Historic royal visit: Gonja, Dagbon overlords forge unity, cooperation

Historic royal visit: Gonja, Dagbon overlords forge unity, cooperation

The Overlord of the Gonja Kingdom, Yagbonwura Bii-kunuto Jewu Soale I, has embarked on a historic visit to the Overlord of  Dagbon, Ya-Na Abukari II, at the Gbewa Palace in Yendi in the Northern Region.


The meeting between the two traditional leaders last Sunday underscores a burgeoning era of unity, cooperation and cultural renaissance in northern Ghana. It also symbolises a deep commitment to fostering peace, as well as strengthening ties and mutual understanding among people of the two ancient kingdoms.

It is the first time a Yagbonwura is visiting a Ya-Na. Although the two kingdoms have been neighbours for centuries, no overlord or chief has ever visited the other. For past decades, the two ethnic groups have lived peacefully and intermarried.

Consequently, the Gbewa Palace was awash with vibrant displays of traditional regalia as the Yagbonwura was greeted with great enthusiasm and pomp. Traditional drummers and dancers set a festive tone, underlining the importance of the monumental occasion. 


Clad in beautiful traditional regalia, chiefs and residents converged on the Gbewa Palace to witness the momentous event. At about 9 a.m., the venue was already filled to capacity and charged with ecstasy as they awaited the arrival of the Yagbonwura.

When the Yagbonwura finally arrived with his retinue, the venue and the whole of Yendi went agog as people rushed to catch a glimpse of him and be part of history. The climax of the event was when the two rulers exchanged pleasantries and had a tete-a-tete.

The leaders engaged in hearty discussions, sharing words of wisdom and exploring avenues for joint development projects that could benefit their communities. Many have described the visit as a turning point in the relations between the two kingdoms.

It is the expectation of the people that the renewed camaraderie would pave the way for effective collaboration to promote peaceful co-existence among the people.


Addressing the durbar, Yagbonwura Soale emphasised the importance of unity and collective effort in tackling common challenges such as poverty, education and health care in their respective jurisdictions.

He expressed his admiration for the Ya-Na’s leadership and his wisdom in reconciling the entire kingdom after the resolution of the age-long Dagbon chieftaincy dispute.

"As leaders, we have a responsibility to influence and make a positive impact on our people. I believe this courtesy call serves as an example of our commitment to peace, unity and cooperation,” he stated.

Mutual respect

Reciprocating the warm sentiments, Ya-Na Abukari highlighted the historical bonds and mutual respect that had long existed between the Gonjas and the Dagombas.

He reaffirmed his commitment to working closely with the Yagbonwura to ensure that the aspirations of their people were realised. “We have Dagbon royals born of Gonja mothers and vice versa. These connections emphasise our unity and the commonalities that bind us together," the Ya-Na stated.


From the East, Dagbon shares boundary with Gonja in East Gonja (Kpembe Traditional Area), in the south with Kusawgu Traditional Area in the Central Gonja District, and in the north, Gonja (Wasipe) shares boundary with Dagbon in the Tolon District.

Meanwhile, the Yagbonwura is expected to pay a similar visit to the Overlord of Mamprugu, Naa-Bohagu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, at the Nayiri Palace in Nalerigu in the North East Region.

Writer’s email:[email protected]

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