encounter was on going when the forces of the Asante arrived and aided the forces of the Mo and Brongs. Luckily, the Asante army were said to have ran into the forces of the Gonja unnoticed by the fringes of the Black Volta River and captured about 500 fighters from Kong[78]. This dampened the spirits of the Gonja fighters and so the fighting was suspended to negotiate for the release of the Kung men captured by the Asante. It has been said that unspecified number of young people, animals and quantities of food items were given to the Asante and by that the captives were freed[79].

From the above explanation, it should be understood that the forces of the Asante never crossed the Black Volta River to fight the Gonja. In fact, the idea of the Asante annexing Gonja came up during my discussions with Professor Gordon Benedict Der in search for data to complete my PhD dissertation. The Professor dismissed the idea of the Asante annexing Gonja as incorrect. He indicated that, the Asante never crossed the Black Volta River to fight the Gonja[80]. His reason was simply based on accounts by Professor Adu Boahen, who asserts that the Asante, the Coastal States and the British in 1824, 1826, 1863, 1864/65 and 1873/74 were at war. That, in the 1874 battle the British defeated the Asante[81]. Those wars, in the opinion of Der, might have weakened the Asante to the extent that they could not have organized a strong army to fight the Gonja[82]. Therefore, Der rubbished accounts by Dougah (1966), Braimah (1970) and Bin Salih (2008)[83] because they failed to settle on several important issues on Gonja history, particularly the death of Yagbonwura Nyantachi and the Waala and Gonja wars. For instance, Dougah indicated that “Nyantachi was killed at Duahi, an Isala village”[84]. But, Braimah indicated that, Nyantachi was beheaded by the Asante towards the Grunshi country. That, when his head was cut, instead of blood flowing to amazement of all it was milk that flowed. And that, the Asante took the head away with them, and the remaining body was stood erect and swish mortar was used in making a building like that of an ant-hill to encase him [85]. Bin Salih also asserted that, Nyantachi escaped first to Daboya to Walewale, then to Papali and Charna in the Navrongo district, where he was killed[86]. By these different accounts Der’s opinion seemed credible. Investigations from the people of Kung, the kinsmen of Yagbonwura Nyantachi, reveals that Nyantachi escaped to an unknown place, and since then, no information was heard about him[87]. Two other statements found, perhaps, aimed at castigating Nyantachi, are clarified below. First, it is indicated that Yagbonwura Nyantachi, “when becoming Yagbonwura sent to the Wa Na demanding the repatriation of the Bole refugees back to him as he wish to kill some and sell some of them as slaves but the Wa Na refused”[88]. This statement seemed not correctly stated because, Bin Salih explained that Nyantachi wanted to extend his tyrannical rule over the Waala and used the refugees issue as a pretext to attack the Waala[89]. That when the Wa Naa refused, Yagbonwura Nyantachi sent a second message saying: even if you hide these people in the flesh of your thigh, I will cut open the thigh of yours and take them away[90]. This statement, from in-depth investigation, was also fabricated. If even true, that was a baseless request because, and as mentioned earlier, the inhabitants in and around Wa settlements were/are so mixed up such that no person can promote war amongst them. Also based on the designs of Nyantachi, explained earlier, war was not the option during his era. As explained, no serious battle was ever fought between the Waala and Gonja citizens. For minor skirmishes, yes, but a major war, no. One minor battle which involved the Waala and the people of Jaiyiri will later be discussed as the discussion progresses. The second allegation was that, his (Nyantachi’s) “father and mother were slaves in Wa; slaves to Dazieni, who bought them from the Bouna people”[91]. This is another misrepresented or twisted statement from an archival document which reads:

Mama of Yagbon is great grandson of Saffo: His father was Lanyon. Dazeini of Wa bought

Lanyon’s mother and Lanyon, as a small boy from Buna people: Lanyon was brought up in Wa.

