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The Truth About The Western Togoland And The Volta Region

botchway June 14, 2018

 The Separatists Spoiling for War They Cannot Win (final)

The Ewes are indigenous people inhabiting the coasts of the republics of Ghana, Togo and Benin, and traditionally organised into small kingdoms with kings chosen from among the chiefs, and had never been united under one ruler like the Asantes.

The desire of some Ewes to be united under one sovereign state came in the manifesto of one of the two Ewe-based political parties, the Togoland Congress, led by S. G. Anto. Formed in 1951, it called for the unification of Ewes in the British and French Togolands. But another Ewe-based political party, the Anlo Youth Organisation (also known as the Anlo Youth Association), led by Modesto Apaloo, campaigned for the Ewe people under British rule to remain in Ghana after independence.

Maybe the urge to unite as one nation came from their observation of powerful kingdoms like Asante, Dagomba, Mamprusi and others in the north.

It is also very obvious that not all Ewes are for separation, and from the look of things, the secessionists are mainly based in the Ho, Hohoe and Kpandu area, which is about 15% of the total land mass of the Volta Region.

These separatists who had only 42% during the Plebiscite are making so much noise about the need for their desire to be fulfilled. If the minority wants to have their way, then what about the wishes of the 30.5% of Ewes who also voted to unite with Ghana during the 1956 Plebiscite?

Recently, some youth, most probably Ewes, went on a demonstration warning the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government not to make any attempt to separate the Volta Region, since, to them, it is not the property of Ghana. Their spokesperson went on ranting about the invincibility of Ewes, whom he claimed fought seven foughts, probably, he wanted to say the Ewes fought seven wars, and were never defeated. He dared the President not to take their peaceful nature for granted.

In the first place, yes, the Volta Region, like the Western and Central regions, has never been divided before. However, this spokesperson should have known that the so-called Western Togoland they are crying for was split, with the northern half merging into the Northern Region, and when that region was also split, some part of the old British Togoland became part of the Upper East Region. So, in effect, the Volta Region, as it stands now, is a fragment of the Trans Volta Togoland.

During the 1956 Plebiscite, all of the North voted to be part of Ghana, because the seats of their sovereign states were all in the Gold Coast, and they would rather be in that country to have direct links with their kings and chiefs.

The Ewes in the British Togoland, who voted massively against unification with the Gold Coast, did so primarily because they never wanted to be under Akans. That idea of joining all Ewes to become one nation, which was a secondary option in itself could never materialise, for the Ewes never formed a single unit kingdom, as the northern tribes did.

Having said this, the rivalry between them does not look conducive for any idea of unification into a state. Even in the line of religion, where the water of baptism is supposed to unite members as one in the Body of Christ, the blood of tribe proved to be thicker. When in 1975, the See of Catholic Diocese of Keta was transferred to Ho to form the Keta-Ho Diocese, the near-bloody conflict with ethnocentric overtones almost divided the church. The Anlos dared anyone to remove the Bishop’s Chair from the Keta Cathedral to Ho. To forestall peace, a new Chair was sewn for the Bishop in the regional capital.

All Lies and Hypocrisy

The spokesperson for some youth demonstrators claimed that Ewes have never been defeated in any war before, and, in fact, this is known to the whole world. What happened before the Germans abducted the Aneho Chief so as to have a hold on the Ewes? And what happened to the resistance against the Germans from Kpandu and a number of towns in central Togo in 1894, before those towns were razed to the ground and properties confiscated, and people fined between 200 and 1,100 marks? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Togoland)

And what resulted in the failure of the Northern Ewe campaign against Ghana’s independence, which was intensified, before, during, and after March 6, 1957, in which the aggressors killed and maimed innocent people, including policemen? For more details about this Independence Day violence, which has always been erroneously blamed on the innocent United Party, please check page 11 of the Graphic edition of March 11, 1957, under the heading, Togoland Crisis. The government of the day gave chilling accounts of how the Northern Ewes had carefully planned and trained in military fashion, and unleashed bloodshed, with the hope to halt the independence process which would unite British Togoland to Ghana, as mandated by the UN. So which wars did the Ewes win at all that their spokesperson will keep warning Ghanaians to beware of them?

All the noises being made boil down to the imminent division of the Volta Region, and here, the hypocrisy of these secessionists comes obvious. When, in 2016, President Mahama, on a campaign in Ho, promised to split the region and received cheers and shouts of approval.

Come 2017, the NPP government, in carrying out its campaign promise, started plans of splitting the Volta Region. Prominent Ewes from mid-Volta, including traditional leaders, went to lobby to have the split beginning from the Hohoe and Kpandu municipalities, so that the capital of the proposed Oti Region will be Hohoe. Others expressed their thoughts on paper, hoping that the name Oti would be dropped all together in favour of North Volta.

Now that it is imminent that the Oti Region will start from the Biakoye and Jasikan districts, up north to Nkwanta North district, all hell has broken loose and we now have the youth challenging the government to a war.

In conclusion, this four-part submission, which dwelt largely on the UN documents, has come to prove that the results of the 1956 Plebiscite were implemented accordingly, and that British Togoland became a full component part of Ghana on March 6, 1957. In as much as some people may disagree, it is a UN decision and nothing can be done about that. As it is, many Ghanaians have renounced their citizenship and naturalised as other nationals. They were free to go, and they went leaving behind the land of their birth. So the few disgruntled Ewes who want to secede must quietly leave our land behind and go wherever they so please. The Volta Region will be split into Oti Region and Todzie Region (Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volta_Region), and the only thing with the Volta tag will be the River Volta.

In 1992, Ashanti Region was the only region to have voted against the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Would it have been possible for that region to secede from Ghana because it objected to the winning party? These minority Ewes have no case.

Hon. Daniel Dugan




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