A retired military officer and a security analyst, Captain Joel Sowu has criticised attempts by the Homeland Study Group Foundation to secede the Volta Region and parts of Ghana into an independent state known as Western Togoland.
He believes the members of the group could petition the United Nations over their desire to be an independent country, rather than resorting to unlawful means in pressing home their demands.
Capt. Sowu on Eyewitness News also questioned whether persons demanding the secession had been mandated by the people of the Western Togoland.
“If some people are getting up today to say they want to see change, the first thing we have to ask ourselves is if that is the right way to go about it. Do we have empirical evidence to say that the people of British mandated Togoland who are part of Ghana today want to go back or want to secede? So whose authority are they using to be doing what they are doing? If they feel they have the locus, is the methodology they are using the right way?”
“After a certain number of years if they feel they cannot move with Ghana anymore they have to petition the United Nations. The United Nations can engage Ghana and have discussions at a very high level to come to a conclusion to find out the way forward but the way they are going about it is not the right way,” he said.
Capt. Sowu believes the group’s petition to the UN will allow for “this matter to be discussed properly by the Security Council and the General Council and the way forward can be chartered.”
The history behind Western Togoland movement
Capt. Sowu also indicated that the recent demands by the group stem from a plebiscite which resulted in some persons resisting moves for a section of the Togoland to be part of Gold Coast.
“I can tell you a little that I know about this issue. You have to go back to the time that part of British mandated Togoland became part of Gold Coast and had interdependence together. This is the basis of all that is happening now. After World War II, all the German colonies were divided among the Island countries. Togoland was divided into two and we had the French Togoland and British mandated Togoland. Why was Togoland divided into two? It was because of Germany… At that time the British did not know what exactly to do with the British mandated Togoland so the decision was taken that there should be a plebiscite which was kind of a referendum whether they would like to be part of Gold Coast or the new nation called Ghana.”
“I do not have empirical evidence but I was told that when the plebiscite was held, it was skewed against the people saying that they want to be part of Gold Coast that became Ghana. However, there were people like S.G Anto and Reverend Ametowoblah and some people who were agitating that they will never agree for the British mandated Togoland to be part of Gold Coast,” he explained.
Soldiers storm alleged separatists training camp, arrest 21 suspects
Capt. Sowu’s suggestion follows the arrest of 21 suspected members of the separatists group by the Ghana Armed Forces.
The suspects comprising 20 males and a female were rounded up at their training camp in a forest in Kpevedui during the early hours of Monday by soldiers of the 66 Artillery Regiment.
Over 40 soldiers were accompanied by two crime scene investigators from the police for the operation.
The Commanding Officer of the regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Baba Pantoah, told the media that about three other suspected separatists escaped before the arrests were made.
Homeland Study Group Foundation
Earlier this year, the separatist movement in the Volta Region, the Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF), called for the secession of the area which includes Volta through to parts of the Upper East region from Ghana.
The group claims that the area was an independent State before being made to join Ghana in a plebiscite.
The leader of the group, Mr. Charles Kormi Kudzodzi – popularly known as Papa Hogbedetor, was arrested with seven others when they first declared their intent at one of the group’s regular study meetings.
Meanwhile, government has slammed the group’s supposed declaration of ‘Western Togoland’ as an independent State.
It guaranteed that security agencies are taking the necessary measures to ensure all persons involved with the Homeland Study foundation’s planned separation from Ghana are made to face the law.
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