Volta youth angry over protracted chieftaincy dispute

General News of Friday, 13 February 2015

Source: Today Newspaper

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Mepe Development Association (MDA) and Mepe Youth Association (MEYA,) the two recognised associations at Mepe in the North Tongu District of the Volta region, have strongly condemned the protracted chieftaincy dispute between the elders of the Akovie Divisional Clan of Mepe Royal Paramount Stool.

The angry youth of the two associations in an interview with Today expressed their displeasure about the development.

Consequently, they therefore appealed to the Volta Regional House of Chiefs to try and expedite action on the chieftaincy dispute between Adzesu-Akolor-Avli families on one hand and Gli family on the other hand, over the rightful candidate to the throne of Mepe Royal Paramount Stool.

To this end, the two groups issued a four-month ultimatum to Mepe Traditional Council to do something before they incur their wrath, while they appealed to the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, National House of Chiefs and Ministries of Chieftaincy and Culture and Interior to intervene and address the issue. The youth, in an angry tone, also threatened to hit the principal streets of Mepe in the coming days if the traditional council failed to heed their call within the stipulated period.

On Sunday, August 14, 2011 there was sporadic shooting in Mepe township, following the unrest associated with abortive attempts by some key divisional chiefs of Mepe and Gli family of Akovie-Divisional Clan to enstool Mr. Gli Akorli as Mepe Paramount Chief under the stool name Anipati in succession of the late Togbega Dr.Kwao Anipati IV who died in 2005 after reigning for 19 years.

And the case has since been pending before the Volta Regional House of Chiefs in Ho for settlement for almost four years now (2011 to 2015) to the detriment of the entire Mepe Traditional Area.

The Mepe Traditional Council, according to the youth, has not been functioning effectively for the past four years because of the existing chieftaincy dispute which has become an albatross on the neck of the people of Mepe.

In July 22, 2014, the Paramount Chief of Ziavi Traditional Area, Togbe Ayim, who was part of the dispute resolution panel at the Volta Regional House of Chiefs headed by the Agbogbofia of Asogli State, Togbe Afede, the youth recounted, made an appeal to the Akorlor-Adzesu-Avli and Gli factions through the House to withdraw the case for a peaceful settlement at home.

The House and the feuding factions consequently agreed and went on to set-up a committee to investigate the dispute.

After the findings of the committee which was chaired by Togbe Ayim who doubles as the Vice President of Volta Regional House of Chiefs, the youth disclosed that the committee on Thursday, October 2, 2014 ruled in favour of Gli faction of the same Mepe Akovie Divisional Clan at the meeting held at Mepe Royal Masito Palace, a popular hotel in Mepe township.

But the Adzesu-Akorlor-Avli families which formed part of one-gate of Mepe Akovie Divisional Clan who took the matter to Volta Regional House of Chiefs persistently refused to accept the verdict of the committee Today was told.

That move, had been in contravention of underpinning conditions earlier agreed upon by the feuding factions before they took the decision to withdraw the matter from the House.

At that meeting which made the final declaration of the judgement of the committee’s findings, spokesperson for Adzesu, Akorlor Clan, Mr. Godwin Avadetsi, noted that: ” They made it clear to the committee immediately after its ruling in favour of Gli gate that the verdict was in “complete disrespect” of the succession document signed by the elders of the royal houses of the Mepe Paramount Stool.”

Mr. Avadetsi, according to the youth, noted further that the ruling of the committee did not satisfy the Akolor-Adzesu-Avli faction, hence their decision to reject the verdict and re-send the matter back to the House for redress.

The youth asserted that the succession document which explained how a candidate should be selected and enstooled categorically spelt out that it was the tenure of Akorlor and his sister’s children lineage-Adzesu family, who should be enstooled as the Togbe Anipati in Mepe Traditional Area after the demise of Togbega Dr. Kwao Anipati IV.”

However, the youth expressed their displeasure in the interview about the continuous unresolved impasse between the factions which was threatening human security in the area.

According to the youth, the chiefs and people of the Mepe were yearning for permanent peace and amicable settlement of the dispute before this year’s August annual Afenorto festival.

To this end, the youth appealed to the elders of the feuding factions of the same Akovie Divisional Clan to close their ranks and unite for the good of the area.