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Opinions of Thursday, 18 August 2016

Columnist: Pobee-Mensah, Tony

Volta Region and the HSGF

I felt very sad after reading that a group calling itself Homeland Study Group Foundation aims to declare the Volta Region independent of Ghana on May 9, 2017 and form Western Togoland. A Mr. Kudjordjie, spokesperson for the group, reportedly cited the following as part of the reason why, “Apollo 568, the construction of Akosombo dam, the alien compliance order, unsavoury utterances against Ewes, among others.”

The reasons come across as a little shallow for such a big endeavour. Apollo 568 refers to alleged dismissal of senior government officials, mostly Ewes, by Prime Minister K. A. Busia. The alien compliance order can also be laid at Dr. Busia’s door step.

While I can’t explain the Apollo 568, I can say that Dr. Busia has not been the Prime Minister of Ghana for many, many years. Kotoka International Airport, a major symbol of the country survived Busia’s time in office and Kotoka was an Ewe.

The alien compliance order was a short-sighted employment plan which either hurt or benefitted some or all of Ghana irrespective of tribe. I doubt if Ewes can claim to be targets of that order. I don’t think anyone in Ghana, then or today will call an Ewe an alien.

No reasonable person will think that Ghana will let the Akosombo dam go without a fight so anyone advocating a peaceful secession from Ghana must necessarily plan to leave the Akosombo dam behind. Is that the plan of the group? Mr. Kudjordjie said that the group will not resort to armed struggle to pursue their cause.

What he may not be thinking of is that they could very well be sowing into the mind of some young Ewes that they have been aggrieved and they may in the future take up arms against the nation for that reason.

I have at times read some of the stupid remarks that some people make against Ewes (called “unsavoury utterances” by the group). It is very unfortunate and I am very ashamed of it. We are all Ghanaians. Our government has succeeded in raising up every tribe. Ghana is among few countries in Africa where anyone from any tribe can become President. Every tribe can boast of scholars. We should celebrate this rather than sow divisions.

Ghana is not a bad place to live. We have our issues but we also have a chance to work together to be each other’s keeper. Why would anyone want to separate from Ghana at this time? Should I assume that Ewes didn’t cheer the Black Stars? I am sure many Ghanaians admire and are proud of Christian Atsu for his prowess on the soccer field. What benefit is there for someone to put this asunder?

The name calling, shameful as it is, will stop only if we don’t have childish people in Ghana; which will never happen. If anything, it will probably exacerbate if the Volta Region separates from Ghana. Does anyone want an enraged neighbour. We have come a long way. Let’s not make fights for our children to fight.

Mr. Kudjordjie may not have voted to be part of Ghana; his ancestors may not have voted to be part of Ghana, but somebody’s ancestor did and the majority carried the vote. It was the decision of the people of Western Togoland who voted to be part of Ghana. It was not a vote to be revisited.

It was a vote to draw a permanent boundary. Western Togoland, if I am not mistaking, was a creation of European colonialism. I don’t believe it was a drawn border that existed before colonialism. We are here. Let’s move forward together.

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