Gonjaland Commends John Mahama’s for his development goals – NDC

King, people of Gonjaland
King, people of Gonjaland
The National Democratic Congress in the Savannah Region has said the King and people of the Gonja state will at all times prioritize the steadfast commitment to development consistently demonstrated by His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, to the superficial gestures and persistent falsehoods about development exhibited by Dr. Bawumia and his political superiors. 
According to leadership of the party, former president John Dramani Mahama, who is a royal of the Gonja Kingdom has offered diverse support to several Kings in Gonjaland, Northern Region and Ghana at large, including His Royal Majesty Naa Yiri Naa Bohagu Mahami without any grand ceremonies due to his understanding of the importance of culture, dignity, and respect for traditional authorities.
The NDC recounted the construction of a fence wall around the 15-acre Jakpa palace land, renovation and installation of equipment and furniture, ongoing construction of magnificent new palace and several donations made by His Excellency John Dramani Mahama to the Gonja Kingdom without any grandstanding or publicity surrounding these endeavors.
In a news release copied to this writer, the Regional Secretary of the party, hon. Salisu Biuwurbi called on all Gonjalanders and Ghanaians to unite with the NDC in condemning the NPP’s ongoing disregard and dishonor towards the esteemed Chieftaincy institution in Ghana, urging Dr. Bawumia to refrain from wasting the taxpayer’s money on frivolous political ventures.
He admonished Dr. Bawumia to honor his promise of constructing the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs Complex in 18-months as indicated.
Read the full statement below:
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, Good Afternoon.
We have invited you here this afternoon to express our outmost disgust, lack of candour, the peak of cultural and traditional insensibility, and an open show of contempt, disrespect, and disdain to no less a person than his Royal Majesty, Jirah Yagbongwura Bikunuto Mbemah Soale Jewu I, one of the 5 revered kings in Ghana, and the entire Gonja State on the publication that the Vice President, His Excellency, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, will be coming to Damongo tomorrow, May 15, 2024, to allegedly hand over a so-called renovated Jakpa Palace to Jirah, the Yagbongwura Bikunuto Mbemah Soale Jewu I.
This follows Dr. Bawumia’s unsolicited offer to renovate the Jakpa Palace when he paid a courtesy call on the King on November 22, 2023, after the Manipulated NPP Presidential  election which choreographically settled on him as the flagbearer of his party, the NPP, on November 4, 2023.
All present, permit me to run you through a brief background and fact-checking of the construction of the Jakpa Palace. The Jakpa Palace sits on 15 acres of land, comprising many buildings and structures. Around 1942–1943, the Jakpa Palace relocated to Damongo in the West Gonja District from its original location in Nyange, the ancient traditional capital of Gonja, approximately 5 kilometres from Sawla in the present Sawla Tuna Kalba District of the Savannah Region along the Damongo-Sawla Highway. This move followed the passing of Jirah Yagbongwura Singbung Lanyo Iddisah Soale, the last king of Gonjaland to reign from Nyange, the historic seat of Gonjaland. It is noteworthy to note that His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, the former President and NDC flagbearer, tarred the Damongo-Sawla Highway during his administration.
The newly relocated Palace, an imposing sandstone building, has housed seven Yagbongwuras, viz., Yagbongwura Awushi Ewuntomah, Yagbongwura Timu Braimah, Yagbongwura Kanyiti, Yagbongwura Be-Awuribe, Yagbongwura Aliadengi, Yagbonwura Boreyinche, and Yagbongwura Doshi Bawa Abudu, who passed away in 2010. Of the 10 Yagbonwuras who reigned after the Seat of Gonja moved to Damongo, only 3 of them have not lived in the stone-built palace. Yagbongwura Kurabaso Mahama Abutu lived in his own privately built house in Damongo and reigned from there till his demise.
Dear Members of the Press, It’s important to note that the Assemblies of Gonjaland originally initiated the construction of the allegedly renovated structure in the year 2000, which Dr. Bawumia is purportedly coming to commission and potentially unveil a plaque with an inscription reading “Renovated by H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, NPP Flagbearer, and commissioned this 15th day of May 2024 in the Presence of Yagbongwura Bikunuto Mbemah Soale Jewu I.”
District Chief Executives (DCEs) under President Kuffour continued the construction of the structure after the NDC lost power, and NDC DCEs under the Mills/Mahama Administration completed it. It’s noteworthy that since its completion, only one Yagbongwura, the late Jirah Yagbongwura Tuntumba Abukari Amanfo Jakpa Sulemana, has occupied the palace.
It will interest you to know that, during the late Yagbongwura Tuntumba’s lifetime, Dr. Bawumia visited him at the new palace structure no fewer than 20 times, both as a running mate to Nana Addo and as Vice President. Yet, no offer was made to renovate or enhance the palace, not because it had deteriorated beyond habitation but because the late King, who passed away and was succeeded within 40 days by the new King, reigned and passed away in the second palace structure. The decision not to relocate to the palace has a traditional and customary significance that goes beyond mere aesthetics.
Given this information, members of the press, isn’t it surprising that once again Dr. Bawumia intends to utilize taxpayers’ money, especially amidst the current economic challenges exacerbated by his policies, under the pretext of commissioning the repainting of the 2nd Palace Structure? This initiative seems to be a feeble attempt to fulfill his unsolicited promise to the King during his visit on November 22, 2023.
To what extent does repainting the palace constitute renovation that justifies Dr. Bawumia’s travel to Damongo for a commissioning ceremony? With all due respect, we must immediately halt Dr. Bawumia’s whimsical behavior and the ongoing disrespect and disregard for the Jakpa Palace.
