Buem – Balemi

Buems are open minded and people with a common purpose. We are GUANS and live in the Middle part of the Volta Region of Ghana. Lelemi, which is written, is the spoken dialect.

Buems migrated originally from today Burkina - Faso through the Brongs southwards to Denkyira. However with Asante Kingdom invasion and defeat of the of the Denkyiras under their King Ntim Gyakari in 1701.Due to the state of insecurity and their distaste for Asante dominance, they migrated further and settled at the Afram plains today.

Their settlement saw them sharing boarders westward with the Tapas. Through their wars of conquest, they fought the Kwahus Dukumans and other existing tribes. The Buem Kingdom at its peak of glory was headed by a confederate council comprising the head chief (Omanhene and traditional priests).Their boarders northwards stretched as far as to Kete Karachi. Eastwards the kingdom extended as far into parts of present day Togo. Southerly, the Buems were bordered by the Ewe tribes of the Gbis and Akpinis. The Asante Empire at that time sensing the growing influence of the Buem kingdom contemplated an invasion to disrupt their position.Due to its total control at that time of the eastward parts, trade routes from Kete- Karachi in the north to the southern coast. Secondly between the early parts of the 17th century the kingdom has become a force to reckon with. The Asante Empire under Kofi Karikari evaded the Buem state between 1869 till 1890.These invasion tested the warfare skills, resistance and resilience of the Buems.

The Buems tactics of warfare organization saw them in alliance with the Tapas and Woraworas. The Asante invasion was repelled and defeated. Around the 17th century the Buem Kingdom’s expansion and influence was felt far beyond its boundaries. This stability and influence attracted various settlement groups of people from other areas into the kingdom. These groups of settlers were in the kingdom in seeking of security, prosperity, stability and protection. Others have various reasons for migrating into the kingdom at that time. These groups of settlers irrespectively were organized and ruled by the Buem Omanhene. They intend swore oath of allegiance and paid homage to the Buem Omanhene. Since the Buem Omanhene is the custodian of all Buem lands. To mention, these groups were the people of Asato, Worawora, Apesokubi and Akposos. Others were Nkonyas, Ahamansus and Pampawie. The Woraworas at that time having been ostracized from Kuntanase in the Asante State joined these group of settlers who helped fight and defeated the Asante Kingdom in 1869.Since then, the Woraworas have settled in the Buem and paid homage to the Buem Omanhene. The Buems under the consolidated leadership of Nana Aburam Akpangya I moved from Kologbangye to Bodada. This place has remained the traditional and spiritual capital of the Buems till today.

In 1899, the Germans in an attempt to annex the Buem State as part of their colony in Trans Volta Togoland at that time was met with resistance.Since the Buems envisaged their qualities of identity and could control their own state of affairs. In an attempt to over take the fertile cocoa growing lands which was of economic importance to the Buems by Akposos in 1936. The Buems together with their settlers – Worawora and others organized under Nana Akpangya II defeated the Akposos.

It remains undisputable fact that. The Buems have been a Kingdom that existed never to have been conquered in the history of Ghana today. With a traditional confederate system of administration. The Buem Omanhene is the head of the traditional council. This council is made up of 14 original Buem towns together with the settlement towns including the Bowiris. The traditional council under the Omanhene is sub divided into two divisions made up of Nifa and Benkumhene. The Nifa divisions has its capital at Kudje. Whilst Guamang is the alternate capital of the Benekum Division.

These 14 original Buem towns together with the settlement towns were sub divided into two to come under both Nifa and Benkum respectively. All these towns with their sub-chiefs, owes direct allegiance to the Buem Omanhene at Bodada.

With the advent of political independence in Ghana, a chieftaincy institution has been undermined. Traditional allegiance has given way to party politics affiliations. As such various Omanhenes and sub-chiefs in Ghana today have become stogies of political parties. Whilst most sub-chiefs distant and disassociate themselves from existing oath of allegiance. They intend seek for political appointments and baseless elevations into paramountcys without existence of traditional councils. A component ingredient basically required for elevation to Omahene’s status. The Omanhenes on the other hand, uses their position to amass wealth at the expense of their traditional council and the people. This has created turmoil of confusion without history been set straight in Ghanaian chieftaincy institution. In spite of various chieftaincy commission of inquiries set up to straighten up these mess. However an attempt to individually alternate the course of Buem authenticated documented history through politics. Is just as a leopard changing its spots and escaping realities. It is with morale and practical wisdom. If these enclaves or municipalities towns today such as Kadjebi, Asato, Worawora, Apesokubi, Ahamanso.Their Ahenfos will forge a comprehensive unity with the Buem Omanhene. This brings understanding of development to the people of the area together. Since it is no doubt that at least the Buems wisdom have brought them as far as to where they are today. The Buem Omanhene like his contemporaries, Tapahene, Nkonya and the Karachiwura has a permanent seat at the Volta Regional House of Chiefs.

The diligence, resilience and tact of diplomacy in the Buems traditionally, have come a long way creating in the Buems the sense of responsibility and open mindedness. Their avoidance of headlong confrontation and confusion in return, welcomes harmonious co-existence with their neighbors. These characteristics nature of the people has earned them respect and honor as leaders of the Volta Region.

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