Feature Article of Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Columnist: Achacha, Charles
I heard a cock crow one morning in my sleep. This crow sounded so uniquely that, I had to seek for its interpretation. Initially, I was of the view that, the herb plant in my house that normally crow like a cock was responsible. But later on, I realized that it was a mysterious cock. Per interpretation of the unique cock crow, I came to the conclusion that, considering the great works by the Agbogbomefia, Togbe Afede XIV, he is to be officially installed as the Paramount king of the Volta Land.
On October 2003, as customs demands, the kingmakers, of Asogli state, installed the God given king for the people of the Asogli. Just the inaugural address delivered by the new king, can easily wake the hopes of a dead man, who passed on to the ancestors as a result of disenchantment. In his speech, Torgbe Afede XIV stated that, “through my oath, I have marked a new beginning of Asogli state, for, the deplorable state of our education and health infrastructure are problems of our time and they deserve solutions during our time”. Cheers and excitement engulfed the good people of Asorgli state, as they felt the new and fresh wind blowing around them. As a visionary, believing that, there is the need to plan for the future of their younger once, Togbe stated in his speech that, “our children are our future, and he will institute programs to ensure that their needs are provided for and help the youths to develop their character and self-appreciation, and to teach them to understand and uphold the principles of true citizenship, lest they grow into apathetic spectators”.
Since that time, I learned to respect and adore Togbe Afede XIV, because, he is one king, among the few in the land of Volta, who seriously believes in the progress and development of the Volta Land. Base on his achievements, why can’t he be the Defacto or Dejure paramount King of the Volta land, so that all the other chiefs and kings in the Volta region will hold allegiance to him? I think the time is ripped for us the good people of Volta land to institutionalize this. And this I will push for to the latter.
The Volta land is blessed with many good and great kings. But, I believe that, Togbe Afede XIV is a King of Kings in the land of Volta region. He is in equal rank with the Asantehene of the Ashanti kingdom. His exceptional intelligence and experiences in life, made him appreciate the need for development and progress of the Volta land, irrespective of who is involved. To me, he is one among few kings all over Africa and the world, who knows and believes that, the struggles they went through should not be inherited by the younger generation. Who again is comparable to Togbe Afede XIV, and fit to occupy the position of the paramount King of the Volta land? For now, he is the man.
According to oral tradition, it was Amega Asor, the founder of Asogli state, who broke the Notsie wall, when the Dogbos and their neighbours wanted to escape from the tyrannical rule of King Agorkorli of Notsie in the Togo land. History has it that, Asor, the founder of Asorgli state, used a charmed dagger to break the mighty wall of Notsie before they escaped safely from the wicked King Agorkorli. This amplified that, in the current time of ours, Torgbe Afede XIV of the Asorgli state, really holds the key to unlock the wall of retrogression that fenced and caged the land of Volta. It is undoubted fact that, Amega Tegli of Anlo state, offered the libation to the gods, invoked all the old gods and ancestors of the Dogbos, charmed the dagger, and commanded Asor to break the Notsie wall, but it was Asor of Asogli state who “did the did”, (Kumassah 2005).
Torgbe had education like any other person. From Ho Bankoe, - Kpedze Secondary school, - Labone secondary school (Accra), – University of Ghana Business school (Accounting option), - an MBA from Yale University and many more. But the question I ask is, how many chiefs or people are putting their education to good use practically as compared to Togbe Afede? In fact, they are few, and among them he is outstanding. Based on this, I wish a new stool is created and he is installed as the paramount king of the Volta land.
Togbe, seriously and with commitment, performed his duties as a worker. From his days at the erstwhile Bank For Housing and Construction as a planning officer, - Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board as an accountant, - lecturer in Economics and accounting at Sokoto State Polytechnic School of Management Studies in Nigeria, - and lecturer at the school of Administration, University of Ghana, where he taught Financial Accounting and Accounting Theory. As a known industrious and innovative person, Torgbe was one of the Co-founders of Databank financial services Ltd., he founded Strategic African Securities (SAS), which is also a stock brokerage firm. Seriously speaking, a brief research on Togbe, in all these institutions revealed that, he is a man to be trusted and can captain the sinking ship of Volta land as the Paramount king.
As a statesman and selfless person, Togbe Afede XIV, has the chance to be a member of many boards. Some of which include, Aluworks Limited, Accra Heart of Oak FC, Bank of Ghana, Navigator Communications and Technology co. Ltd, Pioneer kitchenware Ltd, SAS Group Ltd, Strategic Initiatives Ltd, Sunon Asogli Power plant (Ghana) Ltd, etc. Oh! What a great gift for the Volta land? Torgbe is the man I think is ordained to be given the chance to lead the Volta land for the rest of his life. And by this, it should be instituted that, any outstanding paramount chief in the Volta land, should be made to occupy the stool under the title of the Paramount king of the Volta land.
In fact, when I had the chance to read Togbe’s Philosophy on the Asogli state website, I had no other choice than to trumpet it for the benefit of all those who will read this article. To Togbe Afede, “outlook is influenced by a set of believes, he believes that success should be measured not only by the level one has attained, but also by the obstacles one had to overcome while trying to succeed. Togbe sees difficulties as part of life. To him, a new obstacle is only another challenge, and a life that is not tested is not worth living”. Togbe has positive attitudes in the conduct of his business; therefore, his focus is on the opportunities not the difficulties. He believes that success requires hard work, imagination, honesty, altruism, and absolute commitment to one’s chosen career”. Togbe Afede XIV, I salute you and bow to you. And I therefore, call on every well meaning voltarian to bow to Torgbe Afede. Because, he is a blessing to the Volta land and must be recognized and installed as the paramount King of the Volta land.
