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General News of Saturday, 23 November 2019


Detaining my '70-year-old wife wrong, show maturity' – Papavi to govt

80-year-old leader of the group, Papavi Hogbedetor being escorted play video80-year-old leader of the group, Papavi Hogbedetor being escorted

The 80-year-old secessionist leader of the Western Togolanders, Mr Charles Kudzordzi, also known as Papavi Hogbedetor, has asked the government of Ghana to show maturity and stop the arbitrary arrests and detention of members of the Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF), who ascribe to the group’s recent declaration of the Volta Region as an independent nation – Western Togoland.

“I want to tell the government of Ghana that what has started happening is not the right thing; going round arresting people in the streets, taking them and locking them up in cells and particularly taking my near-70-year-old wife and locking her up; no. That is not the right thing,” Papavi said in a short video message.

“I want the government to show maturity”, he urged, adding: “Invite me legally through my lawyers and I will present myself for the case to continue.”

He also said he was still within the jurisdiction of “the country” and has not run away.

Papavi also urged his followers “to be peaceful”, adding: “No declaration is staged without a quarrel. It is always so, but we want to set the record for peace to prevail so that the whole country knows that we are peace-loving.”

The group’s independence declaration of the region as Western Togoland was made at a public gathering of its adherents at the premises of the former Unity Rural Bank which is a few metres away from the Ho Police Training school a week ago.

It was broadcast live on Facebook. The group, which has had several brushes with the law on the matter in the past, rode on the recent omission of the Volta Region from the list of critical roads to be constructed in 2020 when the Finance Minister presented next year’s budget to Parliament, in declaring the region independent.

The government of Ghana, via a press release from Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, announced that it “takes note of the activities” of the foundation, adding: “Ghana remains a sovereign state which has not ceded any part of its territory to any person or group of persons.”

“While admonishing the public to disregard the claims by the group, the general public is hereby informed that state security agencies are taking the necessary measures to ensure that persons involved with the illegal act, are dealt with in accordance with the law.

“Ghana’s security agencies remain in firm charge of Ghana’s territory and encourage all persons to continue with their daily activities normally”, the statement said.

So far five people of the group have been arrested and arraigned.

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