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Opinions of Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Columnist: Anlo Youth Council

Anloga Peace Shattered – Nyonyo’s Thugs Strike Aagain

It is with much regret that we once again bring to the notice of the authorities the criminal activities of hirelings of Lumorvi Atitsogbui, also known as Nyonyo Agboada, who until recently styled himself variously as regent as well as Torgbui Sri III, Awoamefia of Anlo.

Following the events of Black Thursday, November 1st, 2008, a group of identifiable thugs in the employ of Lumorvi Atitsogbui have never relented in criminal acts of armed intimidation, harassment and terrorism against innocent citizens of Anlo. Several of these acts of terror have appropriately been documented and reported to the police authorities in the Divisional Command, the District Chief Executive as well as the hierarchy of the police administration inside and out of the Volta Region without any response.

It would be recalled that a similar incident occurred between Wednesday 30 January and the early hours of Thursday 31st January, 2008, and was reported by citizens of Anlo to the police and based on which the Anlo Youth Council issued a press statement urging the government to take action by ensuring the arrest and prosecution of those involved.

Surprisingly, the Municipal Chief Executive, Kofi Ahiabor came out with a statement claiming that there was no threat to peace in Anloga. In an article headed ‘Shootings In Anlo – Not threat to Peace’ of February 4, 2008 and carried by the GNA on Ghanaweb, the MCE was noted to have told the GNA that the reported incident did not pose any threat to peace in the area. Further the GNA report indicated that Mr Ahiabor said the police were on the trails of two people rumoured to be responsible for the shootings. He could not tell which of the two factions in the chieftaincy dispute was responsible for the shooting incident. It is strange that in one breath the MCE claims the police were investigating 2 people rumoured to be behind the shootings and at the same time claims he does not know which of the factions the 2 alleged suspects belong to. However, residents of Anloga are very clear about the criminals in their midst including the following known hirelings of Nyonyo Agboada - Dovia ‘Digidon’ Korsitse, (aka Terrorist), Walter Dzatagbo, Senanu Kukubor, Eklu Borlugui and Edem Agboada

Prior to the above case, another documented incident occurred on Sunday January 27, 2008 at 11:10 am during which a resident Oscar Agbakpe, was brutally assaulted by elements of the same thugs namely - Gershon Avedor, Dovia ‘Digidon’ Korshitse, Edem Agboada, Dotse Dzatagbo, and Korshivi Fiagbe. The case was reported to the security agencies within an hour of the assault and the victim examined at the Keta Government Hospital.

To date, the Police authorities and the Keta MCE are yet to release the findings on the 2 rumoured suspects the MCE claimed were receiving attention from police investigations. The reason is quite clear to all Anlo citizens and Ghanaians who hold high the principles of the Rule of Law, Protection of Human Rights and Good Governance.

The latest of these acts of intimidation and terrorism against residents of Anloga occurred at about 8 a.m. on Saturday, 3rd May, 2008 when elements of the above named thugs including Felix Agboada, Mawuli Segla and two others emerged from Klavime, a noted den of drug addicts and criminals in Anloga, and chanced on Geoffrey James Ocloo near the new Post Office. They walked to him amidst threats and verbal intimidation whereupon Geoffrey ran into the kiosk of a friend Enyonam Donkor.

Moments after the 2 friends saw their assailants returning in greater numbers towards the kiosk and took to their heels for safety. They fled and sought refuge with other friends and, bolstered by their numbers, stood their ground this time to face the marauding thugs of Nyonyo Agboada who continued threatening to kill anyone who dared to stand in their way. Faced by numbers, however, the thugs retreated and moved once again to Klavime ostensibly to reinforce their numbers.

On their return from Klavime, the thugs realized that Geoffrey and Enyonam had attracted a much bigger crowd and sensing danger they retreated but not before Mawuli Segla infuriated the crowd by openly making his threats. The enraged crowd started after the thugs during which one of the thugs, Edem Sofahu (Raga) found himself lagging behind and decided to seek refuge in the house of Mr. Adzraku at Setsinu. Noticing the situation, the household of Adzraku tried to negotiate the safety of Edem Sofahu with the crowd. It was at this point that the Klutse Bolugui, Felix Agboada and 2 others arrived, armed with guns and started shooting indiscriminately into the crowd.

