Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa has revealed that a considerable number of key players of a Western Togoland Restoration Front have been arrested.
The Regional Minister made the revelation to the media when the Executives of the Small Arms and Light Weapons Commission paid a fact-finding visit to the Regional Coordinating Council to ascertain the extent of arms retrieved from the secessionists’ group and what assistance could be procured.
He however did not give specific numbers explaining that the figures kept on changing and therefore rendered it irrelevant.
According to the Volta Regional Minister what was important was the dispatch nature state security had moved into deploying intelligence to investigate and arrest key members of the group, but stopped short of naming any of the perpetrators.
Dr. Letsa, who is also Chair of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) said “we are duty-bound to maintain the peace in the region and also protect lives and property and that is the resolution of the security services,
Even last night arrests were made and some were those who stormed the Police Station in Mepe and Aveyime. We are making headway,”
He reassured the people to embark on their duties without fear, but provide information on suspicious characters in the communities.
Dr. Letsa also said there were still un-retrieved guns but the several arrests may lead to the retrieval of more of the weapons.
“We have made quite a significant number of arrests and we still following leads to retrieving more of them. We may not be able to retrieve all, but, whichever, if we are not able to retrieve them, our friends from the Commission will assist us.”
He acknowledged the diverse groups across the region and beyond, who have condemned the invasion of some roads by the secessionists’ group and subsequently the arson attack on the State Transport Corporation terminus in Ho, as revealing, but said the justification given by the same group have made their earlier positions untenable.”
Dr. Letsa said the various justifications could be opinionated and not backed by forensic prove and therefore called for decorum, adding “we have a security situation on hand, at best let us unite to overcome it.”
Mr. Jones Borteye Applerh, Executive Secretary, Small Arms and Light Weapons Commission said members and some actors are in the region on a fact-finding mission on the recent disturbances from a separatist group seeking to secede from Ghana, pledging to be part of government’s strategy to resolve the matter.
He said from the Commission’s viewpoint conflicts that weapons were used becomes their working apparatus and they are here ostensibly to have a conversation with the main actors, the VRCC, REGSEC and the Police Service in Ho.
The Executive Secretary said failure to return the weapons would trigger the Commission’s declaring it as illicit weapons, which would be placed on the United Nations Illicit Small Arms database insisting “this is part of the contribution that we bring to actors.”
The Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the Western Togoland issue is more about deregulation and misinformation stating that some people are deceiving these young men and women that what happened during the plebiscite gave an opportunity for secession.
He said the Commission abhors the introduction of guns in conflicts let alone those demands from the secessionists’ groups because “no armed conflict really has been won using guns, by all means, we have to come to the negotiation table.”
Mr. Applerh said there was nothing like Western Togoland anywhere in the literature books in the world that granted a breakaway year saying the young men must know that that adventure was nebulous and a self-seeking vendetta that cannot provide any relief to them in the long-run but a clear case of a myth that did not exist.
“Eventually, they will be losers and they will be at the bad side of the law and so it is better they lower or drop those requests and get back to leading normal lives, after all, we seize weapons belonging to other countries in Ghana, recently, a weapon from Ghana was found in Zimbabwe and was returned,
The same way if we get to know the number of guns missing from the Police stations and struck their serial numbers, we can update the UN database on illicit weapons.” he said.
The Commission later sought audience with the hierarchy of the Police Administration in the region.