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General News of Sunday, 4 October 2020


Detailed account of how Western Togoland group staged successful attacks in Volta Region

Sophisticated and coordinated are the words used by Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu to describe the attacks in some parts of the Volta Region by the Western Togoland secessionist group.

The group, according to Okudzeto Ablakwa exhibited a great deal of knowledge and skill in the handling of weapons and discharging them.

Per his assessment of official police statement on events of the day, it will be foolhardy for anyone to think that the separatists are just a bunch of disgruntled persons who are just making noise about seceding from Ghana.

Rather, they appear to be a well-drilled army of young energetic men who have been radicalized and will go any length to defend the cause they are embarking on.

They were very good and confident that they overtook two police stations, engaged police officers in a gunfight and successfully blocked entry points to the Volta Region without a hitch.

The MP on Newsfile narrated in detail how the secessionist group outwitted the security agencies in the Volta Region. “What happened, you will think it is a chapter from a Hollywood movie. To have two police stations invaded in what appears to be a very well-coordinated attack is mind-blowing,” he said on Joy News.

“They just distracted the police personnel on duty and swamped in in their numbers and took them hostage. They went in holding one of their own handcuffed and as the policeman tried to take their statement, the others joined in and took over.

“They were many, they tell us that, there were over 70 who attacked the police station and they knew exactly what to do and where to go.

“They went straight for the armouries, managed to open them and they showed some level of sophistication that is mindblowing.

“They took out all the weapons they could find. So at the Aveyime Police station, we have been told by the Police Commander that 19 weapons were taken, so 15 AK47 and 4 pump action guns.

“They did a similar operation at the Mepe Police Station where they had two weapons in the armoury.

“They then managed to free the inmates in the cells and replaced them with the police after stripping them naked,” he said.

Continuing his narration, Okudzeto Ablakwa said that the group also stormed the local district assembly to ransack the offices.

“At the district assembly, they took out all the computers and documents and managed to find the key to the pickup that the DCE uses.

“Remember that they had also managed to take the police pickup truck and that pickup was leading a reinforcement team from the divisional command.

“What the Divisional Police Command told me last night was that, he is still wondering how they overpowered them by the superior firepower they exhibited because they engaged them in a gun battle but clearly they had more sophisticated weapons and their level of precision was totally mindblowing.

“So they disarmed the reinforcement team, took their weapons including the Police Commander’s pistol.

“Now, while all of this was going on, it’s important to stress that they were in no hurry to leave the place after overpowering the police,” he added.

“They managed to parade the streets with these vehicles in jubilant mood and then stopped the river sand winning vehicles, led them to the boundary between Sege and Aveyime and ordered them to offload the sand, blocked the streets and then erected their flags.

“They had also replaced the police flags with their Western Togoland flags and then continued to jubilate.

“I have spoken to the Interior Minister and he assured that the reinforcement team was being sent and he was aware of the difficulties the team from Sogakope had encountered.

“But I still think the response was rather slow and that we could have acted faster to round them up.

“As it is now, they managed to really finish their operation and leave the scene,” he said.

“Remember that simultaneously, across the river at Juapong and also in my constituency, they had managed to carry out the same operation, which includes erecting barriers and claiming to have taken over the Volta Region”.

“My constituency is the gateway to the region so their understanding is that if they take over North Tongu and erect barricades then they have taken over the Volta Region.

“But finally, the reinforcement team arrived which included the military team and there were gunshots and exchange of fire”.

Okudzeto Ablakwa also appealed to the security agencies to expedite investigations and free the innocent ones who were apprehended in the swoop.

“That is where Emmanuel, the young coconut seller at Juapong sadly lost his life and most of the people who were engaging the police spirited away.

“So a lot of the young people, that is the 31 picked up at Juapong, indeed raised this matter when we met the Regional Minister during the week.

“The Regional Minister admits that they are looking closely at 9 of them who know something about the group, but the rest don’t seem to know anything about the group.

“And we hope that those ones will be freed quickly,” he appealed.

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