Battle for Savannah Regional Chief Imam position in force

Source: Nkiligi FM Online

“So long as Gonjaland remains Savannah region, every Yagbon Imam should be the automatic Imam of the region just as every Yagbonwura is the automatic President of the Savannah regional house of Chiefs and that using the Yagbon Imam as Savannah Region Chief Imam will solve many issues in future because there are already existing Islamic Traditional processes in place to elect a Chief Imam for Yagbon and the processes have withstood the test of time”.

This statement was in the petition of Sakpare or Kamagtey Clan of the Gonja Kingdom (Savannah Region) to the King and Overlord of Gonja Yagbonwura Bii-Kunuto Jewu Soale (I) for the acclamation of the Yagbon Imam, Sheikh Kassim Abdulai as the legitimate Chief Imam of the Savannah Region.

It was made at a conference of Gonja Sakpare Imams, Islamic Clerics, Academicians, and Professionals who converged in Buipe in the Central Gonja District of the Savannah Region on Monday 23rd May, 2023.

Alhaji Sumaila Mahama (Somawura) who is the head of the Sakpare Clan in the Wasipe Traditional Area of Gonja presented the Communique indicating that the Savannah Region is not different from Gonjaland and the entire region is under the authority of Gonja and before the region was created, Gonjaland already has the Yagbon Imam as it’s state Imam and the custodian of Islam in the state.

He said it is difficult to delineate Gonja Chieftaincy structure from its Islamic structures and so Imamship per the Gonja tradition is hereditary and that is why the Yagbonwura and each divisional Chief of Gonja is given a Sapkare Imam for the smooth running of the state.

“It is only the lineage of the founder of the Gonja Kingdom Ndewura Jakpa that become Chiefs and so we Sakpares who are the custodians of Islam in Gonja have unanimously selected the Yagbon Imam (Supreme Chief Imam of Gonjaland/Savannah Region and the Custodian of Gonja Islamic Spirituality) as the legitimate Savannah Regional Chief Imam,” he said.

The head of the Gonja Sakpare Clan of Wasipe Traditional Area of Gonja further said the formation of the Gonja state was synonymous with the introduction of Islam and that the Sakpare Imamate of Gonja was founded by Fatigi- Morukpe (an Islamic Jurist).

Alhaji Sumaila also said the religion of Islam was established in the Gonja Kingdom as far back as the 17th Century and Islam has been articulated in the Gonja societies and was made a state religion through the creation of the Sakpare Imamate.


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