A leader of the Kuntunkure Clan of Damongo Alhaji Abass Dangba has said that former President John Dramani Mahama did not flout any Gonja Custom at Tuluwe when he visited the area to mourn with the people on the passing of the late Tuluwewura Mahama Yahaya Bonyanso at Tuluwe in the Central Gonja District of the Savannah Region last Thursday 12th March, 2020.
According to Alhaji Abass Dangba, smocks of sub-chiefs and Royals are turned inside out when a Paramount Chief dies but after the three day funeral in accordance to Gonja tradition, it is no longer necessary for one to turn the smock inside out.
Alhaji Abass said former President John Dramani Mahama went to Tuluwe after the three days funeral of the late Paramount Chief of the area and so cannot be faulted for not turning his smock inside out.
Alhaji Abass said Traditionally the Kuntunkure clans are the custodian and source of Gonja history and traditions, therefore, entreated the young ones to strive to learn more on Gonja customs and traditions before commenting on an issue they have little knowledge on.
Bole based Nkilgi contacted Alhaji Abass Dangba for his input on a report that former President John Dramani Mahama was improperly dressed at Tuluwe and has therefore flouted the culture, language and tradition of the Gonja Kingdom.
The NPP in the Yapei-Kusawgu Constituency has in a statement said; “the culture, language and tradition of the Gonja Kingdom were flouted” when the former President visited Tuluwe.
A statement signed by the NPP Director of Communications for the Yapei-Kusawgu constituency Aliyu Zakaria Babana said: “former President John Dramani Mahama was improperly dressed as expected of him as a royal of the Kingdom mourning a Paramount Chief (his father) by virtue of the culture and Traditions of his own kinsmen”.
In another social media post, the NPP Communication Officer for the Yapei-Kusawgu Constituency said former President Mahama who is royal could not even speak Gonja properly and only spoke with help from those by his side.
But Alhaji Abass Dangba reacting to this said being a Gonja is not one’s ability to speak Gonja fluently but added in the case of former President John Dramani Mahama, he speaks good Gonja.
He said the father of former President John Dramani Mahama (EA Mahama) moved with his children to Accra and did not stay with them for long periods because he was a busy removed serving as a Minister in Kwame Nkrumah’s government. Alhaji Dangba explained that some of the children of E.A. Mahama attended boarding schools in Accra where they picked other languages and so should be commended for their ability to speak the Gonja language after growing up.
Alhaji Abass Dangba said the most important thing is that former President John Dramani Mahama is Royal of Bole and can ascend the Bole skin of Gonja.