By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh.com |
The Awoamefia of Anlo, Torgbui Sri III has pandered to his subjects to give his address in Ewe at this year’s Hogbetsotsoza over the weekend at the capital of Anlo State, Anloga in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region.
The Awoamefia’s request for his address to be in English to benefit visitors who might not have understood the Ewe language met a resounding “no” from the gathering which came as a shock (humorous though) forcing him to translate his prepared speech into Ewe.
The crowd on the other hand, clapped and cheered as they won over their Overlord.
Torgbui Sri in the short address he gave, underscored the need for unity among the people of Anloland and the entire Volta Region, saying it is the ingredient to propel development and without which stagnation will be the lot of the people.
He also called on the government to redeem the promises made to his people including dredging of the Keta Lagoon and construction of a harbor at Keta to provide job opportunities for the people in the area.
According to him, there are no job avenues in the Anlo area and this leads the youth to migrate to other areas in search of jobs after their education.
The Agbogbomefia of Asogli, Togbe Afede XIV, who also graced the occasion, commended the chiefs and people of Anlo for extending an invite to the people of Asogli to participate in the 2018 Hogbetsotsoza describing it as the right path for unity among the Anlos and Asoglis, the people Eweland, Volta Region and the country as a whole.
He was grateful to the people of Anlo for making it known that they do not support the manner in which the division of the region was being handled.
The Agbogbomefia emphasised that there was the need for the entire region to be considered for the referendum to be held later in December as creation of the new region involves the alteration of the existing boundary.
The Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious affairs, Mr Kofi Dzamesi, who represented the President, said government had taken steps to address the concerns of the Awoamefia on development projects.
He disclosed that executive instruments had been signed for a new district, Anlo with its capital at Anloga out of Keta Municipality and for the establishment of a harbour at Keta in a bid to bring development to the area.
The Minister also touched on concerns about the partitioning of the Volta Region, saying protests against the procedures in relation to the Constitution must be channeled through the appropriate avenues without people takinh the law into their own hands.
The durbar on Saturday to climax the 2018 Hogbetsotsoza chaired by former Diplomat and Member of Parliament (MP) for Anlo, Hon Philip Gbeho, attracted dignitaries including four aspiring presidential candidates of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC): former President John Dramani Mahama, Alban Bagbin, Ekow Spio-Garbrah and Sylvester Mensah.
Also in attendance were Deputy Volta Regional Minister, current and past ministers, MPs, municipal and district chief executives (MDCEs), executives of both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the NDC.
Ghana’s youngest boxing world champion, Isaac Dogboe and his father, Paul Dogboe also stormed the durbar. Rapper Edem, and Bhim Nation Boss, Stonebwoy including other upcoming artists from Anloland were in earlier to thrill the crowd who showed up for Edemfest, a musical concert organised by the Rapper on Hogbetsotso periods.
Hogbetsotso is a festival of exodus of Ewes from Hogbe (Notsie in present day Togo), their final home after migrating from South Sudan. It is believed the Ewes were treated cruelly under King Agorkorli hence their escape.
For the escape, they devised a means to break the fortified mud wall that enslaved them by asking their women to dispense water on one side of the wall anytime they had to dispose of dirty water. With time, the wall became weak, making it easily breakable thus, facilitating their escape.
Many activities precede the durbar on Saturday including purification (dodede). This involves the expulsion of evil spirits.
There is also the reconciliation (nugbidodo) day when disputes are resolved with the belief that their ancestors lived in peace with one another in their escape from Notsie.
Also of importance is the mock-up day set aside to reenact the escape from Notsie. Here, in order to divert attention, the Ewes walked backwards to give the impression that they were moving towards and not away from Notsie. This is done through the medium of Misego or Husago dance believed to be the vehicle for the departure.