Alhaji Abass Dangba of the Kuntunkure clan of Damongo who are custodians of Gonja history has said that Gonja Sakparis are never Fulanis and urged the people of Gonja not to twist Gonja history.
Narrating how Mallam Mohammed Labayiru who Gonjas call Fatu Morukpe and who was a spiritualist of the founder of the Gonja Kingdom Sumaila Ndewura Jakpa met, Alhaji Abass said the Gonja army could not advance much after 49 years until they met Fatu Morukpe who had a covenant with Ndewura Jakpa and so followed him and offered prayers for the Gonja army. He said it is historically wrong for anyone to say Fatu Morukpe and his descendants are Fulani.
Addressing the Fulani Community in Ghana and across the West Africa sub region at their Annual Du’a (Prayers) of Tabital Pulaaku International Ghana at Buipe in the Central Gonja District of the Savannah Region on 31st October, 2020, the Paramount Chief of the Buipe Traditional Buipewura Jinapor (II) said Mallam Mohammed Labayiru whom the Gonjas call Fatu Morukpe and who was a spiritualist of the founder of the Gonja Kingdom Sumaila Ndewura Jakpa was a Fulani.
The Buipewura who chaired the programme said;
“…Gonjas and Fulanis are a very different from other tribes because the Fulanis and Gonjas are all coming from Mandingo, Sudan Morocco etc and led by Askia Dawud and Sultan Mouley Ahmed 1550, 1557 and 1560. The founder of the Gonja Kingdom was supported during his conquers buy a man called Mohammed Labayiru whom the Gonjas call Fati Morukpe who was a Fulani but Mallam to Ndewura Jakpa and was the first person to convert Gonjas to Islam in about 1594 to 1615 at Kulor…”.
But Alhaji Abass Dangba disagreed with disagrees and said the Sakparis of the Gonja Kingdom are descended from Mallam Mohammed Labayiru who was never a Fulani but from the Songhai Kingdom whose ethnicity is unknown.
He said it is recorded that Ndewura Jakpa conquered the vast Gonjaland with the help of Fatu who offered prayers for Jakpa’s behalf so that he would be successful in all his adventures. Ndewura Jakpa we are told recognised this man so much because of the role he played in the conquest of Gonjaland.
Alahji Abass said Fatu- Morukpe and his followers became the chaplains of the Gonja Chiefs and they were attached to all the prominent Chiefs courts where ever Ndewura Jakpa left a Chief.
“Today the Sakpari people are responsible for religious affairs of Gonjaland and are seen as very important to the Chiefs of the land. They pray for the land during calamities or occasions”; Alhaji Abass said.