Arnado Debbo: Adamawa community where only women can rule.

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.

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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.
Credit: Daily Trust.

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