A former Deputy Minister for the Interior, Captain Nkrabeah Effah Dartey (retired), has urged the Western Togolanders agitating for secession of the Volta Region, to call for a referendum rather than use militancy to achieve their aim.
“If those in the eastern part of Ghana want to break away, you can agitate: organise the people, have a referendum and then if the majority agrees to secede to form a country called Western Togoland, fine.
“But to try and use military attack or military coup or military rebels, it won’t work because whoever is the President of Ghana has the mandate of the people to maintain the territorial integrity of Ghana with police, military and all the security establishment.
“And, so, if you start to use force, you’ll not succeed. Never”, the former MP for Berekum told Accra FM on Monday, 28 September 2020.
On Friday, 25 September 2020, the militants blocked roads in the Volta Region, took over two police stations, held some officers hostage and stole some weapons in the armouries.
A fire exchange led to death of one of the militants and injury of others including a police commander.
Meanwhile, the government of Ghana has said it has identified those bankrolling the Western Togoland rebels and chasing after them.
“Yes we know where the funding is coming from and the various agencies are moving in as part of a comprehensive programme to deal with this whole phenomenon.
“And we are also moving in to deal with their sources of funding and persons who, we believe, are associated with the funding of this group,” Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said at a press conference on Sunday, 27 September 2020.
He said the “key actors, who have been identified as ultimately responsible for these events are also on the watch list of the security agencies and are actually wanted at this point in time.
“In the coming days, the security agencies would be publishing some photos and revealing identities of persons involved,” Mr Nkrumah added.
Mr Nkrumah has also denied any involvement or backing of the government of the rebels.
Speculations to that effect are “flat-out untruths,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.
“We don’t want to believe that there are any political groups behind it.
“There are those who, you have heard, suggest that it appears there are some political groups behind what is going on.
“We don’t even want to go that route,” he said.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah also denied claims that there was intelligence failure on the part of the security agencies as far as Friday’s attacks by the secessionist group in the Volta Region, were concerned.
One of the militants died in the take-over attacks which some the Togolanders block entries to and exits from the Volta Region – which the rebels consider as their autonomous and independent nation.
“There was no intelligence failure.
The direct aspect of what the intelligence suggested these persons wanted to do, was contained by security agencies.
The intelligence was to the effect that they had intentions to, for example, blow up and burn down the whole market, attack sensitive installations like the Akosombo Dam, the Adomi Bridge, and a few sensitive installations”, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.
“The first response was to ensure that these installations were secured and the analysis by the agencies was that, upon doing these successfully, these persons had no option than to do these roadblocks.
“The intelligence agencies did a good job.
“They took action to prevent the direst parts of that intelligence.”
On Friday, Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa, also denied supporting secessionist groups in the region as allegedly claimed by some of the Togolanders.
“That is ridiculous”, Dr Letsa said of the claim re-echoed by lawmaker Kobina Mensah Woyome.
“Valentina, I don’t want to answer that question because it’s ridiculous.
“We’ve been dealing with these groups since we came into office in 2017. How do I know them? How do I support them? Were they able to provide any evidence?
“For God’s sake, I’m the Chairman of the regional security council and I’ve to be dealing with this group since 2017”, Dr Letsa said on ClassFM’s news programme on Friday, 25 September 2020.
The MP for South Tongu had claimed that one of the secessionists told him on the phone that they had the support of Dr Letsa.