When he was grown up Dazeini made a war gown and a war hat; he sent for Lanyon and said

here is your mother, a gown and a hat, I give them to you; I and your people are friends, go and I will never have any of your people as slaves again; Lanyon went to Nenya and he became chief;

then moved to SALA but lived in Bole; then became chief of MANDARE, but died forty days(40)


The contents of the above text is very clear. It informs that Mama (Mahama) of Yagbon (the Yagbonwura: 1912-1937) was Sarfo’s great grandson and Sarfo’s father was Lanyon. In short, that statement referred to a clan of Bole as the text suggests, originating from a slave background and was not applied to the parenthood or family of Nyantachi from Kung. Why Ibrahim Watara, the author of the article re-examined, decided to twist or manipulate the text and heap it on Kung instead of Bole as found in the text is simple to remark. Thus, to continue to tarnish, damage, destroy, pollute the minds of unsuspecting people and instigate, all times, hatred for Kung and its people in Gonja. This has been the agenda of the chiefs and Gonja citizens of Bole since 1897, after the episode of Samori Toure. Their reasons will be further highlighted as the discussion progresses.

Further, Dougah (1966), Braimah (1970) and Bin Salih (2008) in their works accused Yagbonwura Nyantachi for having led series of battles to be fought between the Waala and the Gonja. As already explained, no such battles were fought. The reason is, if the inhabitants in the area had fought each other in the past it would not be easy for them to co-exist today in the area. They mix so well together and by that share a common expression known as: te jaa bonyeni; meaning ‘we are one people’. Despite, skirmishes happened between the Waala Princes and the people of Jaiyiri, a town in the Kendia Division of Gonja after Nyantachi had exited. According to Bin Salih, the war was caused by the people of Jaiyiri, who way-laid and killed a Dagomba Alfa (Cleric) near Tuaha, a town on the Wa to Daboya trade route. The Dagomba Cleric was the guest of the Nabiihi (Royals) of Wa and was returning to Dagbon when he was killed[93]. The Chief of Wa (identified as Seidu Takora), fined the people of Jaiyiri 100 cows. When Jaiyiri was unable to pay at the given date the Wa Naa sent messages to the Dagbamba and got the Chiefs of Karaga (Adama) and Patinga, to help him fight Jaiyiri. As usual, Adama, the Bolewura at the time was invited, and he mobilized and met the Waalas at Mengwe[94], a village about twenty kilometres east of Wa. In defense, the people of Jaiyiri sought the assistance of six sons of (former) Yagbonwura, Seidu Nyantachi, who were at Daboya[95]. In other words, the sons of Nyantachi were invited by the people of Jaiyiri to support them to fight the Waala-Dagbamba-Baula forces. This is rather not properly stated in the article and which reads: the sons of Nyantachi for fifteen years…prepared themselves…and moved to Jai-yiri[96]. This seemed not factual because the sons of Yagbonwura Nyantachi, honoured the invitation of their kinsmen under the idea that blood is thicker than water.

As the fighting began and the Waalas, Dagombas and Adama (Baulas) got to Jaiyiri, it was said that “all the Gonjas were in the houses and had cut holes to shoot through. They fought for nineteen days before they took Jaiyiri”[97]. During the encounter we are informed that, “the elder son of Nyantachi, Chorina, was killed. Jaiyiri (town) and all Chekala (e) villages were released by Adama (Bolewura) to the Wa Naa, who put his sons on them as chiefs”[98]. This was how the Kendia division and its villages were lost to the Wa Naa through the assistance of Bolewura Adama. When this event exactly took place is not clear. Supposedly it happened after Nyantachi and, perhaps, “during the reign of Yagbonwura Jiau, from Tuluwe”[99]. His (Yagbonwura Jiau’s) regime seemed not eventful because little is found in the records about the administration. Therefore, it should be accepted as the record that Yagbonwura Jiau had no hand in battles in the Wa area. Rather, it was the chiefs of Bole who meddled in Waala affairs. But the record found and critically examined generally hip fighting wars in the Wa area on the Yagbonwura. No specific Yagbonwura was/is mentioned and, thus, making it difficult to establish the facts on this subject matter. The next Yagbonwura was one Kpirku (Wari Pereku)[100], from the Kusawgu division. Unfortunately, the Bolewura, Seidu Dushi, whose skin name was Kurbang, usurped the Yagbon skins from Mahama Kpirku. This actual year this happened is not known but it is known that Yagbonwura Seidu Dushi ruled from Bole until he died in 1891[101].

