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We are treading cautiously – Information Minister on secessionists group

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says the government has decided to tread cautiously in order not to escalate situations with the Western Togoland secessionists.

According to him, any hard handedness by the government may escalate the situation in which roads leading to the Volta Region were blocked and police officers attacked on September 24.

“In situations like this, we need to tread cautiously in order not to escalate situations, we don’t want to recreate Boko Haram,” he said

Speaking on the progress the security agencies have made in calming tensions in the Volta Region, the Minister noted that “about 31 of them have been apprehended and the masterminds behind it are now being sought after, the security agencies are ensuring that the immediate threats are dealt with.”

He dispeled claims that the government is behind the activities of the rebel groups in order to create uneasiness in the region; a stronghold of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) ahead of the December 2020 elections.

He said “Any well-meaning Ghanaian will know that there cannot be any truth to that, the attacks on a police station, people engaged in an exchange of firearms… this whole agitation is not new”

“Initially there was only one group, the Homeland Study Group Foundation led by Papavi, but some aggrieved members who were not happy with how things are being handled broke away and formed the Western Togoland Restoration Group and a third group, the PLC” he added.

According to him, there has been police and military deployment into the region to maintain and ensure that things do not get out of hand.

BACKGROUND

The secessionist group, Western Togoland attacked two police stations at Aveyime and Mepe and seized 10 AK47 assault rifles after breaking into the police armory.

They ransacked the police stations, released inmates in custody, physically assaulted and injured police officers.

The group, subsequently, blocked major roads to the Region and burnt car tyres.

A joint police/military enforcement team were deployed to rescue the police officers held in hostage.

So far,31 members of the secessionist group have been arrested and airlifted to Accra and are in the custody of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service for interrogated.

One person died and several others injured during the exchange of fire between the security agencies and the secessionist group.

The Homeland Study Group Foundation led by 78-year old, Charles Kormi Kudzordzi, aka “Papavi in May 2019 declared independence for Western Togoland, saying they were no more part of Ghana.

He was arrested together with some other members of the group.

Later, he was released, while others faced prosecution in different regions

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