General News of Tuesday, 30 October 2018
Journalists who had gathered at the Asogli Palace in Ho last Sunday, October 28, 2018, to cover an event had to run for their lives after some youth had attempted to physically assault them.
The move which was foiled by the swift action of the police who were present at the gathering followed earlier unprovoked verbal attacks on the media in the region.
The youth had come from parts of Southern Volta with a retinue of traditional leaders to support the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV, concerning his opposition to the proposed Oti Region out of the existing Volta Region.
Journalists who had left their busy schedules to voluntarily offer their services to the chiefs and people of Southern Volta were openly humiliated and ridiculed as they were described with many unprintable words.
Their attempt to draw the attention of the lead attacker to retract his allegations and insults worsened the situation as he (lead attacker) incited the already charged crowd against the journalists.
One of the journalists, Hubert Mawulii Yevu-Agbi of Multimedia and Volta Premier FM said: “The insults were so much that we could not take it any longer. So we asked the gentleman with the microphone to retract and it even worsened the situation. They began hooting at us and calling us names I cannot repeat on record and started surrounding us. But for the police, some of us would have been beaten up for nothing.”
Israel Abotsivia of Kekeli Radio who was still terrified as he narrated the incident to DAILY GUIDE recounted that the incident still played back in his head, particularly when one of the attackers “pointed his fingers to my face and threatened me.” He said the lead attacker had been speaking for over an hour attacking the Judiciary, the Security and making serious allegations which charged up the crowd who were all in red.
He narrated: “My brother it wasn’t easy ooh…the crowd was charged and fear began to grip us as they advanced towards us. The place was volatile and we had to leave to save our lives. So the police, led by the regional crime officer and some friends of the media had to surround us to prevent any attack and ushered us outside.”
DAILY GUIDE understands that the lead attacker who is referred to as one Yevugah is a strong member of one of the separatist groups calling for the secession of the Volta Region and parts of Northern and Upper East Region to create a country called “Western Togoland”. Some of their members were also seen at the gathering at the Asogli Palace.
It is not clear why Togbe Afede who had earlier condemned such separatist groups would be seen in their company and sharing same platform with them.
The group which had been against the creation of the proposed Oti Region right from the beginning had been calling for a region-wide referendum which is similar to the request by Togbe Afede, President of the National House of Chiefs.
Although some residents are alleging that the Asogli State and all who support Togbe Afede’s claim may be working with the separatist groups, the Asogli Council is yet to officially dissociate itself from the group and its assigns.
Nonetheless, media reports in Ho suggest that the chiefs after a closed door meeting condemned the attacks on the journalists and rebuked the lead attacker.
When this report was being filed, the Volta Regional Chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association had called for an emergency meeting to decide on the attacks and respond appropriately.