On Saturday, 14th November, 2020, the King and Overlord of the Gonja Kingdom, Yagbonwura Tutumba Bore Esa I, celebrated his 10th anniversary as the leader of the Gonja state, at the Jakpa Palace, Damongo.
The King was installed in March, 2010.
The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-addo was the special guest of honor.
In a speech read for him by the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, to commemorate the 10th anniversary, the president expressed gratitude to the King for his role played together with the eminent Chiefs to get Dagbon a lasting peace.
On the creation of the region, the president recalled how the C.I on the creation of Savannah region was presented to the King of Gonja in Accra.
Nana Akufo-addo said ” on 12th February 2019, I presented Constitutional Instrument (C.I) no.115 to the delegation led by the Yagbonwura, Overlord of Gonja, signifying the official creation of the Savannah region. My presence here means that I am the first president to celebrate Damba festival with the chiefs and people of Gonja in this new region. Like you, this is a day that will long live in my memory “.
The Damba festival, instituted in 18th century, is a celebration of the birth of the Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W), amongst the Gonja ethnic group.
Nana Akufo-addo congratulated the Yagbonwura and the people for their determination to celebrate Damba each year and thanked Yagbonwura for the tittle conferred on him as the Yenawura Wura.
“I take this opportunity on behalf of the Ghanaian people and their government, to salute your determination and tenacity in helping to ensure that the damba festival is celebrated by all who should rightly do so.
I will also use this occasion to thank the Yagbonwura for the title ” Gariba Yenawura wura” conferred on me when I paid a courtesy call on him in July this year. For those of you who may not know, Gariba Yenawura Wura means “King of Promise Keepers”. I assure him that I will continue to do my best to live up to this title”.
Peace is the mother of development. Without peace, no meaningful development can take place. In three (3) weeks, Ghana will to elect parliamentarians and a president. Nana Akufo-addo is calling for peace in the country. “Yagbonwura, with about three weeks to the holding of the 7th December elections, it is important that we foster peace in Gonjaland for the benefit of the region.
Without peace, we cannot activate the processes that will bring about the progress and prosperity of Gonja. To this end, the youths of Gonja should ensure they are not used for violent purposes. I want to make this appeal to you with some three weeks to the holding of the 2020 elections: do not allow yourselves to be used by irresponsible politicians to engage in acts of the civilization, destabilisation and violence. Gonja has been, traditionally, an area of peace and stability”.
Rather, I urge you to seek the path of knowledge for it is the power of illumination. Let us concern ourselves with building a brighter future for ourselves here on earth, and the benefits of the hereafter will follow. After all, it is not for nothing that almighty Allah urges us to pray and sey, ” Our Lord, give us the best of this world, and the best of the hereafter and shield us from the fire of hell.
On development, he said “Savannah region has had it’s fair share of the national cake. You can all attest to the roads, hospitals and educational infrastructure, as well as water and sanitation projects that have been delivered during my tenure of office. Indeed, exactly 4 months ago, I was here to cut the sod for the construction of the 49 million US dollar Damongo water supply system, which provides a befitting water supply system to ensure the supply of reliable portable water to meet the water demands of the Damongo and its environs, for the rapid development of the Savannah region. So Yagbonwura, the residents of the Savannah region, with four more for Nana and the NPP, we will do even more for you.
He used the Damba platform to introduced all the NPP Parliamentary candidates in the region and asked for the blessings of the Gonja King for all the candidates.
The program was chaired by the King of Dagbon state, Ndan Yaa-na and was attended by the former president John Mahama’s representative Gilbert Iddi, the Savannah regional minister, Salifu Adam Braimh, the MP for Damongo Constituency, Adam Mutawakilu Garlus, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Samuel Abu Jinapor, MMDCEs across Savannah region.
The representatives of the Asantehene, Navrapio, political parties leadership, religious and traditional leadership, Queen mothers, security agencies among others.