The activities of a group calling itself Western Togoland cecessionists have reached a level(since ineption in 2017) that cannot be taken for granted. This morning, we woke up to an unusual traffic at lower Volta bridge barrier. It was, to be alleged later, due to the activities of this group.
Reports have it that elsewhere in Juapong, a town in the Volta -Eastern regional corridor, same but more poignant activities were going on amidst gunshots! The picture painted by the rumours is that the group wants to mark out its supposed territories and send a hands-off notice to Ghana! Thankfully the security services seem to be on top of the current issue.
When this Western Togoland issue popped up, many of us laughed it off as a mere popularity stunt or at best an attempt by an octogenarian seeking to relive nostalgic adolescent years. It got a bit more serious with the arrest of Papavi, the octogenarian, and few others.
Things were to get back to default with their release and seeming lack of interest and or inaction of the state. This was later followed by rumors of military training camp of the group and after few hues and cries, nothing further followed till a surfacing of the group’s supposed signboard in the Eastern region. Then finally this morning’s unrest!
Up to this morning, the actions of the group has largely been restricted to pockets of individuals and were hardly a bother. But if the rumoured gunshots and attacks on the police have indeed taken place, then we cannot: as a country, a region, a people and individuals, pretend that nothing would come out of this. It is said that only a mad man goes to sleep with his roof on fire!
Ordinary and innocent people woke up this morning going about their normal lives only to be caught in this unfortunate situation. We probably got off this one with few casualties but if we continue to tickle ourselves and pretend this group is a cantata or concert party group, we will wake up one day and may not even have fingers to bite.
It would be crass ignorance to see this group as representative of the Volta region or that it is popular with and within the region. As a person;one who lives and works in the region and is an indegene, it is difficult to point out even a single person who embraces the group and their agenda. That is not to say the group is nonexistent. That will be a foolhardy and simplistic assertion.
What, however, is the major concern is that, it is people like us: ordinary, innocent ones working to contribute our quota of national development, who may be victims of circumstances if this group is not paid the needed attention. There is now a level of apprehension and tension in the Sogakofe town instead of the usual dismissive jokes that normaly greet the Western Togoland activities. That is why it is time this group was defined and paid the needed legal and security attention.
The grenade itself that might explode soon is the political angling of the issue. Some people are of the view that the group is a political appendage of the opposition that aims at derailing the ruling government. Others hold the opinion that government intends to take advantage of the group and stage some incidents to justify unnatural security presence in the region ahead of the national elections!! Clouded with this suspicions, we look on as things dangerously unfold before our eyes threatening a calamitous climax.
It would be laughable to say this almost nonexistent group is sophisticated beyond the control of our security services hence they have not been stopped till now. If, as a nation, our hands are tied legally,as the group claims, we would look so pretty a silly sight if we are unable to deal with this insurgence legally.
Every life matters! This has nothing with just the Volta region. If there were casualties at the Sogakofe barrier today, it wouldn’t only be Volta losses that would be counted. There would have been a national and international losses. Enough of the empty political rhetorics and banter on this issue.