General News of Wednesday, 20 November 2019
A group of Voltarians known as the Concerned Citizens of Western Togoland has said the government of Ghana must send its secessionist leaders to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if they arrest them for declaring the Volta Region an independent autonomous state.
“The moment they arrest the people, they shouldn’t send them to the Ghana jurisdiction, they should send them directly to the International Criminal Court because the people have declared themselves non-Ghanaians”, the First Vice-President of the Concerned Citizens of Western Togoland Daniel Yevugah told Gemma Appiah on Class91.3FM’s 12 Live on Tuesday, 19 November 2019.
His comment comes on the back of a statement issued by the government of Ghana which said the country remains intact despite the declaration of independence for the Volta Region by separatist group Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF) on Saturday, 16 November 2019.
The group’s independence declaration of the region as Western Togoland, was made by its 85-year-old leader, Mr Charles Kudzordzi also known as Papavi Hogbedetor, at a public gathering of its adherents at the premises of the former Unity Rural Bank which is a few metres away from the Ho Police Training school.
The secessionist declaration was broadcast live on Facebook.
The group, which has had several brushes with the law on the matter in the past, rode on the recent omission of the Volta Region from the list of critical roads to be constructed in 2020 when the Finance Minister presented next year’s budget to Parliament, in declaring the region independent.
Speaking in his native Ewe language in reference to the gaffe, which was corrected by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta on Friday, which the government has subsequently described as a “genuine inadvertent mistake” which resulted from a “printing error”, Papa Hogbedetor wondered if it was ever possible for parents to forget their children.
“They forgot about us because we’re not their children”, he said, declaring to cheers from his followers: “From the midnight of 16 November 2019 entering into Sunday, 17 November 2019, we’re now Western Togoland state”.
The government of Ghana, in its statement signed by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, however, said it “takes note of the activities” of the foundation, adding: “Ghana remains a sovereign state which has not ceded any part of its territory to any person or group of persons.”
“While admonishing the public to disregard the claims by the group, the general public is hereby informed that state security agencies are taking the necessary measures to ensure that persons involved with the illegal act, are dealt with in accordance with the law.
“Ghana’s security agencies remain in firm charge of Ghana’s territory and encourage all persons to continue with their daily activities normally”, the statement said.