By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh |
Member of Parliament for South Dayi in the Volta Region, Rockson-Nelson Etse Dafeamekpor has registered his displeasure at the security’s handling of members of secessionist group, Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF) describing it as a storm in a teacup.
A joint police-military operation on Wednesday led to the arrest of 81 people including two women suspected to be members of HSGF in and around Ho, the Volta Regional capital for unlawful social/public gathering but were later granted bail.
The arrest of the 81 individuals followed an earlier arrest on Sunday of the leader of the group, an over 80-year old Charles Kormi Kudzordzi, popularly known as Papavi Hogbedetor and 7 other front liners for their alleged attempt to secede some regions from Ghana and declare them on Thursday, May 9, 2019 as an independent country called Western Togoland.
The eight were airlifted to Accra and without access to a lawyer, arraigned before a high court on charges of conspiracy to commit treason felony, abetment of unlawful training, unlawful assembly and offensive conduct conducive to breach of peace with the leader being the only person who was granted bail.
But Hon. Dafeamekpor said the criminal prosecution of the secessionists was uncalled for and described the processing of the eight for court without access to a lawyer considering the charges leveled against them as a departure from laid down procedure anchored in law.
He admitted that it was “possible” for the group to do what it was alleged but it was not “probable” to do so because per the history, the “territory previously known as Western Togoland, presently is made up of 5 regions: the Upper East Region, the North East Region, Northern Region, the Oti Region and the Volta Region.”
“So how can any serious security agency come to the conclusion that the mere intention of a group based in Ho, not based in Oti, not based in Northern Region, not based in North East, not based in Upper East Region will successfully declare a self-determined territory their own,” he wondered.
The Lawmaker made this known on Friday when he granted an interview on Ho-based West FM’s morning show, West Breakfast Drive regarding the arrests in the region in relation to activities of the group.
He rather proposed that government had a dialogue with the agitators saying, “persecution has never succeeded in quelling the agitations of a people determined to attain self rule.”
The private legal practitioner also hinted of plans by the Volta caucus in Parliament to meet over these agitations and see the way forward because tact was needed in dealing with such agitations so as not to offend the sensibility of the people.
Earlier, Mr. Dafeamekpor in a press release titled, “Rambo-Style Arrest of Octogenarians Worrying; The State must Act to Restore their Rights as Citizen” following the first arrest in the week, condemned the manner in which the men were picked up saying, it was “a raw exercise of executive power” which “ought not be abused in the manner it was applied.”