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Ghana Journal of Geography

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Chieftaincy Succession Dispute in N anun, N orthem Ghana: Interrogating the Narratives of the Contestants

AS Anamzoya, S Tonah

Abstract


The Nanun chieftaincy dispute involves two persons from the royal gate of Gbugmayili, both of whom claim to have been selected and enskined by the appropriate traditional authority as the Bimbilla Naa, the overlord of the Nanumba people of Northern Ghana. The paper critically examines the narratives of the two contestants in the light of the contested oral traditions of the population as well available documentmy evidence. Data for this paper was collected between May and November 2006 and in 2007 and 2009 by observing court proceedings in the Northern Regional House of Chiefs where the dispute is currently pending. Other data came from reviewing archival documents relating to the dispute. Informal conversations and indepth interviews were also held with the two main contestants, some of the kingmakers of the traditional area and with a cross section of the population. The paper argues that though the dispute is essentially a power struggle between two princes for the highest traditional office among the Nanumba, it is also a contest for power between two of Nanim's most powerful
kingmakers, the Kpatihi Naa and the Juo Naa. While interrogating the narratives of the two contestants, the paper reveals the changing traditions and the malleability of roles amongst traditional office holders in Nanun. 

Keywords: Chieftaincy, Dispute, Northern Ghana, Enskinment




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