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Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) - Culture - Nairaland

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Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by dre11(m): 10:00am On May 01, 2016
In a small rural community in the southern part of Adamawa State, women have established themselves on the throne, ruling the men for about two and a half centuries. Throughout the history of Arnado Debbo, it has been the exclusive right of women to ascend the throne of Dimgyeb.

The small, rural settlement, about five kilometers from Ganye town, the administrative headquarters of Ganye Local Government Area, is mainly inhabited by small scale farmers and petty traders. The community had flourished as an independent chiefdom until the advent of colonial administration when it came under Sugu District.

Before driving along one of the worst roads in Adamawa to get to the village, visitors have to obtain permission from the district head of Sugu, who usually sends one of his aides with the visitors to facilitate audience with the female ruler through her council members.

In accordance with the tradition of Arnado Debbo, visitors are kept waiting for some time at a small round hut made from mud and thatched roof as the aides work to complete the process of final confirmation from their queen.

As soon as final confirmation is received, visitors are ushered into the modest and traditional compound that shows the history of the throne. The ruler occupies the central hut, which is surrounded by few others. In the central hut, she sits on a simple chair in a thatched porch, with a female aide to her left and male courtiers sitting on a sprawling mat before her.

The 76-year-old Nyagangwu (ruler) of the village, Bintu Namda, was crowned in November 2014 after beating another female contestant to the throne. The contest followed a screening by members of the ruling clan to reduce the number of contesting princesses. She is the 16th ruler in the succession since the first female ruler, Gangwun Sukbarun blazed the trail for women 246 years ago.

Malam Atiku Gende, an 89-year-old council member who has worked with six rulers in the traditional house, explained that the traditional council consists of 10 kingmakers (kemembu), the Yeba (custodian of newly selected rulers) and four elders from the area. He added that the area under the control of the ruler extends to seven surrounding villages, each with its male ward head reporting to the Gangwu.

“The Kemembu are charged with the responsibility of selecting a new ruler. After selection, they keep her in my custody (Yeba) until the day she will be accompanied to the palace. Everything around her must be traditional. She eats from a wooden plate and lives in a traditional room,” he said.

According to him, the history of female rulers began more than two centuries ago when the kingdom was confronted with a mysterious problem - the kings died between three to six months on the throne. So the princess and kingmakers decided to experiment with women as rulers. That’s how the throne was conceded to the womenfolk.

He said the first woman to rule the kingdom reigned for nine years.
According to him, men no longer lay claim to the throne. In fact, it has become a taboo for men to show interest on the throne. He noted that the community is properly guided by the ancient tradition and the people are comfortable with their female rulers.

He said that following the consensus that transferred power to women, Nyagangwu Sukbarub ruled for nine years while the second female ruler, Nyagangwu Seuduu ruled for 22 years. Also, Nyagangwu Jubkuna ruled for 31 years, Nya Gangwu Shukji ruled for 17 years and Nyagangwu Kuhube who ruled for eight years.

Gende further said that Nyagangwu Nyagyeb ruled for 41 years; Nygangwu Nyabuu, 18 years; Nyagangwu Saante, 25 years; Nyagangwu Gan Ya Khantso, 11 years; Nyagangwu Nyasir, 16 years; Nyagangwu Wekangshi, 21 years; Nyagangwu Umma Toro, 17 years; and Nyaganwu Astadukko Buba, eight years.
The present ruler, Nyagangwu Bintu Namda, has so far spent two years on the throne, he said.

The council member said whenever there was a drought or other natural disasters, the ruler, who is also the traditional and spiritual leader of the community, leads the people to offer sacrifices on the mountains and seek guidance from the gods.
He, however, noted that with the advent of Islam and Christianity, the ruler now mobilises religious leaders to conduct prayer sessions in their respective worship places.

Gende, who was appointed a council member 54 years ago, could still remember when a hyena and an antelope came to the village during the reign of Nyagangwun Saante. He said the ruler saw that as a warning from the spirits; hence she quickly summoned the council to discuss the strange occurrence. After consultations with the then traditionalists on the mountains, it was found out that an unmarried girl got pregnant. So the girl’s father was made to pay a fine of a he-goat and 20 measures of guinea corn, which would be used to offer sacrifice.

He revealed that, for a princess to be shortlisted as a contestant to the throne, she must be at least 60 years of age. This is because at this age, she is expected to be experienced in life and free from sexual relationships, even with her husband.

Shedding more light on the activities of the kingdom, the Wakili (prime minister), Muhammadu Kambari, said the rulers (Nyagangwu) were installed from Sugu, the district headquarters of the community. He added that every gangwun must live in the traditional compound in the village, from where she rules, while the Wakili liaises with other traditional rulers and government officials in the district to represent her in public functions.

He added that all visitors to the Nyagangwun, including her family members and children,were received by the Wakili, as tradition forbids her from receiving guests. However, during festive periods, the ruler hosts women, where she interacts with them and cracks jokes.