The next king should have been the Kungwura, Abdulai Jamani, but he was not endorsed by the other divisional chiefs[102]. So for five years, from1891 t0 1896, the Divisional Chiefs in Gonja disputed over who was to sit on the skins of Yagbon. They were in this situation until in May 1896 when Samori Toure attacked and captured Bole[103]. Therefore, the issue of getting a new king for Gonja was shelved. But, towards the end of 1896 news were heard that the forces of Samori were defeated at Sankana[104], a town twenty-four kilometres north-west of Wa. The impact of the defeat of Samori’s forces were two. First, the forces of Bole were motivated by the news from Sankana and they mobilized and by November 1896 they had cleared the Sofa off the entire land and liberated Bole. Secondly, Kung was accused by the chiefs of Bole as having brought Samori to fight Gonja, and was therefore attacked and razed to the ground. Its people, mostly the aged, women and children were murdered. Those who escaped joined their relatives living in and around Wa[105]. Fortunately, the British arrived in the region and scene and that “might have added impetus to the withdrawal of the Sofa from Bole to Bouna”[106]. As a result, on 10th June 1896 the Chiefs and people of Bole entered into a treaty for Trade and Protection with the British[107]. The treaty signed signaled the return of normalcy in the area and Bole now became part of the British dominion. The British continued and penetrated into parts of the Northern Territories and impelled the French, the Germans and the forces of Samori and Babatu to stop their operations throughout the region. By 1898, the British had incorporated the entire territory, previously called the Northern Territories, which included Gonja, into her dominion. The British took over the management of security in the region and soon it was reported that “peace and order were restored”[108]. The action of the British, as MacGaffey indicated, “had declared the end of bow and arrow conflicts and they urged the people to engage in trade and commercial agriculture”[109].

The next issue was getting the successor to occupy the vacant Yagbon skins. The British initiated the process. On 24th June, 1901, one Abudu Pontomporong, by the orders of the British was installed chief of Bole and given a large silver locket[110]. Shortly, Abudu Pontomporong, was endorsed as the Yagbonwura[111]. The aim of the British administration, as Rattray hinted, was “to bring the heterogeneous communities in the area under a single authority”[112]. Therefore, people who earlier migrated to other places due to the crisis were encouraged to return to their original habitats. As for the people of the Kung division serious negotiations had to be done by the British agents, supervised by the British Chief Commissioner, Captain Duncan-Johnstone, before the Yagbonwura, Mahama Dangbanga, and Bolewura, Takora, saw “the need to put the past events aside and live (with neighbours) as one people with a common destiny[113].

To assure the citizens of Kung on the idea of them returning ‘home’, at the Gonja Traditional Council conference held at Yapei in 1930 under the tutelage of the British, Captain Duncan-Johnstone, who “in his address named seven sub-Divisional Chiefships and Kong was one”[114]. This good intention was to build Gonja back as a united strong kingdom. Contrarily, various reports studied reveals that the intention of the chiefs of Bole since 1897 has been to erase Kung’s name from Gonja history. This was their hidden plan and agenda and Yagbonwura Mahama stood by it. But for the fear of the British he agreed for the people of the Kung division to return to their respective habitats. This assertion against Yagbonwura Mahama can be substantiated.

The issues considered at the 1930 Yapei conference were: to ensure the people of Kung returned to their old habitats, and to return villages belonging to Kung; namely, Jindabo, Kinckin, Nenyon, Tuna, Kulmasa, Soma, Dabori, Yipala, Kaliba, Sawla and Nahari, which were occupied by Bole princes. But to throw dust into the eyes of people, instantly Yagbonwura Mahama released two villages, Kinchin and Jindabo[115]. For the other villages, Yagbonwura Mahama pledged that “any time one became vacant, a prince from Kong was to occupy it”[116]. This principle was binning to every Baula then and in the future. No such vacant skin came up during the reign of Yagbonwura Mahama. It was later in 1951 when the Kinchin skin became vacant but the Bole chiefs frustrated the Kungwura’s candidate and claimed it[117]. Before that incident a secret letter circulated amongst the Chiefs of Bole suggested that: Kung should be deleted from the schedule (that is from the list of Gonja Chiefs) because Kung had dwindled in size and administratively was been run as part of the Bole division[118]. This was their (Baulas) assertion in 1951. The Kinchin case echoed the wishes of the Baulas and the loss of part of the Kung division.

