Akisibadek elected on February 2, 2001 in Sandema

After the death of Chief Ayukanbe on September 21, 1995 the office of the Kademanaab became vacant.

On the morning of February 2, 2001 a crowd of people gathered on the election site not far from the Sandem-naab's palace: chiefs of other Bulsa villages, officers of the Sandema Local Council, Kadema compound heads, policemen, who should guarantee a smooth course of events, petty traders, music bands, curious visitors and of course lots of children of all ages. Between 10 and 11 o'clock the contest-ants, surrounded by their close friends and male relatives arrived on the festival ground. Some time later the Sandemnaab in his white Mercedes with two riders on impetuous horses in front of him and a courtier holding a large red parasol behind the car entered the scene. The Sandema-chief and his retinue sat down in the shade of some trees, beside him the chiefs of other Bulsa-villages and in front of him, facing the group of chiefs the three contestants: Akisibadek Ayukanbe, the late chief's son from Kadema-Gaadem, Anbang-puringnaab, the late chief's father's son and Ajeuk (?), son of Anangaasa from Kadema-Kpikpaluk.

The Sandemnaab arriving in his car

For a foreign visitor it is surprising that a Bulsa election is carried out according to democratic principles and procedures. To each of the candidates the Sandem-naab as-signs a tree on the election site, and all the yeri-nyam (com-pound heads) of the village in question can give their votes by placing them-selves be-hind their favourite contestant. In the election of the new Kadema chief an episode in the procedure caused some con-fusion. When the voters gathered around Anangpu-ringnaab recognized that they could not gain a majority, the whole group (including Anangpuringnaab himself) marched to Akisibadek's tree and placed them-elves behind him to demonstrate the unity of their family and the complete absence of envious feelings. For a moment the organizers of the election were at a loss and asked both candidates to give report to the Sandemnaab. In a short discussion Anangpuringnaab's decision was approved.

After some policemen had picked some seven or eight young persons out of the long queue of voters, because they did not have the status of a yeri-nyono, it was quite clear that Akiskanbe had won the election by a vast majority.

The final election results were as follows:

Akisibadek (+ Anangpuringnaab): 131 votes

Ajeuk (Kpikpaluk): 23 votes.

There was an exuberant joy among most of the people present, when Akisibadek stepped up to the Sandemnaab and was "crowned" with the red cap, a symbol of Bulsa chieftaincy.

This last official ceremony was followed by entertainment, drumming and dancing. On the shoulders of some friends, pelted with white powder, the new chief was carried to the house of some relatives in Sandema. Here the festivities continued until late in the night.