Western Togoland: HSGF Reaffirms Independence Claims
On 26 August 2018, the Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF) reaffirmed its claims for self-determination and political independence. While denouncing centuries of colonial rule over the peoples of Western Togoland, the HSGF demands the right to have a fair say in their land’s future. Their declaration is specifically addressed to the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) and the Oti Region which have previously called the Ghana government to firmly react against Western Togoland’s claims for independence. UNPO reasserts the importance of self-determination and the right to decide, both rights being protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
The article bellow was published by Ghana News:
We, the members of the above groups [Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF) and Association Of Western Togoland Youths (ASWESTOY)], have read with great displeasure, the statements and audios coming from the Joint Consultative Committee, of the so-called proposed Oti Region and the various claims that, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana (EPCG) had some clergymen educating the people against the Oti region campaign.
The JCC went further to rake in the Western Togoland independence issues and has even called on the government of Ghana to take action against the Western Togoland independence struggle and to consider it as a nation wrecking affair.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we the freedom fighters and the entire citizenry of Western Togoland will like all peace loving people of the world to advice the JCC to stop their mischief.
We the people of Western Togoland have been living with this painful mistake of an unestablished union with the Republic of Ghana, over the past 61 years, and all what we can boast of is untold hardships and neglect. Projects started by our usurper government, the government of Ghana, are never completed, even those that were commissioned to have been completed were haphazardly done; a journey across the length and breadth of the Western Togoland reveals serious and complete deprivation and total neglect of this land and its people.
From the days of the British, who were entrusted with the administrative responsibility of the land by the League of Nations after the World War 1 till date, the preoccupation of both the British who made us orphans for Ghana to annex and successive governments of Ghana is to be slicing sections of the land and adding to their territory, using decrees and craftiness, and now even using force.
Ladies and gentlemen, we wish to remind Ghana in particular and the world in general that, the nation Western Togoland was established on the 20th December 1922 by the League of nations. It was the craftiness of Britain, the colonial master of the Gold Coast, (now called Ghana) to annex our land to her colony that had deprived us of our self-rule and sovereignty. At a point, the British coaxed us to vote in a referendum they packaged and renamed Plebiscite so us to forge a union government with Ghana.
Ladies and gentlemen, this union had not been effected up till today; in fact, Ghana has extended her hold over our territory, Western Togoland, illegally.
Ladies and gentlemen, kindly permit me to trace to you the geographical boundaries of the Western Togoland, the former German Togoland which was invaded by France and Britain, the two super powers during the start of the World War 1 in 1914 and was later divided between the two of them mid-way through the war. Western Togoland, sometimes simply referred to as Togoland, stretches from Aflao through to Keta Anyanui to Adafoa along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. It stretches north, bordering Ghana up to Sankasi and Kulugungu in the north-west and Bawku in the north-east.
Western Togoland has a share of the Burkina Faso southern border.
We of the Homeland Study Group Foundation are saying that, the flawed and disgraceful 1956 plebiscite, organized by the British, with they the British themselves being the referee and match commissioner and Ghana the lone linesman, does not make our land a property of Ghana. Again, we are saying that in spite of all the manipulations and machinations, the union was not established. We are throwing a challenge to the government of Ghana; the Chief Justice, the Attorney General to come public with the union documents within 48 hours, otherwise they should give up their illegal hold on our territory.
We wish to let those who think that those of us perusing this agenda of Western Togoland self-rule and sovereignty, are not simpletons, neither are we semi-illiterates.
We are fully baked and properly schooled in the history and geography of the land and its people. It is only lazy people who are refusing to open the pages to know the truth for themselves. Anyway, the African politician is noted for shying away from books. It is a pity. This issue is not about politics of NDC or NPP. We have been reminded constantly that we are not Ghanaians, so those politicians of Ghana, who are doing everything to thwart our efforts because of their stomach must be careful.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press and all gathered here, we want to use this opportunity to send a signal to all those calling for the division of the Volta region, to be very careful. Right from day one of this mischief of the government of Ghana to further divide our land and add to her territory, we kept a cool head and have been engaging the affected areas in dialogue since then, so the radical posture being adopted now by the proponents of the Oti region is neither here nor there. we shall however continue to use the peaceful approach. We wish to let our adversaries know that, we are not in the least afraid of the war drums being beaten, we only pity whoever would throw the first stone.
Rastaman throws only one Stone! We have been monitoring all the secret moves being done to bring strife and ferment trouble on our land.
Ladies and gentlemen, for the education of the JCC of Oti region, we would love to refer them to a statement made by Mr. J.K Mensah to the Trusteeship Council at its 505th Meeting on 1st March 1954. We do not have to go into details for that document speaks for itself. “A visitor doesn’t claim ownership of his masters abode, unless that visitor is a bad one, and every bad nut swallowed is sure to be vomited.”
We will again wish to remind the JCC that the activities of anyone who might seek to have a contrary view on the Oti region creation is very legal, so they must not dare the E.P.C.G and anyone unless they want to accept the imposition of this bad and lazy man’s approach of development on the people. Which development theory are they adopting at all? We thought they have scholars in their midst, who were in Harvard and Oxford. Who in his right sense without any malicious intention think of division as the last resort in ameliorating the plights of his people? Is that the best practice elsewhere?
Day in day out, we hear on the airwaves the progress being made in the creation of the Oti region especially on the Twi speaking radios. So we are appealing to you to also respect the rights of other people to share views contrary to Oti by all means just as what Britain did, annex Togoland by all means. We suspect, you have a stockpile of arms and you are confident pulling the trigger would make you the owners of that land; if it were that easy, the Brits could have had this land long, long, ago. We even suspect Britain is backing the government of Ghana secretly. They may want to retaliate their past illusion. It is not too late to ask Her Majesty the Queen of England. She was younger during those days; old age might have made her wiser now. Please, note that, the name of that river is not Oti but Wate and there are reasons for it being called Oti today. You want to know?
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we are also following very closely, the happenings between Mr. Freddy Blay, the NPP National Chairman, Togbe Afede XII the Agbogbomefia of Asogli Traditional area and our chiefs as well as the open threat from the NPP branch in Nzema. There is a saying that, the brave does not make loud noise, we would only continue to growl huu and only strike when it becomes necessary.
We pray for this country. If you think, these are jokes, let us take you memory lane. In a certain community in Central region, during Professor Mills time, someone stole his uncles coconut and when he was accosted by his uncle he killed him and ran away to conceal his guilt. Without any provocation, the Ewes in that community were accused of the killing and were attacked by all the other tribes together, the end of the story you know; it was just one hour in Entebbe.
Next, was the attack of the palace of Togbega Gabusu by Alkaida breeds, you know the end of that story as well; This time around, we surely have to extend to the River Tanu, our ancient boundary before the Whiteman came. We are working peacefully towards correcting the bad past and the aggression committed against the Western Togoland and we are desirous to leave Ghana our usurper in peace and not in pieces.
Photo courtesy of Breezy Baldwin@Flickr