Another point needing explanation was the loss of the Kendia (Kandia) division and some villages of the Kung division to Wa. The wrong impression created has been that it was the British who carved those areas during the indirect rule era to be part of the Waala kingdom. This was not the case. It is true that the British colonial administration demarcated the Northern Territories into Provinces and Districts, a size for one officer to administer but that was done in consultation with the Overlord of the area. But a report found indicated that it was “Ndewura Jakpa, the founder of Gonja, who divided land between the Wa Naa and Kungwura, the Chief of Kung (town)”[119]. This assertion was incorrect because it was in 1927, under Yagbonwura Mahama, that the boundary between Bole and Wa was “set at the swamp lying just north of Nyoli, a village twenty-one kilometres south of Wa”[120]. By that agreement Kung was replaced with Bole. Hence, the Baulas may have remarked as the French say: fait accompli, meaning the accomplished fact or task. So, the Kung territory in the Waala area was given away by Yagbonwura Mahama (1912-1937) as Braimah puts it, “to wreck revenge against the rest of Gonja”[121], and particularly Kung, for two reasons. First, that Kung failed to support Bole during the Sarfo/Kali’s dispute in the 1700s. Secondly (already referred to), Yagbonwura Nyantachi, from Kung, frustrated chiefs of Bole in their bid to claim villages in the northwest. The deposition of Wari Kpirku, from Kusawgu, in the 1890s as Yagbonwura was another case of Bole’s revenge against Eastern Gonja.

To conclude, permit me to borrow words made by elder Gonjas that: on matters of this nature we have to call a spade a spade and not a spoon. That, “words are like keys. If you choose them right they can open any heart and shut any mouth”[122]. Therefore, with all due respect, our revered Yagbonwura should tackle challenges that confronted the kingdom of Gonja without fear or favour. One ancient issue has to do with restoring the Kung division to its former status, identity, inclusion, rights and possessions. It is on records that for centuries the chiefs of Bole continuously stirred allegations against Kung on the Samorian episode in Gonja. Research has proven beyond doubts that the ancient allegation hatched and manipulated by the chiefs of Bole since1896/97 is false. Yet the citizens of Kung were attacked by the people of Bole and dispersed to parts of Ghana, particularly into the Wa area. That has impacted so much on the life of the citizens of Kung who appeal for inclusion and restoration. With the exclusion of Kung and Kendia the political system in Gonja is incomplete. Gonja political record since1898 has been in the hands of the Bole division unchecked. This offered the Bole division the opportunity to manipulate Gonja politics for decades in its favour. The case of usurping the Yagbonwuraship from Kpirku cannot be forgotten. How Abudu Pontomprong, another Bole chief, who was supported by the British administration became the Yagbonwura is still remembered. Yagbonwura Abudu Pontomprong, from available records examined should be accused for the suspension of Kung from the Gonja chiefship list and the occupation of some of her villages (already highlighted). This agenda was cunningly endorsed by Yagbonwura Mahama, who some elites wrongly describe as a unifier.

Issues such as those mentioned above can only be addressed if a constitution was/is drawn for Gonja. Such a constitution should settle cases of land, chiefships and the conduct of Traditional Authorities at each political level. The actions of every citizen, section or division of Gonja would be addressed customarily through oaths and the like under the constitution and consequently the kingdom will enjoy order, peace and safety. Fortunately, Gonja is blessed with a remarkable political system of kingmakers who do everything orderly to keep Gonja peaceful. One of the revered structure is titled the Buipewura, and the incumbent’s skin name is HRM Jinapor II. He is described as a good chief, development oriented and who loves Gonja. With such caliber of leaders the Yagbonwura has no problem in putting Gonja together. In fact, a critical consideration for Gonja kingmakers is to revisit issues discussed during the period 1897 to 1930. I strongly admit that from available archival and secondary documents gleaned within the era (1898 to 1930), no report is found about Gonja Council ever meeting. Perhaps, the reason was the unsafe nature of the political situation at the time. So the seven divisions never met. Therefore, the purported ‘swearing of oath’ and judgment against Kung regarding the episode of Samori, seems unfounded. Hence, my issue tabled for the brilliant decision makers in Gonja: the Yagbonwura, the Gonja Traditional Council, the revered chiefs and the Gonja Land Youth Association (GLYA), is to look into and iron out the ancient trouble between Bole and Kung.