In the ensuing melee 4 people – Elikplim Zate, Mawuenyega Goka Kpete, Esiawonam Agboada and Yao Matsakawo sustained gun-shot wounds. Two others Kodzo Ludu and Atsu Agbota also sustained injury in the struggle for safety. According to eye witnesses, Borlugui is said to have shot Esiawonam at close range. In the confusion that followed the gun shots the thugs including Edem Sofahu managed to escape into the house of Nyonyo Agboada which has become their operational base since the events of November 2008.

Several vehicles sustained damage from shots fired by the thugs in their attempt to scare the crowd away. At least 2 cars had their windscreens shattered. This latest incident happened in the full view of several residents of Anlo including the Assembly member for the area and Deputy Vice Chairman of the NPP, Mr. Makafui Woanya and other people attending a funeral nearby including Naval Commander (Rtd) Kwaku Dovlo. Mr. Woanya at one point was held at gun point by Mawuli Segla on the orders of Walter Dzatagbo who told Mawuli to shoot Mr. Woanya if he dared move another step on his approach towards the thugs. With great difficulty Mr. Woanya managed to reach the police Divisional Command on the phone requesting for police protection.

The police arrived finally in the company of the MCE Kofi Ahiabor to effect the arrest of the thugs including Klutse Borlugui, Walter Dzatagbo, Mawuli Segla, Amartey Ado, Lucky Amemonu, Atsu Agboada together with their weapons. Later on some of the youth organized to effect a ‘citizens arrest’ of 12 others and known accomplices of the thugs including the notorious Dovia ‘Digidon’ Korshitse (aka Terrorist). The police quickly escorted Digidon to the hospital for treatment due to injuries apparently sustained in the cause of his arrest. Ironically the police did not offer the same treatment to those who sustained gunshot wounds from Nyonyo’s thugs.

The MCE Kofi Ahiabor was heard, however to have ordered the arrest of the mob that caused Digidon’s arrest all of this in the face of threats that Digidon continued to issue in the hearing of the police, hospital staff and the general public against those who effected his arrest as well as the police. Despite the complicity of Digidon in the unfolding events in Anlo since November last year, he was released by the police to go home after his treatment.

The questions that we need to ask our Government, Kofi Ahiabor and the police authorities are as follows:

- Do we have a different set of laws governing criminal activities in the Volta Region specifically, Anlo, separate from the Constitution and laws of Ghana?

- Do tax payers of Anlo origin not contribute to revenue the goes to pay for uniforms, salary and other emoluments of the Ghana Police Service?

- Kofi Ahiabor should tell us whether this time round there is a threat to peace in Anlo or not.

The utmost disdain of the Government of Ghana towards ensuring that the rule of law and human rights of Anlos prevail and their handling of the events of November 2007 continue to reverberate in our minds. This in the face of the continued protection being offered to Nyonyo and his accomplices in the unfolding events in Anlo smacks of a deliberate and jaundiced government/police policy to undermine the peace and security of Anlos. It should be pointed out that such a policy will ultimately backfire and consume those who initiated it. Again in spite of every explanation and clarification offered to media personnel reporting on the incidents in Anlo, sections of the media continue to refer to Nyonyo as Regent of Anlo and Torgbui Sri III, Awoamefia of Anlo and other titles to that effect. We use this opportunity to once again state categorically that there is no such title as Regent in the annals of the Awoamezi. Indeed if such a title were to exist, then it is only logical that it be used in reference to a nominee of the Bate Clan as Regent Torgbui Adeladza rather Regent Torgbui Sri. We once again repeat our earlier plea to the authorities and call on President Agyekum Kuffour and the government of the NPP to find the moral authority to call the security agencies in Anlo area to order. We also wish to appeal to our development partners, human right organizations and Diplomatic Missions to use the influence their countries have to ensure that our government lives up to its responsibilities to ensure a balanced resolution of conflict in all parts of the country including Anlo.



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