Togbega Gabusu (middle) flank by Togbe Adzimah (L)
Listen to Togbe Afede appeal to Factions
The Paramount chief of Gbi Traditional area, Togbega Gabusu VI has on Thursday said he has been living in a hideout as his sisters were also staying with other people after his palace was vandalised and vehicles burnt by some irate Zongo youth in Hohoe last Monday. “Am now a refugee in my own home” Togbe Gabusu said in his first public comment when he met with a delegation from the Volta Regional House of Chiefs and the Volta Regional Security Council (REGSEC) led by Togbe Afede XIV President of the house of chiefs and the Volta regional minister, Henry Ford Kamel in the residence of the Hohoe Municipal Chief Executive, to sympathize with the people of Hohoe and to also help broker peace.
Clashes broke between the youth of Hohoe and their Zongo counterparts last Monday, after the later went on rampage and vandalised properties in the palace of Togbe Gabusu including his vehicles, accusing him (Gabusu) of ordering the exhumation of the corpse of the Chief Imam of the area. This led to reprisal attack from the indigenes, who also went and set ablaze shops belonging to some Zongo people in the town.
The town is now under a dusk to dawn curfew with heavy security deplored to maintain law and order.
According to Togbega Gabusu he hasn’t been to his palace since the incident as he was forced to be indoors and, therefore, he could not assess the extent of damage caused to his house and property.
He thanked the delegation of the chiefs especially Togbe Afede for the deep concern they had shown to him and the rest of the people and expressed the hope that a better situation would arise from the crisis.
Mr. Henry Ametepe, Deputy Volta regional minister, used the occasion to assure Togbega that government would do its best to put the palace back to shape.
Togbe Afede & his Entourage
Earlier, Togbe Adzima V, Chief of Gbi-Abansi, briefed Togbe Afede and his entourage and stressed that the Gbis were not against the Moslems but the unruly behaviours of some of their youths.
He expressed disgust at the audacity of the youths from the Zongo Community to ransack and torch the Palace of Togbega Gabusu. He said the Zongo youths had consistently acted with hostility and impunity towards the traditional authorities over the years.
Togbe Afede appealed to them to defer the deadline set for the replacement of traditional regalia which got missing from the chief’s palace and said the situation was so volatile and that nothing should be done for it to escalate.
Togbe Afede also assured them that the Regional House of Chiefs would collaborate with the Volta Regional Coordinating Council towards the restoration of stool regalia and treasures which got missing in the conflict.
He urged the parties to soften their stance and give peace a chance, adding that without peace and unity, the huge potential of Hohoe as an investment destination could not be exploited.
Meanwhile, the Assembly Member for the zongo community, Alhaji Gibril Buhari, has appealed to Togbe Afede XIV to prevail on the Gbi Traditional Council to soften their stance on the ultimatum given for them to return the missing regalia, so that an extensive search would be conducted to retrieve whatever that was taken from Togbe Gaabusu’s palace.
COMMITTEE OF EMINENT PERSONS TO INVESTIGATE CLASHES
Some of the displaced persons
A committee of eminent persons from the Volta region is to be set up to unravel the cause of the clashes which claim three live and displaced over thousand people. This was disclosed by the Volta regional minister Henry Ford Kamel, when he led the delegation of chiefs to pay a courtesy call on the Catholic bishop of Jasikan, Most Rev. Gabriel Akwasi Ababio Mante.
Members of the committee who would be drawn from various spheres of the society including the religion, according to the minister would investigate circumstances leading to the clashes and come out with a roadmap which would bring total peace to Hohoe and to forestall future occurrences.
Bishop Mante expressed shock at the incident but was grateful to the security apparatus for the swift nature the situation was brought under control.
He assured the delegation of his readiness to help restored peace to Hohoe but complained about non-implementation of recommendations of investigative committees and said this had left problems unresolved. This attitude, he said could spell disaster if aggrieved parties felt that justice have not been done.
Meanwhile, the delegation of Chiefs and the Volta Regional Security Council (REGSEC) led by Togbe Afede XIV President of the house of chiefs and the Volta regional minister, Henry Ford Kamel, have visited the displaced persons at Jasikan.
Togbe Afede appealed to them to return home to begin the process of reconciliation and rebuilding.
He also urged them to be law abiding and respect traditions of the Gbi people.
The displaced people who are mostly zongo women and children were part of the over six thousand persons who flee the conflict and are living with friends and relatives at Jasikan, Kadjebi, Biakoye and Kpando.
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