In fact, if the aim of the author of the article examined was to manipulate archival materials and ginger the old Bole plan of ‘wiping out or erasing Kendia (already) and Kung (later) from Gonja history’, then that is an unfortunate plan and has no merit. It negates the thought of the founder of Gonja, Ndewurwa Jakpa, who placed his three sons namely Bel (Bole), Kung and Kendia at the west to serve as buffer states against intrusions from that direction and unite with Mande. Similarly, Kpembe, Kusawgu, Tuluwe and Wasipe divisions protected the east. This arrangement since then kept the kingdom of Gonja intact. So Mahama Ibrahim Watara’s article, found in the social media, may not help Gonja unity and peaceful co-existence. Hence citizens of Gonja, particularly the traditional authorities, should religiously and objectively condense and solve the grievances confronting sections of the kingdom since 1897, particularly those affecting Kung and Kendia. Such a decision may, hopefully, promote peace and unity in the kingdom. Finally, let me appeal that this rejoinder should be treated as a historical research piece and be considered as such. Good comments to improve on the work are welcomed. Thanks for reading.

Dr. Iddrisu Mahama
30th December, 2022.
PRAAD, ADM56/1/334, Wala Native Affairs, 1932.

PRAAD, ADM56/1/416, Monthly Report, Black Volta District, 1901.

PRAAD, ADM56/1/515, Record of Progress Report, Northern Territories.

PRAAD, ADM56/5/6, Bole District Report.
PRAAD, NRG 8/1/100, Wala-Gonja Boundary Dispute, 1927.

PRAAD, NRG 8/2/13, Gonja Native Affairs, 1930

PRAAD, NRG8/2/55, Wa District Native Affairs.

PRAAD, MFA, 4/20, African West, No.448, Ferguson to Governor, December, 1892.

Interviewed Elders and knowledgeable individuals during field trips to gather data, particularly, Kojo Amantana, Chief of Kunfali, Kung Division.

Discussions with G. B. Der, Professor in the Department of History, University of Cape Coast, 2014.

Awedoba, A. K., An Ethnographic Study of Northern Ghanaian Conflicts: Towards A Sustainable Peace, Accra, Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2009

Basil, Davidson, A History of West Africa, 1000-1800, London, MacMillan Publishers, 1981.

Boahen, A. Adu, Topics in West African History, School’s Edition, London, MacMillan, 1966

Braimah, J. A., Timu on the History and Social Organisation of the People of Gonja, Unpublished, 1983.

Braimah, J. A., The Ashanti and the Gonja at War, Accra, Ghana Publishing Corporation, 1970.

Braimah, J. A.,, History and Traditions of the Gonja, Calgary, University of Calgary Press, 1997.

Buah, F. K., A History of Ghana, Legon, MacMillan, 1980.

Dougah, J. C., Wa and Its People. Legon. Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, 1966.

Hornby, A. S., Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English, Seventh Edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006.

Ladouceur, Paul Andre, Chiefs and Politicians: The Politics of Regionalism in Northern Ghana, London, Longmans, 1979.

Levtzion, Nehemia , Muslims and Chiefs in West Africa: A Study of Islam in the Middle Volta Basin in the Pre-Colonial Period, Clarendan, Clarendan Press,1968.

McCoy, Remigius F. Great Things Happen, Montreal, The Society of Missionaries in Africa, 1988.

Rattray, R. S., The Tribes of the Ashanti Hinterland, Volume 2, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1932.

