Accra Zango Durbar Of Chiefs Attracts Thousands

The Greater Accra Zango Durbar of Chiefs and World Hausa Day under the auspices of Sarkin Zangon Ankara, Sarki Alhaji Yahya Hamisu Bako attracted thousands of people from across the Greater Accra Region. The Durbar of Chiefs and the World Hausa Day Celebration was under the theme “Owning up to our responsibilities as Hausa Zango men” in the Communities. “The role of Hausa in the cultural and socio-economic development of Ghana”.

The Durbar was aimed at promoting and projecting the culture of the Zangos as well as advocating and promoting the Hausa language and protecting the well-being of the Hausas in Ghana.

The colorful and meticulously organized event galvanized a number of Zango Chiefs, Queen mothers and traditional Chiefs from all walks of life. There were other dignitaries including political party representatives and the Chief Executive Officer of the Zongo Development Found. Sub-chiefs from various tribes dwelling in Zango communities formed a procession from the Abossey Okai Central Mosque through the principal street of Sabon Zango to the Durbar grounds to pay homage to the Greater Accra Zango Chief and the invited guests.

A historian Mohammed Mansur Inusah gave a brief history of Sabon Zango and how it came to being; the name ” Sabon Zango” has its etymology from the Hausa Language which literally means the “new settlement”. The town was founded by some of the earliest Hausa settlers in Southern Ghana and it remains one of the oldest Zango settlements in the country. A number of events culminated in the resettlement the historian revealed. He added that Sabon Zango is also the birthplace of Ghana’s current Second lady Samira Bawumia.

In the early 80s, there was an influx of migrants from the Sahel Region of West Africa to the coastal cities and some of these settlers settled in Old Accra, near the Accra High Street. The Fulani migrants according to him tended cows whiles the Hausa and Zarma (Zabarmawa) migrants traded along the West African sub-region. The Hausas in Accra on the other hand traded in kola (Goro) from the hinterlands through Jamestown Port. Mohammed Mansur Inusah stated that Sabon Zango was founded by one of the earlier Hausa settlers, Mallam Barko, the son of Mallam Na-Inno. Mallam Na-Inno and his close associate, Mallam Garba arrived in Accra from Katsina between 1845 and 1850, primarily to spread Islam. Upon arrival, they settled in James Town, Ga-Mashie, in a rented house, which is traceable to this day. In March 1881, Mallam Na-Inno and Mallam Garba secured land from the chiefs and elders of Ussher town to establish the first Muslim settlement called Zangon Ussher town or Zangon Mallam.
Twelve years later in 1893, Mallam Na-Inno, the then Imam of Accra and chief of Zangon Mallam died. He was succeeded by his son, Mallam Barko (after the resettlement to Sabon Zango), and the role of the Imamship of Accra was given to Mallam Garba, Na-Inno’s associate. Mallam Garba also died in 1902, shortly after he had been re-instated as the Imam of Accra by the then Colonial Governor Sir Matthew Nathan. Mr. Mansour noted that while Mallam Na-Inno is associated with the founding of Zangon Ussher town or Zangon Mallam or present Zango-Lane, his son, Mallam Barko, had his name attached to the founding of Sabon Zango, about 5 kilometers to the South-west of the old Zangon-Mallam in Ussher town (Zango-Lane)

The Chairman of the Hausa Day and Durbar of Chiefs celebration, Alhaji Jalil Abubakar used the occasion to call on Hausas in Ghana to know their rights as citizens of Ghana so as to participate in national activities. Hausas were recruited into the various security agencies before, during and after independence adding that they are still playing major roles in the development of the country. The current Accra Zango Chief, Sarki Alhaji Yahya Hamisu Bako and some prominent Zango personalities have drawn the government’s attention to the discrimination and stereotyping, stigmatization and intimidation faced by the Hausas when applying for passports and other national documents. Street-level bureaucrats tend to influence public policy in the course of their civic duty. The procession was characterized by drumming, brass band display and horse riding.

Source: Faisel Mustapha