Traditional warriors numbering about 70 and spotting battle smocks popularly known in Ewe as Ã¢â‚¬ËœAdewuÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, stormed the principal streets of Ho yesterday to demonstrate against what they call Ã¢â‚¬Ëœthe insubordination of Kenwuud Nuworsu, the Volta Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to Togbe Afede, Overlord of the Asogli Traditional Area.
Comprising both genders, the warriors who said they represented the Asogli Youth, sang war songs and beat war drums, holding placards some of which read: Ã¢â‚¬ËœTogbe is not a form-four leaverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, Ã¢â‚¬ËœNuworsu Kudzovi, you have gone too farÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, and Ã¢â‚¬ËœAmea deke menoa sordzi foa sor wo tome ooÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, meaning Ã¢â‚¬Ëœnobody sits on a horse and slaps the horseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
Others read: Ã¢â‚¬ËœYou canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t insult our chief and stay on our landÃ¢â‚¬â„¢,Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬ËœKenwuud handover NADMO wellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, Ã¢â‚¬ËœGo to your hometown DzodzeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, and Ã¢â‚¬ËœKenwuud go back to schoolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
Though the demonstration received serious publicity, it received very low patronage.
Many people however rushed to the streets to catch a glimpse of the Ã¢â‚¬ËœwarriorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ but were dumbfounded as to what was happening. Many of them were heard asking what the demonstration was all about.
The inability of the bystanders to know what was happening also created room for speculations. While some said they were demonstrating against the NPP, others speculated that they were holding a protest against the numerous injustices going on in the country.
In a press briefing after the demonstration, Sohefia Agbehali, who spoke on behalf of the demonstrators, said following the recent visit by President Mills, Ã¢â‚¬Å“there have been several misguided attacks on our king, the Agbogbomefia of Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV, based on the misunderstanding or intentional distortion of his speech at the durbar held in honour of the President.Ã¢â‚¬Â
According to them, they would have ordinarily treated the alleged attacks Ã¢â‚¬Å“with the contempt they deserve just as we have done with previous ones, but lest our silence be misinterpreted to mean weakness.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We find it necessary to respond to these attacks, some of which came from known criminals and others whose only motivation in politics is greed.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The agitated Ã¢â‚¬ËœwarriorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ said section 63 (C) of the Chieftaincy Act (759) 2008 states among others that Ã¢â‚¬Å“a person who knowingly uses disrespectful or insulting language or insults a chief by word or conduct, commits an offence and is liable to summary conviction.Ã¢â‚¬Â
According to them, they are not surprised that people Ã¢â‚¬Å“like Mr. Kenwuud Nuworsu and his cronies, knowing very well that they were nowhere near the achievements and status of the Agbogbomefia by all standards, will try to castigate him.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Ã¢â‚¬ËœwarriorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ said Togbe spoke for all the people of the Volta Region which they said comprised Akans, Ewes, and Guans among others, and Ã¢â‚¬Å“to impute tribal motives therefore is to be dishonest.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Chiefs, they said, had the responsibility to promote the welfare and unity of their people and of all Ghanaians; hence Togbe Afede had the right to Ã¢â‚¬Å“comment on issues that jeopardize the welfare and unity (sic)Ã¢â‚¬Â.
The Constitutional provision that precludes chiefs from involvement in partisan politics, according to them, was not intended to gag them.
They argued that Togbe had since his installation been consistent in his call for unity. Ã¢â‚¬Å“His visit to all Traditional Councils in Volta, to the Ga Mantse, the Okyehene and Otumfuo, among others, demonstrated his desire to promote unity and understanding among Ghanaians.Ã¢â‚¬Â
They also challenged the Statesman Newspaper to produce the evidence in their possession that Togbe Afede had signed to be a candidate of the NPP in Ho West or any other constituency.
Defending what Togbe Afede said at the durbar, the people noted that he and his elders were never consulted during more than the five years that he has been a king, about any matter or decision affecting the Ho Municipality or the Region, adding that his countless appeals for consultation and dialogue had been ignored.
They further added that the former President did not attend Ã¢â‚¬Å“any one of our Yam Festivals during the past eight years,Ã¢â‚¬Â contending that Ho was probably the only regional capital whose roads were not mentioned in any of the budgets of the previous administration.
They stated that it was on record that Dr. Addo Kufuor, former Minister of Defence, boasted during his campaign for the NPP Flgbearership that he was able to move the Kofi Annan Peace Keeping Centre from Akoefe near Ho to Teshie in Accra.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When a whole Senior Police Officer, District Commander and a helpless civilian could be murdered in the residency of the Regional Minister with impunity and pride, what do you expect of others? Now tell us if these are no sufficient reasons to feel like outsiders.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The experiences of our young and enterprising contractors and job seekers have compelled them to change their names when bidding for state contracts and jobsÃ¢â‚¬Â since the Ewe name might prevent them from winning contract or getting jobs.
They continued: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We want to emphasize that Togbe did not ask for any transformation of the Volta region under President Mills; neither did he make any reference to development projects under previous government.Ã¢â‚¬Â
They cautioned: Ã¢â‚¬Å“For people like Kenwuud and his cronies, we say if you cannot live in Ho, which has brought you where you are, in peace, then do not create the opportunity to leave in pieces.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Tribalism, intolerance and bad governance, the group observed, were some of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“factors behind conflicts in Africa; hence the need to uphold the truth, reject politics that play on the forces that divide us and defend the cause of freedom and rights.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“On this note, we want to sound a word of caution to those who throw away the tenets of rightful thinking when making public comments, that we have had enough of them.Ã¢â‚¬Â
It would be recalled that Togbe Afede XIV, Paramount Chief of the Asogli Traditional Area and President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, had come under a myriad of criticisms in recent days for a comment he made at a durbar organized by the chiefs and people of the region in honour of President Mills that Ã¢â‚¬Å“Voltarians were made to feel like outsiders for the past eight years.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Among those who criticised TogbeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comment in sections of the media was Mr. Kenwuud Nuworsu, Volta Regional Chairman of the NPP – a development that prompted yesterdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s demonstration.
The group, in its 12-page press statement, however did not mention in any sentence what the NPP Chairman said that was insulting to the King.
Mr. Kenwuud Nuworsu, in a telephone interview with DAILY GUIDE after the demonstration, said he would willingly and readily apologize to the Agbogbomefia if it was established that he had insulted the king.
He was worried that the Ã¢â‚¬ËœwarriorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ were demonstrating against him alone when different people from across the world criticized Togbe for the comment.
Mr. Nuworsu said in as much as he would remain loyal to his party which had brought so much development to the region, he would equally remain loyal to Togbe Afede Ã¢â‚¬Å“who is my KingÃ¢â‚¬Â, adding that the fact that he was from the region did not mean that he must remain silent when his partyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s image was being tarnished with regard to its development policies in the region.
From Wise Donkor, Ho