Salih, Mohammed Bin, The Kingdom of Wa: Elucidation of our Origins and Settlements, Tema, Raqeen Press, 2008.

Samson, Magnus, Makers of Modern Ghana: From Philip Quarco to Aggrey, Volume 1, Accra, Anewuoo Educational Publishers, 1969.

Tamakloe, Emmanuel Forster, A Brief History of the Dagbamba People, Accra, Government Printing Office, 1931.

Tampuori, Solomon Salifu, Gonja: The Mandingoes of Ghana, London, Lightning Sources UK Ltd, 2016. Wilks, Ivor,, Chronicles from Gonja: A Tradition of West African Muslims Historiography, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Boahen, Adu, ‘The Rise of the Akan’, In: The Middle Age of African History, London,Oxford University Press, 1967.

MacGaffey, Wyath, ‘A History of Tamale, 1907-1957 and Beyond’, In; Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana, New Series No.10, 2006-2009,

Illiasu, A. A., ‘The Gonja Revolution: The Trial of Yagbonwura Mahama and Six Others’ In; Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana, 1971.

Shinnie, P. L., (Ed.) ‘History and Traditions of the Gonja’, Calgary, Calgary University Press, 1997.

Watara, Mahama Ibrahim, ’The Gonja and Wala Alliance”, September, 2022.

Wikipedia, ‘List of Rulers of the Northern State of Ghana’, 19th September, 2022.

Wilks, Ivor, ‘A Note on the early spread of Islam in Dagomba’, In; Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana, Volume 8, 1965.

[1] Ivor Wilks, ‘A Note on the Early Spread of Islam in Dagomba’, In: Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana, Vol.8, 1965, p.93.

[2] Basil Davidson, A History of West Africa, 1000-1800, London, Macmillan Publishers, 1981, p.95.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Wikipedia:’ List of Rulers of the Northern State of Gonja’, 19th, September,2022

[5] J. C. Dougah, Wa and It’s People, Legon, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana,1966, p.115

[6] A. K. Awedoba, An Ethnographic Study of Northern Ghanaian Conflicts: Towards A Sustainable Peace, Legon/Accra, Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2009, p.47

[7] R. S. Rattray, The Tribes of the Ashanti Hinterland Volume 2, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1932, p452.

[8] Mahama Ibrahim Watara, In Article: ‘the Gonja and Wala Alliance’, September 2022, p.1

[9] Ibid, p.1.

[10] A. S. Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English, Seventh Edition, London, Oxford University Press, 2006, p.1633.

[11]Solomon Salifu Tampuori, Gonja: The Mandingoes of Ghana, London, Lightening Sources UK Ltd, 2016, p.22

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid; Also p.42; See Also, J. A Braimah, Timu on the History and Social Organisation of the Peoples of Gonja (Unpublished), 1983, p.10.

[14] Ibid.

[15]Ibid; See Also Solomon Salifu Tampuori, Gonja: The Mandingoes of Ghana, p.22.

[16] J. A. Braimah,, History and Traditions of the Gonja, Calgary, University of Calgary Press, 1997, p.87

[17] PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/2/13, RAT/1/769, Gonja Native Affairs, 1930.

[18]J. A. Braimah,, History and Traditions of the Gonja, p.87.

[19] Solomon Salifu Tampuori, Gonja: The Mandingoes of Ghana, pps.24-26

[20]Ibid, p.10

[21]J. A. Braimah,, History and Traditions of the Gonja, p.32. Also See, Solomon Salifu Tampuori, Gonja: The Mandingoes of Ghana, p.23.

[22] Ibid, p.12.

[23] Basil Davidson, A History of West Africa, 1000-1800, p.96.

[24] Solomon Salifu Tampuori, Gonja: The Mandingoes of Ghana, p.33

[25] Ibid, pps.53–54: Table of Yagbonwuras (Kings of Gonja). Supported with explanations from Oral and Archival sources

[26] Information by Elders of Mankuma, a town in Gonja, whose people are settled in Mango, and Dograyiri, a section of Mangu near Wa town, during my field trips for data.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Mahama Ibrahim Watara, In Article: ‘the Gonja and Wala Alliance’, p.2

[29] Wikipedia:’ List of Rulers of the Northern State of Gonja’, 19th, September,2022

[30] Ibid.

