The office of Mr Jerry John Rawlings has denied publications that the ex-President has written to the government on the breakaway declaration by the Homeland Study Group Foundation – a separatist movement. “Former President Rawlings has neither written to the government nor made any public statement on the separatist declaration,” a statement from Mr Rawling’s office said. It added that Mr Rawlings intends to issue a statement on the issue in due course. The separatist movement recently declared the Volta Region as independent Western Togoland.
The group’s 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 made an independence declaration which was broadcast live on Facebook. Ten members of the group were arrested and five of them arraigned and held in police custody. Their leader is, however, on the run. The group said it has only retrieved lands stolen from its ancestors and, so, done nothing wrong.
“The HSGF, therefore, and hereby appeals to all Western Togolanders to remain focused and take it as true that the land which was the Western portion of the divided Germans Suzerainty of Togo is naturally theirs and that the long patience that they had exercised should not lead to explosion unless Ghana takes the life of a member of our populace,” Mr George Nyakpo, Deputy PRO of the group, said in a statement.
“The HSGF is simply taking her property away, it is the law of the international world that can deal with this matter and not the gun-bearing authority of Ghana,” the statement explained. 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.
The government of Ghana, via a press release from Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, announced that 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.
But the leadership of HSGF said: “All are to note that our land, the Western portion of the maliciously divided Togoland in 1914, was not part of the Gold Coast (Ghana’s) land covered by the bond of 1844, which artificially carved out the Gold Coast (by the pen and finger of Commander Hill and a Fanti King) that the Western portion of the divided Togo is a separate country, state and nation recognised as such since 1916 by the League of Nations and it since became the world’s Class B Territory and later the UN Trusteeship Territory to Britain, Gold Coast/Ghana’s colonial master to be nurtured to independence and, so, also was done to the Eastern portion of the Togoland and France”.