North East Region and matters arising

Mark Y. Tampuri Jnr
Mark Y. Tampuri Jnr

A new region is about to be born, a new region is coming… Yes, it’s the North East Region. As a proud son of Mamprugu land, and coming from the village of Bongbini in the East Mamprusi Municipality, never have I had so much of pride moments in recent times than now, a period of the process kickstarts for the creation or otherwise of the North East Region covering the five Districts of the Mamprugu areas of the current Northern Region.

This comes at a time that same constitutional consideration is being given to Gonjaland in the region and four others nationwide as well. This indeed is part of the national efforts by the current government to increase from ten to sixteen the number of administrative regions of Ghana. Well, there has been mixed feelings and reactions: Some oppose the creation of certain regions; whiles many others support some regions especially the proposed North East Region which has received much welcome.

There have been some concerns however that could affect the momentum of the process of the creation of the North East Region which is emanating from some traditional leaders in Chereponi District. In their public engagement on Friday 13th April 2018 and subsequent interviews on Joy FM, the spokesperson of the chiefs of Chereponi assured all that they support government support in the creation of the new regions. Their point of departure however as stated is that they do not want to be considered as part of the proposed North East Region but rather chooses to remain as part of the Northern Region- Though geographically they are located in the proposed North East Region.

Listening to the position of the Chiefs of Chereponi as echoed by their spokesperson, I believe it is a clear misunderstanding of the process which calls for some sensitization of the people of Chereponi and all others in the proposed North East Region area on the relationships, independence and inter-dependence roles of administrative regions and traditional jurisdictions. I think (with all due respect to my revered chiefs, sons and daughters of our beloved Chereponi traditional area,) there are some obvious misunderstanding on the part of the representatives of the people of Chereponi on the spirit behind the creation of administrative regions and the roles of traditional areas and their boundaries considering their reasons for the opposing being part of North East Region. I observed these 3 concerns from Chereponi:

1.Dagbↄn Traditional Council opposed ceding of any part of the traditional lands at a “ special expanded council meeting“` held on 24th December 2017 under the chairmanship of the Regent of Dagbↄŋ, acting President of the Dagbↄŋ Traditional Council, Kampakuya-Naa, Andani Yakubu Abdulai. They stated that “the Council resolved that it will not cede any part of Dagbↄŋ lands for the convenience of new regional formations.”

There is confusion here. Is Dagbↄn Traditional Council against the Split of Dagbↄn into two fronts thus the birth of the Eastern Corridor Region or Dagbↄn Is against any of the 13 districts under their traditional authority being carved out of the current northern Region?… Here Chereponi believes that being under the traditional jurisdiction of Dagbↄn their loyalty is on the test, and it would be best proven if they reject being part of North East Region even though the Acting Regent of Dagbↄn has come out yet again through his new year speech to state that they are not against the creation of North East Region on Mamprugu area.

2. Also, the chiefs of Chereponi believes that, once they do not owe allegiance to Mamprugu Lord, being in the same region with the ethnic group which has a well preserved and cherished chieftaincy tradition under the Nayiri might mean they owe allegiance to or encircled within the Mamprugu kingdom and tradition

3. The Chiefs and Elders of Chereponi allege that they have not consulted on the topic of the proposed creation of the North East Region though they are aware undoubtedly
Having deduced their concerns with reference to interview by their spokesperson on Joy FM on 14th April 2018, my conscience pricks me hence the need to address some of the concerns raised by some chiefs of Chereponi

Addressing Concern One

First I must give a background to the reasons for the opposition to the creation of specific regions. It must be noted that the Dagbↄn Traditional Council on similar concerns called for a special meeting involving paramount and divisional chiefs held at the Gbewaa Palace in Yendi. The meeting was heavily represented by chiefs from the 13 districts that make up the Traditional Council. The 13 areas of jurisdiction thus: Tamale Metro, Chereponi, Gushegu, Kariga, Kumbungu, Mion, Saboba, Sagnarigu, Savelugu/Nanton Municipal, Tatale/Sanguli, Tolon, Yendi Municipal, and Zabzugu falls within the jurisdictions of the Traditional Area.

A communiqué by the Traditional Council signed by the registrar of the Dagbↄn Traditional Council emphatically stated that the “ Council resolved that it will not cede any part of Dagbↄn lands for the convenience of new regional formations. “ Though the council will “continue to respect the legitimate demands of identified stakeholders for new regions to be carved out of the Northern Region“. A week later after this pronouncement from the Dagbↄn Traditional Council, some youth in Yendi calling themselves as the Coalition of Eastern Corridor Region Youth protested against the chiefs and elders of Dagbↄn for seeking to protect their lands as they walk through the streets of Tamale Municipality wearing red shirts amidst chanting songs. The youth supported a call for the formation of another region they termed as the “ Eastern Corridor Region“.