[31] Wikipedia, op. ct.

[32] Mahama Ibrahim Watara, p.2.

[33] Ibid; the list of rulers of Gonja was studied and conjectured to arrive at the year 1780.

[34] J. C. Dougah, Wa and It’s People, p.21

[35] A Adu Boahen, Topics in West African History, p.76

[36] Ibid, p.79

[37] Ibid

[38] Nehemia Levtzion Muslims and Chiefs in West Africa: A Study of Islam in the Middle Volta Basin in the Pre-Colonial Period, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1968, p.12

[39] F. K. Buah, A History of Ghana, London and Basingstoke, Macmillan Press Ltd., 1980, p.26

[40] Mohammed Bin Salih, The Kingdom of Wa :Elucidation of Our Origins and Settlements, Tema, Raqeen Press, 2008p.45

[41]A Remark by P. L. Shinnie (Editor), In: History and Traditions of the Gonja, Calgarry, University of Calgary Press, 1997, p. VII (Editor’s Introduction). Ivor Wilks was Professor of North-Western University, the best informed of historians of Gonja, at the time.

[42]WikipediA: ‘List of rulers of Gonja; p.1.

[43] Magnus Sampson, Makers of Modern Ghana: From Philip Quarco to Aggrey, Vol. One, Accra, Anowuo Educational Publishers, 1969, p.81

[44] A. A. Illiasu, ‘The Gonja Revolution; The Trial of Yagbonwura Mahama and Six Others’, In: Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana, 1971, p.141 Also See: J. A. Braimah,, History and Traditions,p.88

[45] A common feeling of and with the people in the area

[46] ADM 56/1/515, Record of Progress Report, Northern Territories

[47] Information gathered from Elders of communities in and around Wa affiliated to Gonja.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Ibid.

[50] J. A. Braimah, Ashanti and Gonja at war, p.14.

[51] Paul Andre Ladouceur, Chiefs and Politicians: The Politics of Regionalism in Northern Ghana, London, Longmans, 1979, p.26

[52] Buah, A History of Ghana, p.34.

[53] Emmanuel Forster Tamakloe, A Brief History of the Dagbamba People, Accra, Government Printing Office, 1931, p.21.

[54] A common knowledge amongst citizens of the various towns/villages mentioned in this write up.

[55] PRAAD, Tamale, ADM 56/1/334, ‘Wala Native Affairs’, 1932 A Report by Captain St. J. R. Eyre- Smith,

[56] Gabriel Tuurey, An Introduction To the Mole-Speaking Communities, Wa, Catholic Press, 1982, p.26

[57] A common knowledge among the ‘Waala’ and the ‘Dagaaba’.

[58] Remigius F. McCoy, Great Things Happen, Montreal, The Society of Missionaries of Africa, 1988, p.45

[59] Ivor Wilks, Nehemia Levtzion &Bruce M. Haight, Chronicles from Gonja: A Tradition of West African Muslim Historiogr aphy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986, p.15.

[60] Solomon Salifu Tampuori, Gonja: The Mandingoes of Ghana, p.20.

[61] A common knowledge amongst knowledgeable citizens in the area.

[62] R. S. Rattray, The Tribes of the Ashanti Hinterland Volume 2, oxford, Oxford University Press, 1932, p452.

[63] A. K. Awedoba, An Ethnographic Study of Northern Ghanaian Conflicts: Towards A Sustainable Peace, Legon/Accra, Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2009, p.47

[64] A common belief/wish among the Princely Class (Waale Nabiihe) of Wa.

[65] J. C. Dougah, Wa and It’s People, p.20

[66] Ibid.

[67]A common knowledge among the Waala and Gonja citizens in Wa

[68] Mahama Ibrahim Watara, In ‘The Gonja and Wala Alliance’, p.2

[69] PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/2/55, Wa District Native Affairs, 1898 – 1900

[70] Mohammed Bin Salih, The Kingdom of Wa :p.47;See Also, Mahama Ibrahim Watara, Ibid

[71] Data the author gathered from January to November 2015 for his PhD Dissertation.