However, I know very well that, some historians may disagree with me base on the facts of the institution of chieftaincy and its dynamics among various ethnic groups in the Volta Region and their uniqueness. I would not argue with them, but just want them to know that, culture is dynamic and progress is at its minimal when we always swim in the river of “Tradition goes on”. Some constitution luminaries may also raise red flag on this issue. But they should know that, my call for Togbe Afede to be the paramount king of the Volta land, does not mean, calling for the chairmanship of the Volta regional house of chiefs to be scrapped or reserved for only outstanding chiefs. Nonetheless, my humble call is to let our chiefs know that, the myth that, “we should worship them “ is over, they are to render services to us, as Togbe Afede XIV is doing excellently. It is important to note that, in the olden days, chiefs led wars to protect their people. They provided them with food in times of famine and hunger, offered or poured libation to the gods to protect them from sicknesses and struggles. But, what do we see today? Our chiefs ascend their thrones just to ride in posh cars and have access to diplomatic passports and sell lands with impunity and void of conscience.
My fellow citizens of Volta land in particular and Ghana in general, look at the tremendous works and services Togbe Afede is rendering to the people of Asogli as a chief, and to the whole of Ghana as a statesman. I sincerely believe that, when my call is heeded to and Togbe Afede XIV, is installed as the paramount king of the Volta land, this region will see a lot of developments in the shortest possible time. It is very important to state that, I have never in my life met Torgbe Afede XIV before, but I have seen his works and services to humanity. Is based on these that “I bow to him”.
Let us together explore some achievements of Togbe Afede. Torgbe Afede has done enormously well for the citizens of Asogli and that of Ghana in general. Being development oriented person, Togbe, recognized that development should not be the sole responsibility of politicians or government alone. In 2006, Togbe led a twenty-two member team, including businessmen and the officials of the Asogli state to China. Eventually, he achieved his aim of attracting investments to Ghana, and learning how China has made progress in areas of agriculture, estate development, energy, ICT, etc. Identifying the goodwill in China, Togbe went to China for the second time in August 2006. It was during this visit that he established contact with Shenzhen Energy Group Co. Ltd., to assess the possibility of the company establishing a power plant in Ghana. Please, don’t in any way think that I am writing on the president of Ghana, rather, Togbe Afede XIV.
In November, 2006, Togbe hosted a delegation from China, representing China Africa Business council and the Shenzhen Energy group Co. Ltd. During the visit, Togbe brought together Chinese government officials and Ghanaian energy and business experts, as well as representatives of the ministries of works and housing and energy to discuss ways of investing in and improving Ghana’s energy sectors. Oh! What a great gift for Volta land in particular and Ghana in general? Fortunately enough, in May 2007, Togbe secured a deal for the injection of 560 megawatts of energy into Ghana’s supply system. This project is valued at more than $500 million and is located at Kpone. In fact, this is the first major private Thermal plant in Ghana, the second biggest source of electricity after Akosombo Dam, and the first major initiative of a traditional ruler. What is more exciting about this project is, just the construction phase provided about 1000 jobs for Ghanaians. Togbe Afede, may your reign lives forever.
Believing that, it takes great economic recoveries for a nation to prosper, Togbe has made pathway for an economic development for the Volta Region. This comes in the form of a 5-year development plan for the Volta region. The focus of this economic plan is to move from strategy building to implementation. The objective is to build society that is more prosperous, healthier, and more cohesive while recognizing our diversity; integrate communities that draw strength from their distinctive identities and contributions to life in Volta Region, and places that have a common appreciation of their history and heritage. What can help reshape the future of Volta region than these attributes? Togbe’s great interest in Agric sector, education, health, and sports, made him invest so much time and finance into these fields. The testimonies of these achievements are open secrets that, a child of school going age in Anlo state is aware off. Who is comparable to Togbe Afede? He is the saviour of our time.
Togbe Afede, have had many awards for his enormous contributions, all of which cannot be captured in just one article. He really helped in the development and progress of Volta region and Ghana as a whole. Some of these awards include, Golden Image Award, presented to him by her Excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (20th July, 2011), the Order of the Volta Officer, presented to him by former president J.A. Kufuor, (3rd July, 2008), Planters of Seed Award at the Ghana Club 100 Awards ceremony. Ho Development Association (HODA), also honoured him in appreciation of his good works, (21st July. 2007). At the Millennium Excellence Awards on the 19th of August, 2005, Togbe won the personality of the year award, the Alumni of Commonwealth Hall of the University of Ghana, Legon, honoured Togbe for his tremendous contributions to the progress of the society, etc. In fact, the citations and prizes won by Togbe Afede are uncountable and cannot be numerated.
Now! My fellow citizens of the Volta land, many strangers and known persons and groups have awarded Torgbe Afede XIV for his great works. October 2013, will be the 10th year of Togbe’s reign. And considering all his achievements, what gift or award can we give to him? It is based on this, I write this article to call on all the discerning citizens of Volta land and Ghana to rally behind me, as I advocate for Togbe Afede XIV, to be installed as the Paramount king of the Great Volta land. Under the stool name, “Torgbe Wenyigba Volta I”. I need your support, for, he deserves it.
God bless the Volta land and God bless Ghana.
CHARLES ACHACHA (AWORL-WORL)
• Anlo Youth Council
• Supreme Liberation Movement of Anlo
• Well Meaning Ghanaian