The Chereponi which geographically is located in the proposed “North East Region“ but one of thirteen district areas owing allegiance to the Dagbↄn Traditional Council departs and cautions that, though they do not oppose the creation of new regions, they prefer to remain untouched and in the Northern Region.
The position by Chereponi is mainly because of their loyalty to the decision and interest of the Dagbↄn Traditional Council

Addressing Concern Two

The Chiefs of Chereponi as well believes that once they do not owe allegiance to the overlord of Mamprugu land (In the proposed North East Region area) but Dagbↄn Traditional Council (In the current North Region) they should remain untouched and will object to any process to administratively add their area to the proposed North East Region. I must add that I strongly believe Chereponi may be justified in insisting on their allegiance with the Dagbↄn Traditional Council. Anyone who understands the value, respect and loyalty the people of Northern Region shows to its heritage, culture and chieftaincy institution would understand their stance.

My point of departure, however, is that traditional “regions“ jurisdiction is different from administrative regions. Administrative regions (currently 10 in number) only are required to undertake administrative functions, coordinating functions, as well as supervisory activities among others and not to meddle in traditional authorities and their legitimate functionalities.
Indeed if the concerns of Chereponi is that they do not want to owe allegiance to Mamprugu, or better still they do not want to be disloyal to the skins of Dagbↄn Traditional Council, then there is simply no cause for alarm. The reason is that creating the proposed North East Region will in no way mean supremacy of any traditional council or a shrinking of any other.
Chereponi can still owe allegiance to Dagbↄn Traditional Council they can still attend such traditional functions and activities without any hindrance call at the behest of the Dagbↄn Traditional Council. Administrative regions cannot on their own meddle in chieftaincy relationships!!! Indeed there are a lot of examples to show that traditional relationships can stretch can go beyond one administrative region. For example, in the Brong Ahafo Region, Some Chiefs owe allegiance to the Asante Hene in Kumasi (Ashanti Region) though they are geographically located in Brong Ahafo Region.

Indeed, I must add but under a different context that even with the Mamprusis, the capital of the Mamprusi Kingdom is in Nalerigu where the Nayiri (the palace of the overlord of Mamprugu land) is, currently distant from the five administrative district capitals in the Mamprugu lands. Nalerigu undoubtedly, however, is qualified to an administrative Capital at all levels of the local governance system and structure.

I wish to, therefore, draw the attention of elders and people of Chereponi, that, administrative regions are different from traditional jurisdiction and being part of an administrative region does not prevent any traditional council to owe allegiance to another Stool/Skin of a different region.

Addressing Concern Three

Any important issue as creating a new region obviously requires all to be involved in the process. If Chereponi feels they have not been involved much in the process, I believe they have set the stage for talk, and possibly an opportunity for further deliberations for them to possibly rescind their decision. It`s never late to address all concerns. I must add that since the creation of new regions is a long process, and once it has not ended yet, elders and all frontiers of our “North East Region` ` should continue efforts of garnering popular support, hence bringing Chereponi to the tables for jaw-jaw

The new region is more of to rather serve economic and administrative purposes and interest. It couldn’t have been one of a traditional nor chieftaincy issues. My fellow brothers of Chereponi in the Mamprugu land, our traditional allegiance may be different but, we have many similarities as well. Our enemy is not a new region nor chieftaincy, our enemy is poverty, our common enemy is insecurity and other vices that hinder the development of the area.

Chereponi can pay its allegiance to Dagbↄn, whiles others pay their allegiance to Nayiri, and this won’t affect North East Region. Indeed under a one North East Region, we the sons and daughters would be proud of our unblemished cultural heritage within different perspectives and traditional/chieftaincy allegiance. However, our common sense of purpose should be towards a sustainable and developed geographic area that reflects our lifestyles.

Come what may, the constitutional provisions for a new region is set in motion and God willing a new region will be born, It`s the North East Region, on the Mamprugu land.
Kindly join on social media the groups on the “ I support North East Region“ campaign aimed at sensitization all from the Mamprugu land to endorse the creation of the North East Region. I support North East Region… You should as well!!!

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  1. Hi,
    Currently, there are some names that have come out strongly including Walewale, Gambaga and Nalerigu. However, that will be taken care of later after the people vote for the creation of the North East Region.



    • That surely is an alternative and sometimes preferred especially in areas where there is general consensus on the town in readiness as capital. It becomes difficult however if there are strong and divided opinion on the town to choose as capital. All stakeholders should be involved in this process to the end to avert any unfortunate occurrence

  3. I will like to say that,the regional capital of north east region is suppost to be in Gambaga because it is the district capital of east mamprusi

  4. You are a legend. That’s good for been patriotic to the Mamprugu Kingdom and I wish I know you and to join you. I am practicing journalism


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