By Samuel Abednego Agbo
Gbi has Dukorfia (Paramount Chief), Dufiawo (Divisional Chiefs) and Samefiawo (Sub-divisional chiefs).
Torgbega Gabusu is the Samefia (Sub-divisional chief of Torkorni Sub-division), then Dufia (Divisional Chief of Gbi-Hohoe Division and then Dukorfia (Paramount Chief of Gbi State i. e. Gbi Dzigbe).
All divisional chiefs in Gbi have Apaka.
The paramount Chief of Gbi i. e. Torgbega Gabusu has both Apaka (palanquin) and Sookoo (litter) while all the divisional chiefs have only Apaka.
The process of enstooling a chief in Gbi is as follows: identification and confinement for eight days starting from either a Thursday or a Saturday and ending on the following Thursday or Saturday; Outdooring; Funeral of the late chief; then actual enstoolment of the new chief.
The chief rides in Apaka / Ahamanka on the day of his actual enstoolment. After that, he rides in Apaka / Ahamanka on special occasions.
Torgbega Gabusu is expected to ride in Apaka only once during his tenure as Gabusu; that is on the day of his actual enstoolment. After that, he is expected to ride only in Sookoo throughout his tenure as GABUSU.
The Situation in Gbi-Bla
Gbi-Bla has one Dufia (i. e. Torgbe Buami) and three Samefiawo (i. e. Torgbe Awalie, Torgbe Vule and Torgbe Ayim).
Per the custom, only the Dufia owns Apaka in Gbi-Bla.
Also, only the Dufia and the sub-divisional chief of Blanyigbe may ride in Apaka in Gbi-Bla. Since riding in Apaka is a sign of displaying your overlordship over your territory, Torgbe Awalie only rides in Apaka in the stead of Torgbe Buami and uses the Apaka of Torgbe Buami for the exercise. This means, anytime Torgbe Awalie is riding in Apaka, he is acting on the customary authority of Torgbe Buami.
The Dufia of Gbi-Bla may also authorize any male from his sub-division to ride in his Apaka in his stead wherever necessary.
The two sub-divisional chiefs of Bladzigbe (i. e. Torgbe Vule and Torgbe Ayim) do not ride in Apaka in Gbi-Bla.
The above is equally the case in all divisions (Duwo) in Gbi, where it is only the Dufia and selected sub-divisional chiefs who, per the customs and traditions of Gbi, may ride in Apaka.
These are customary rules that have nothing to do with whether one can afford an Apaka or not.
It is also the case that a chief cannot ride in Apaka into another chief’s territory without the consent of the other chief.
(The above is quite an abridged presentation on palanquins in chieftaincy. Others are entreated to feed-in with relevant missing-links or correct any inaccurate information identified.)