But despite the rich history of Arnado Debbo, the community lacks basic social amenities. The only primary school in the village was established in 1979, and since then, no new structure has been added to it. The community relies on local wells as the only source of water.

“This kingdom comprises of seven villages, three of which are located in the mountains, but we do not have a single dispensary, not to talk of basic primary health clinic. Our women and children have to go to Sugu for medical treatment; and you can see that there is no road to Suku. We call on the government to construct the road to this place,” one of the villagers said.

A male member of the ruling clan, who did not want to be quoted, lamented that successive governments in Adamawa State had neglected the community and its traditional structure. He emphasised the need to improve the traditional architecture of the palace to promote the cultural heritage of the state and harness its tourism potentials.

“Although Nyagangwun’s room needs to be simple and traditional, the palace needs some architectural upgrade to represent the rich history of the ruling dynasty. Government should invest in this cultural treasure,” he said.


http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/arnado-debbo-adamawa-community-where-only-women-can-rule/144769.html

4 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by klassykute(m): 10:02am On May 01, 2016
lol she is ruling on a plastic chair .... why she no get like oba or oni or emir chair na ... she dey wait make guy buy am for am?

23 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by psyqs(m): 5:40pm On May 01, 2016
angry
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by OBTMOS(m): 5:40pm On May 01, 2016
I wud av been first to comment fa, i was so close
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Nobody: 5:41pm On May 01, 2016
She fit marry two husbands

1 Like 1 Share

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by obedjohn: 5:41pm On May 01, 2016
Lol....funny
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by firstolalekan(m): 5:42pm On May 01, 2016
sad grin

1 Like

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Joyce28(f): 5:42pm On May 01, 2016
Sitting on a plastic chair to
rule a community
Na wa!

2 Likes

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Xtanixlax(m): 5:43pm On May 01, 2016
If u are not born in May, u should be BORN AGAIN! Its my b'day!. can i get "A HUNDRED LIKES" from u guys?

96 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Ameedan: 5:43pm On May 01, 2016
Interesting
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by hensben(m): 5:44pm On May 01, 2016
Women are just trying this days to do what is meant for men. Smh. If w nor be Panadol e nor fit be Panadol

1 Like

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Nobody: 5:44pm On May 01, 2016
Joyce28:
Sitting on a plastic chair to rule a community Na wa!
Make she sitdown for golden chair?

5 Likes

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by miqos02(m): 5:45pm On May 01, 2016
cool
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by saintneo(m): 5:46pm On May 01, 2016
Angela Merkel loading....

2 Likes

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by imohchard(m): 5:47pm On May 01, 2016
Rich history I must admit..

Almost similar to the british story.
They used to be king of England before king goerge died without a male heir. So victoria ascended her fathers throne. Since she too did not have a male child, her daughter the present queen succeded her

5 Likes

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by greatness22(m): 5:47pm On May 01, 2016
Lol, she's sitting on the throne.





Meanwhile, here are the princess of the clan

1 Like

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Ayanko(m): 5:48pm On May 01, 2016
That is good.
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Houseofglam7(f): 5:48pm On May 01, 2016
Issokay
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by great664(m): 5:50pm On May 01, 2016
Since no Bombing in that Part, she should continue ruling in Her White Plastic Throne.
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by kushma(m): 5:50pm On May 01, 2016
Owk they can continue ruling there the community is undeveloped at all like they are a century backward.
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Odunsco01(m): 5:52pm On May 01, 2016
funny...
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Nobody: 6:00pm On May 01, 2016
hensben:
Women are just trying this days to do what is meant for men. Smh. If w nor be Panadol e nor fit be Panadol

It says it's been for 246years..

7 Likes

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by 100Cents: 6:02pm On May 01, 2016
Women go pay bride price for men nah ?

1 Like

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Sufficiency121(f): 6:10pm On May 01, 2016
Xtanixlax:
If u are not born in May, u should be BORN AGAIN!
Its my b'day!. can i get "A HUNDRED LIKES" from u guys?I

After u accuse us of not being born again.... grin

4 Likes

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Nobody: 6:13pm On May 01, 2016
Hmmmm, its well.
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by meeky007(m): 6:16pm On May 01, 2016
ENDTIME RULER
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by DBossNG(m): 6:21pm On May 01, 2016
Truly?
Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by aprokomania(m): 6:28pm On May 01, 2016
imohchard:
Rich history I must admit..

Almost similar to the british story.
They used to be king of England before king goerge died without a male heir. So victoria ascended her fathers throne. Since she too did not have a male child, her daughter the present queen succeded her
you have your history all wrong. Queen Elizabeth is not the daughter of Queen Victoria

2 Likes

Re: Arnado Debbo: Adamawa Community Where Only Women Can Rule (photo) by Figs(m): 6:31pm On May 01, 2016
land of d unseen

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