Let it be known today that, during the tenure of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, he emphatically erected a complete fence wall around the 15-acre palace land, without any pomp and pageantry.
Furthermore, under the leadership and tenure of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, the family of the late King received support for renovations and the installation of equipment and furniture. However, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama carried out these efforts quietly, without any public fanfare. Similarly, the palace received donations of various machines and equipment without seeking publicity.
Additionally, the entire palace compound, previously covered in sand and gravel, received funding for paving by His Excellency John Dramani Mahama. Despite these significant contributions, there was no grandstanding or publicity surrounding these endeavors.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we are cognizant of the diverse support that His Excellency John Dramani Mahama extended to several kings and paramount chiefs in Ghana and the Northern region specifically, including the King of Mamprugu, His Royal Majesty, Naa Yiri Naa Bohagu Mahami. His Excellency John Dramani Mahama provides these contributions and support without any grand ceremonies, a testament to his understanding of the importance of culture, dignity, and respect for traditional authorities. This is not because President Mahama himself comes from a royal lineage, but rather because it reflects his inherent values of honoring and dignifying all individuals, customs, institutions, and religions in Ghana.
Why doesn’t Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia simply adopt the dignified demeanor of his elder brother, John Dramani Mahama, instead of embracing the negative traits of his boss, Nana Akuffo Addo?
As you are all aware, just under two weeks ago, the mentor of Dr. Bawumia, Nana Akuffo Addo, attended the 1st Year Anniversary of the King and Overlord of Gonjaland, coinciding with the Annual Gonjaland Youth Congress and Guan Conference in Damongo. Despite being late to the event, Nana Akuffo Addo approached the King, Jirah Yagbongwura Bikunuto Mbemah Soale Jewu I, who was sitting in state, and disrespectfully demanded that the King stand up and greet him. Unsurprisingly, the King declined, signaling his disdain for the disrespectful request.
Nana Addo’s response to the King’s refusal was indicative of his displeasure. In a display of habitual anger and open arrogance, the president abruptly left the event, offering a flimsy excuse about needing to catch up with his helicopter, which he purportedly brought to Damongo. This blatant disregard for protocol and decorum is utterly disrespectful.
Members of the press, This disrespectful behavior, characterized by open arrogance, towards the Gonja state and its kings, as exhibited by Dr. Bawumia’s mentor, Nana Addo, at the 1st Year Anniversary event, is not an isolated incident. Recall how Nana Addo deceived the late Yagbongwura Tuntumba Boressa Jakpa Sulemana in April 2020, promising that within eight months, piped water from the Yapei River would flow from the King’s taps in Damongo. The late Yagbongwura even ordered his chiefs to accompany President Nana Addo to Damongo Central Town Football Field for a sod-cutting ceremony to kick-start the Damongo Water Project. However, the project has not progressed to date, and the sod-cutting ceremony merely served as a façade, lacking any genuine intention to initiate the project.
In August 2020, during Nana Addo’s visit to the late King at Jakpa Palace, he shamelessly attributed the project’s delay to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite being fully aware that the sod was cut during the peak of the pandemic.
Mimicking his boss’s embarrassing attitude, it was Dr. Bawumia’s turn to disrespect the Gonja state and its king. Dr. Bawumia visited Yagbongwura and convened a meeting with the Savannah Region House of Chiefs. After they were sworn in as members of the Regional House of Chiefs, Dr. Bawumia informed them that they would commence the immediate construction of the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs Complex, promising an 18-month completion time. The respected paramount chiefs, regardless of their age and physical stamina, were led to the yard of the John Mahama Fufulso Road Contractors, a cleared and presentable site, where they were deceived into believing they were participating in a sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of the House of Chiefs Complex.
Less than 10 minutes after the chiefs left the site, they swiftly removed a proposed sketched drawing, mounted on plywood for the occasion, and it remained hidden until the 155th Regiment took over the site. The Chinese road contractors left behind the only sand at the site, and they arranged a few buckets to simulate the process of shovelling sand during the alleged sod-cutting.
Now, Dr. Bawumia is on the verge of disrespecting and dishonoring the Yagbongwura once more by falsely asserting that he renovated the Jakpa Palace, when in fact, he only supervised the painting of the 2nd Palace Structure. This is happening at the same time that His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is constructing an iconic new building to house the King.
Allow me to reiterate, ladies and gentlemen of the press, that His Excellency John Dramani Mahama has ceremoniously broken ground for the construction of a magnificent new palace, intended to serve as the residence of the Gonja King and symbolize the rich cultural heritage of the Gonja state. Sahelian architecture guides the design of this ambitious project, reflecting the Gonja people’s origins in the Mande region near Mali. Of particular significance, the design draws inspiration from Timbuktu or Songhai, aiming to encapsulate the fascinating history of the Gonja people. Once completed, this grand palace, characterized by its Sahelian walls, will stand as a testament to the enduring legacy of Sumaila Ndewura Jakpa, the founder of the Gonja Kingdom.
It’s evident that the King and people of the Gonja state prioritise a steadfast commitment to development, consistently demonstrated by His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, rather than the superficial gestures and persistent falsehoods about development propagated by Dr. Bawumia and his superior.
Therefore, we urge Dr. Bawumia to refrain from wasting the taxpayer’s money by abstaining from another instance of disrespect towards the King of Gonjaland and the Gonja state under the guise of commissioning the repainted Jakpa Palace.
Furthermore, we implore all Gonjalanders and all conscientious Ghanaians to unite with us in condemning the NPP’s ongoing disregard and dishonor towards the esteemed chieftaincy institution in Ghana.
Thank you for the audience.
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