In a historic ceremony, Ndan Yaa Bukali II, the esteemed king of Dagbon, has officially appointed Dikpong Lana Bukali Hamidu as the new Sunsong Naa. The vacant chieftaincy had attracted intense competition from a pool of five individuals, including Dikpong Lana Bukali Hamidu, who ultimately emerged as the successful candidate for the revered position.
Other contenders included Bimbila Tolon Naa, Zogbeli Lana, Gumpa Lana, and Dr. Ibrahim, an orthopedic doctor who serves as Chief under Nanton Naa.The announcement comes following the sad news that reverberated through Dagbon on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, about the passing of the late Sunsong Naa Mahama Shani. It is worth noting that the newly enskinned Sunsong Naa Bukali Hamidu is the junior brother of the late Sunsong Naa Mahama Shani, whose funeral rites were solemnly observed from June 9 to June 16, 2023.
The funeral ceremony attracted a multitude of mourners, including prominent chiefs and dignitaries from Dagbon.Sunson Naa Bukali Hamidu hails from a distinguished lineage. His father, the Late Sunsong Naa Hamidu, and his mother, the regentress of Yelizoli Lan Mahama, played integral roles within the community. Notable siblings include the late General Hamidu and the late Sunsong Naa Mahama Shani Hamidu.
Before assuming the esteemed position of Sunsong Naa, Bukali Hamidu had a successful career as a dedicated educator. His background in teaching is expected to bring valuable insights and experiences to his leadership, ensuring the prosperity and well-being of the people of Dagbon.
Brief History of Sunsong
Delving into the rich history of the Sunsong (spelt Sunsɔŋ in Dagbanli) chieftaincy, Sunsong is located a few kilometers from Yendi, which is the traditional Capital of Dagbon Kingdom and also the District Capital of the Yendi municipality. It is one of the oldest chiefdoms in Dagbon, dating back to the era of Naa Gbewaa. Sunsɔŋnaa Buɣuyɛligu, the first chief of Sunsɔŋ, was the son of Naa Gbewaa. Renowned for his peculiar behavior, he was affectionately referred to as “Na Jarigu,” meaning “the foolish chief.”
Despite the unconventional actions he undertook during his youth, such as drying salt in the rain and shea butter in the sun, Sunsɔŋnaa Bugyɛligu etched his name in the annals of Dagbon’s history.
Previously occupied by Yaanabihi, who had the ability to transition from Sunsɔŋ to the Yani skin, the Sunsong chieftaincy underwent a significant change with the ascension of Naa Zanjina. Following Naa Zanjina’s selection by the Nayiri in a renowned journey to Mamprugu, Sunsong Naa Timani, who was not chosen as Yaa naa, vowed to prevent any Yaanabia from occupying the Yani skin using Sunsong as a gateway.
Consequently, no Sunsong chief qualified to ascend the Yani skin via Sunsong as a gateway.Nevertheless, Sunsong continues to be an important chiefdom for the Yaanabihi people. Traditionally, the chiefs of Sunsong serve as custodians for the Gbimba and Nafieba ethnic groups in eastern Dagbon and play a vital role in the burial ceremonies of deceased kings of Dagbon.
Aboriginal Dagombas : Aboriginal Dagombas : Before The Advent Of Yananima
The appointment of Dikpong Lana Bukali Hamidu as the new Sunsong Naa ushers in a new chapter for the Dagbon kingdom, characterized by the preservation of traditions, cultural heritage, and progress.
The enthronement ceremony promises to be a momentous occasion, symbolizing the continuity and stability of the region. The people of Dagbon eagerly anticipate the leadership and guidance that Sunsong Naa Bukali Hamidu will provide, ensuring the prosperity and harmony of the kingdom for generations to come.