A group calling itself Youth of Tongu for Peace and Development is urging the government to disregard calls by the Vice President of the Volta Regional House of Chief (VRHC) to withdraw security personnel detailed to the Volta Region.
Togbega Patamia Dzekley VII in a press statement indicated that it was a collective decision by traditional authorities and residents in the Volta Region to demand the withdrawal of security personnel to enable them to ”vote in peace”.
Nonetheless, the Tongu Youth for Peace and Development detested the above assertion and described the demand by the traditional ruler as a ”unilateral one” which does not represent the decision of the House nor the citizenry in the region.
The group indicated that at the time the press statement was issued, no steering committee was constituted by the VRHC neither was a meeting held by the House to discuss the subject matter.
The Convenor of the Group, Slyvester Yevuga, asserted that the Volta Region needs a more robust security system considering earlier incidents of secession attacks and the threat by the secessionists to strike again during the elections.
He, however, registered the group’s confidence in the Akufo-Addo-led-government to ensure the Volta Region and the entire country remains peaceful after the December 7 general elections.
Find below the full press release.
RE: “PRESS RELEASE BY THE VOLTA REGIONAL HOUSE OF CHIEFS”
A recent statement in the news media; circulated on social media, and reported in the print media and on radio, purportedly from the Volta regional house of chiefs and signed by Torgbe Patamia Dzekle V1, vice president of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs (VRHC) and paramount chief of the Battor traditional area refers.
In the said release, VRHC purportedly called for the withdrawal of state security from the Volta region so that the people can vote in peace.
First of all, the letter did not indicate that the call was the result of a decision reached by the VRHC at any meeting called for the purpose. Indeed, that would have been a false claim since at the time of that release, no steering committee had been constituted by the VRHC.
We of the Tongu Youth for Peace and Development suspect therefore that the release is a unilateral one from the author. It is instructive to note that, the VRHC just elected executives and that included a President.
Apart from the fact that the release sighted was not on a letterhead, it baffling that it is signed by the vice president and not the president. The “all-caps” writing style is also weird though; perhaps it is a house style?
We of the Tongu Youth for Peace and Development submit that the call from the vice president is ill-fated, insincere, unnecessary and should be discounted.
Indeed, the call from the chief calls for a further tightening of security in the region as it is suggestive of an agenda inconsistent with the call for peace and safety.
Recently, the police authorities identified several flashpoints needing increased security towards this year’s crucial elections. Volta and Tongu for that matter are not exceptions.
The invasion of the region, particularly the Tongu areas by the “so called western Togoland movement” (as Torgbe referred to them in his release) on the 25th of September 25, 2020 are still fresh in our minds.
Torgbe himself, in his capacity as paramount chief of Battor traditional area, blamed government and security agencies for not averting the invasion.
This Togoland movement promised further attacks on our region.
Is it not mindboggling that this threat is not one of the concerns of the VRHC release? But that the main concern of our VRHC is elections? And the VRHC suggests that we are safer without state security protection and therefore demands a total withdrawal of state security personnel who are only focused on going about their normal duties, protecting our lives and properties?
Portions of the VRHC release read:
“The call from citizens of the Region to the VRHC is that the house should demand withdrawal of these security personnel from the region forthwith so as to reduce the fear of intimidation being exhibited by the security personnel.”
“Furthermore, we are demanding on behalf of the chiefs and people of the region that there should be absolute peace now, during and after the elections to enable us all lead normal and peaceful lives”
We of the Tongu Youth for Peace and Development wish to humbly ask our chiefs this harmless question: how do you call for the “total withdrawal of security personnel from the region forthwith “and still be “demanding” that “there should be absolute peace now, during and after the elections to enable us all lead normal and peaceful lives”.
We do not know about any consultations with the citizens of Volta Region regarding the presence of state security. However, we are of the firm view that, the call for the withdrawal of state security is misplaced and not representative of the views of all Volta citizens.
We reject the call in its entity and call on government to disregard the release as self-serving. In our view, the accusations in that release are needless and unprovoked attacks on the security officers who need the support of the chiefs and people of the region rather that the bastardisation.
We of the Tongu Youth for Development can say without fear of contradiction, that contrary to the claims of intimidation, harassment and attempts to prevent people from voting by the security personnel, the people of Tongu are very much at peace and feel very safe and protected with the presence of the said security personnel. It is therefore evident that the said press release was a deliberate orchestration by self-seeking persons who will stop at nothing but go every length to give a dog a bad name and hang it.
We the Tongu Youth for Peace and Development wish to reiterate that we have absolute confidence in the Nana Akufo-Addo led government and the state security agencies.
We advise that government should be given the room to go about its legitimate duties to guarantee every citizen’s peace and security. Anything further action from the VRHC, not in furtherance of supporting our state security agencies to carry out their responsibility of protecting life and prosperity in our region, will give the strongest indication yet that the Regional House of Chiefs no longer considers the interest of Volta citizens and their subjects as supreme.
The president of the Republic, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo has indicated time without number that it would not be under his administration that the democracy we have guarded jealously over the years would be compromised.
The least we can therefore do is to give him the maximum support. It is just what we the Tongu Youth for Peace and Development, are calling for, to ensure a safe and peaceful Volta before, during and after December 7, 2020 elections.
While we the teeming youth and citizens of the land distant ourselves from the pronouncements in that release from the VRHC, we admonish all discerning citizens and sons of Volta to do same and go into the election to exercise their constitutional rights peacefully.