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Feature Article of Saturday, 12 May 2012

Columnist: Coffie, Emmanuel Dela

Rejoinder: Volta House of Chiefs Endorses Nana Addo

I couldn’t help but shrug my shoulders in utter disbelief when I read Akwasi Afrifa Akoto’s spiteful piece of writing on Nana Akufo-Addo’s futile attempt to court the chiefs and the people of the Volta region at the regional house of chiefs in Ho last Thursday after his henchman, Kennedy Agyapong called for the total extermination of Ewes in Ghana.

Was I surprised by the author’s lack of grasp on Ghana’s political developments? Absolutely, not. In democratic Ghanaian politics, it is not unusual to see, and read, off-centered accounts from faceless actors who exploit the generosity of cyber-technology to express their quaint views on socio-political matters. Akwasi Afrifa Akoto stated in his article that, the Volta House of Chiefs led by Togbe Afede XIV unanimously advised Voltarians to change their voting patterns. He claimed that, according to the House's opinion, the region had lacked behind in development due to "poor electoral choices in the past."

I find the author’s account on the meeting between Nana Akufo-Addo and the chiefs to be very interesting. Is the author dreaming or hallucinating? Can he give us the name of the Chief who admonished the indigenes of the region to change their voting patterns? I hope, in response to my query, the author would not come to tell me that it was Okyehene who said that. Well, Mr. Akwasi Afrifa, Okyehene is not a member of the Volta regional house of chiefs. There was no mention of endorsement of Nana Addo by the Chiefs, and it is misleading for the author to make it appear as though anything of the sort happened. Indeed the Agbogbomefia of Ho (Asogli) Togbe Afede XIV, and the President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, who spoke on behalf of the chiefs made it clear to Nana Addo that Ewes were not enthused by recent happenings on the political scene, and advised him to call his supporters to order.

In the preceding months to December general elections, we are seeing a persistent onslaught by certain nomadic political actors led by Nana Akufo-Addo to cause mayhem in the country.

We have also seen a series of unprovoked attacks on Ewes in recent times. Indeed, Ewes came under severe attack by Nana Akufo-Addo on their voting trend in Hohoe not too long ago, where he declared that the people of Volta Region have been voting in one way for a very long time. This came on the back of Kwabena Agyapong’s “no human beings in the Volta Region” attack on Ewes. The people of the Volta Region have not forgotten the insults by the late Victor Owusu, that all Ewes are inward-looking. The constant insults and provocation of Ewes by the Dankwa-Busia political tradition is open secret and I hope Akwasi Afrifa Akoto by his latest work is not trying to rub salt in to the wound. In his never-ending wisdom, the author stated that since independence, Volta region has remained as the most neglected region in the country.

I don’t want to sound condescending; however, I am amazed by the shallowness of the author for not getting his facts in order. The people of Volta region have received their fair share of the national cake and they will forever be proud of both NDC one and two administration.

“Voltarians” are also proud to have a University built on their soil just three years of this current regime, and they would forever be grateful to this government. What was Kufuor’s contribution to the Volta region in his eight years apart from open hatred and persecution? We cannot forget how Ewes were chased out of their workplaces and how they were transferred to “Siberia” under Kufuor Regime. The infamous “proceed on leave” mantra adopted by the NPP Government, led by J.A. Kufuor, was mainly applied to Ewes. During the eight-year rule of the NPP, led by Kufuor, Ewes in Government institutions were always sitting on thorns. We cannot forget how having Ewe name in Ghana under the NPP Government became a taboo. I can recall how during the run up to 2008 Parliamentary and Presidential elections, the NPP planned to collect dead bodies from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Morgue in Kumasi and dump them in the Volta Region, just to portray that Ewes as callous and murderers.

The constant insults and provocation of Ewes by the Dankwa-Busia political tradition also re-emphasized and actually vindicates the view of many people in the region that the NPP is out there with an agenda against Ewes. The recent call for total annihilation of Ewes by Kennedy Agyapong is just the icing on the cake. The harm caused by Kennedy Agyapong’s ethno-hate speech can’t be washed away with a mere interaction with Volta chiefs and I hope Akwasi Afrifa Akoto is aware of this basic fact. Kennedy Agyapong’s hateful, ill-intentioned and murderous statement already has precedents that no admission of the fact that the NPP is responsible for alienating the Volta Region will go away so easily.

Ewes are not fools and they can read between the lines. They are fully aware of the NPP’s agenda against them and the consequences of an Akufo-Addo presidency. The Volta chiefs therefore cannot and will never endorse Akufo-Addo for president.

I shall be back!

Emmanuel Dela Coffie www.delacoffie.wordpress.com

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