[72] Mahama Ibrahim Watara, ‘The Gonja and Wala Alliance’, September, 2022.

[73] J. A. Braimah, The Ashanti and Gonja at War, Accra, Ghana Publishing Corporation, 1970, p.14.

[74] Ibid, p.14

[75] Ibid.

[76] Ibid

[77] Information from Kojo Amantana, Aged 85, Chief of Kunfali, a village in the Kong Division in Gonjaland, at his palace, dated June 28, 2014.

[78] Ibid

[79] Ibid.

[80] Conversation with Prof. G. B. Der, Department of History, University of Cape Coast, at his office, February 20, 2014.

[81] Ibid. See Also: Adu Boahen, ‘The Rise of the Akan’; In, The Middle Age of African History, London, Oxford University Press, 1967, p.24.

[82] Conversation with Prof. G. B. Der,

[83] Ibid

[84] J. C. Dougah, Wa and It’s People, p.20.

[85] J. A. Braimah, The Ashanti and Gonja at War, p.31

[86] Mohammed Bin Salih, The Kingdom of Wa, p.53.

[87] A common belief by the citizens of Kung, the capital town and also name of the division, where Nyantachi hailed from.

[88] MahamaIbrahim Watara, In ‘The Gonja and Wala Alliance’, p.2

[89] Mohammed Bin Salih, The Kingdom of Wa; p. 47.

[90] Ibid; See Also, NRG 8/2/13, Gonja Native Affairs, 1930.

[91] Ibid p.3

[92] PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/2/13, Gonja Native Affairs, RAT/1, 769, 1939. A Report by M. Adama (Interpreter)

[93] Ibid.

[94] PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/2/13, Gonja Native Affairs. 1939, p.4.

[95] PRAAD, Accra, MFA 4/20, African West, No,448, Encl.1 in No.45, Ferguson to Governor, 9th December, 1892

[96]Mahama Ibrahim Watara, In ‘The Gonja and Wala Alliance’, p .6

[97] PRAAD, Accra, ADM, 56/5/6, Bole District Report, Vol., p.450: NRG 8/2/13, Gonja Native Affairs. 1939.

[98] Ibid

[99] Wikipedia: ‘List of rulers of Gonja; p.1

[100] Ibid.

[101] Ibid.: See Also, PRAAD, MFA 4/20, Ferguson’s Mission into the Hinterland, 1892

[102] PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/2/13, Gonja Native Affairs. July 3, 1951.

[103] J. A. Braimah, The Ashanti and Gonja at War p. 44.

[104] J.C. Dougah, Wa and Its People, pps.22and 23.

[105] PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/2/13, Gonja Native Affairs, p.449.

[106] Ibid

[107] Wyath MacGaffey,’A History of Tamale, 1907-1957 and Beyond’; In Transaction of the Historical Society of Ghana; New Series No. 10 (2006-2009), p.110.

[108] PRAAD, Accra, ADM 56/1/416, Monthly Report, Black Volta District, December 31, 1901.

[109] Wyath MacGaffey,’A History of Tamale, 1907-1957’,p.110

[110] Ibid, Report by Captain Berthon, January to July, 1901.

[111] J.A. Braimah, The Ashanti and Gonja at War; p.44

[112] R. S. Rattray, Tribes of the Asante Hinterland, p.452.

[113] PRAAD, Accra, ADM 56/1/416, Monthly Report Black Volta District, December 31, 1901.

[114] PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/2/13, Gonja Native Affairs Report.

[115] Ibid.

[116] Ibid.

[117] Ibid.

[118] Ibid: Letter from the District Commissioner, Office, Gonja, to Ag. Chief Commissioner, Northern Territories, dated 20th March, 1947.

[119] Ibid.

[120] PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/1/100, Wala-Gonja Boundary Dispute, 1927.

[121] J. A. Braimah,, History and Traditions of the Gonja, p.116.

[122] An unnamed Contributor, fmr Natl Platform, GLYA, dated 14th December 2022.