The Standing Committee of the Volta Region House of Chiefs held an emergency meeting on Sunday the 27th day of September, 2020, to discuss the rebellious actions, allegedly carried out by a secessionist group called “Western Togoland Group”, at various locations in the Volta Region in the early morning of Friday, 25th September, 2020.
The Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Mr. Kofi Dzamesi and the Minister for National Security, Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah, were invited to attend this very important meeting, but were not able to attend. While the Minister for National Security indicated that he was already in Kumasi to prepare for the President’s tour of the Ashanti Region, the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs said he had previously scheduled other appointments for the day and so could not attend.
The meeting discussed the activities purportedly carried out by “Western Togoland Group”, including:
1. The mounting of road blocks and the burning of lorry tyres on some roads in various parts of the region, which prevented free flow of vehicular traffic;
2. The attack on the Police Station at Mepe, where the group allegedly broke into the Police cell, freed some suspects, and locked up the Policemen on duty. They were also reported to have broken into the armory and made away with some weaponry;
3. The shooting and injuring of the Divisional Police Commander, who was rushed to the hospital for treatment; and,
4. The seizure of Police pick-up vehicles, amid firing of gun shots.
The Volta Region House of Chiefs roundly condemns these acts by the purported “Western Togoland Group” in no uncertain terms. These were criminal actions, which should be investigated and those involved be made to face the full rigours of the law.
The Volta Region House of Chiefs would like to state clearly their commitment to one peaceful and united Ghana, and their preparedness to collaborate with government to ensure peace and stability in the Volta Region and the country at large.
In this regard, we would like to point out worrying and pertinent issues and questions in connection with these alleged rebel actions, the resolution of which are important for our collective work towards strengthening our peace:
1. How the group managed to mount their bill boards and flags without anyone noticing until these bill boards were seen only in the morning, in all past cases. The Committee wondered how the culprits were able to move huge bill boards to different locations, through the various Police check points without the police noticing.
2. More intriguing, was the ability of the culprits to hoist a flag of the “Western Togoland Group” at the Volta Region Coordinating Council, the office of the Regional Minister, this also going unnoticed by the night security.
3. The reassuring, but also intriguing news item on GhanaWeb on the 26th September, 2020, in which the Volta Regional Minister was reported to have sworn that the recent activity was the last time the secessionist group would conduct themselves in such a manner, and that he had been aware of their activities.
4. The identity of those arrested following the events of Friday, 25th September. It was alleged that innocent bystanders who were observing what was happening were arrested. Some traders from Dzemeni, who arrived at one of the illegal road blocks, were also alleged to have been arrested.
5. The identity of two (2) people who were shot dead at Juapong and another three (3) at Battor. One of those shot dead at Juapong was reported to be a known nearby coconut seller.
6. The failure of the Regional Minister, who is the head of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), to call or brief any of our Chiefs on the issue.
7. The inability of National Security to pick up any intelligence on these activities in order to prevent them or arrest the conspirators, allowing these despicable acts to be committed.
Having said all of the above, however, we deem it our responsibility to the people of the Volta Region and the entire nation, to point out some of the incidents and behaviours which have been a source of worry and frustration to the people of the Region:
1. The statement, a few years ago, by Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, urging the killing of the Voltarians and Gas;
2. The recent statement by K. T. Hammond, recorded on video, that the people of the Volta Region are not Ghanaians, but Togolese;
3. The recent, “mistaken” exclusion of the Region’s roads from the national budget; and,
4. The disrespect shown to the Chiefs during visits by political leaders to the region.
5. The video circulated by one Kevin Taylor, supposedly based in the United States of America, in which he alleged that the government was planning to send vigilantes to foment trouble in the Region, ahead of the elections, with a view to disrupting same.
We cannot pretend not to know that these kinds of statements and conducts can have consequences. The meeting reminds all Ghanaians that we have no choice, but to live together, peacefully, on our God-given land. We must all therefore conduct ourselves in ways that will promote our peace, unity and development.
The people of the Volta Region are known to be peace loving, and we want to assure all Ghanaians that the people of the Region will not lend their support to criminal behavior, such as those committed on Friday, 25th September, 2020.
The Volta Region House of Chiefs therefore calls on the government to cause an independent and transparent investigation into the events of Friday, 25th September, 2020, and bring the perpetrators to book, in order to ensure a peaceful environment for the free and fair conduct of the forthcoming general elections, particularly in the Volta Region.
The Volta Region House of Chiefs finally wishes to appeal to the people of the Region to remain calm and help maintain the peace that the region has enjoyed over the years.
TOGBE TEPRE HODO IV
(VOLTA REGION HOUSE OF CHIEFS)