Former Hohoe-South MP Kosi Kedem has stated that owing to a constitutional blunder by the British during the Gold Coast era, Ghana doesn’t legally exist.
This statement is in reference to the recent attacks in the Volta Region where secessionist groups through violent means have demanded their independence from Ghana.
During an interview on Joy News’ PM Express, Mr Kedem explained that is because the UN Resolution 1044, documentation required to ratify the union between the Gold Coast, a British Colony and Togoland, a United Nations Trust Territory, the country has no legal standing.
“There’s no union document on the so-called union between Ghana (Gold Coast) and Togoland. Defacto, they are one [unit], but legally, Ghana does not exist.”
In his explanation, he revealed that present Ghana as we know it is made up of the Gold Coast and the UN Trust Territory of British Togoland, and in order for that union to be constitutionally legal, a union document was needed in order to legalize that union.
This document however was never developed. In addition to that, after it was determined that a union was to be enforced between Gold Coast and Togoland no meeting was held to determine the modalities of the union.
“Resolution 1044 which recognizes the recommended union, the same UN Resolution 1044 invited the British Government which was the administering authority to take such steps as necessary to bring about the union.
“So if a Trust Territory, being ruled by the UN and a colony being ruled by Britain are to come into union, what do you do? You have to sit the two of them down for them to determine what type of government they want to have, what will be their responsibilities, obligations and benefit. No such thing was done,” he revealed.
Mr Kedem believes that the absence of this union document that details the factors of the union is the main cause these secessionist groups are fighting for independence.
The Plebiscite Problem
He further explained that the plebiscite held a few years before the independence of the Gold Coast was as a result of the United Nation’s Visiting Mission to the French and British Togoland.
This plebiscite was to determine the political fate of both colonies. Following that, 2 options were proffered; a union with the Gold Coast or an integration of both colonies.
“The problem is that there was a plebiscite as a result of the UN Visiting Mission which came to the 2 Togos; French Togo and British Togo in 1955 and they recommended that there should be a plebiscite in British Togoland to determine their political fate”
Subsequent to this, he revealed that “majority of Togoland said that they wanted a union with independent Gold Coast”, however, “the UN General Assembly rejected the offer of the union and forcibly integrated Togoland with Gold Coast”.
According to him, a union would maintain the sovereignty of Togoland; giving them sovereign equality with independent Gold Coast with an interdependence on each other albeit under the same government.
However, under the integration, Togoland would lose its identity completely to be consumed by the Gold Coast and have no constitutional rights.
Furthermore, after the union was forced on Togoland, no meeting was held consequently to determine the terms of the union i.e. the kind of government to be instituted, the responsibilities, obligations and benefits to be derived from said union.
“Instead on the eve of independence around 4th March the British Government with the help of the CPP government just sent troops to Togoland and occupied the place on the pretence that they were quelling a rebellion”
Additionally, the British refused to go to the full length of implementing the terms in what he referred to as Resolution 1044, which was to ratify the union.
To resolve the issue, Kosi Kedem while condemning the violent acts by the separatist, called for dialogue between the secessionist group and the government.
“Violence, confrontation, repression they are very powerful, but dialogue negotiation and engagement are far more powerful than violence, because violence does not solve any problem, dialogue does. It gives you a long-lasting solution to the problem.”
Furthermore, owing to the fact that the invitation which the UN extended to the British to take constitutional and legal steps never materialized, but rather a forced integration of Togoland with the Gold Coast, Mr Kedem recommended a “rectification of the constitutional blunder” in order to put the debate of secession to rest and engender unity in the country.