Why will you send 1000 soldiers to look for me – 85-yr-old secessionist leader breaks silence
85-year-old secessionist leader, Papavi Kormi Kudjordjiem, has broken his silence following violent agitations by some groups pushing for the creation of Western Togoland.
Speaking from his hideout in a video gone viral, Papavi condemned the state’s search for him.
“I remember we once went for a meeting, we closed, and I went into another meeting. I was attending meetings here and there, peaceful meeting meetings here and there. At the end of one, I was informed that several soldiers, heavily armed, were chasing after my name. Rumours even had it that I should be brought either alive or dead.
“I have made myself available to the police, security agencies on several occasions. Anytime they wanted me, I went, and we had discussions, and I come home. But this time, I don’t know why over one thousand young men were holding guns looking for an 85-year-old man. I don’t know what they have in mind about me, so I had to hide my face a little,” he said while explaining his decision to go into hiding.
A group suspected to be members of the Homeland Study Group Foundation, a group demanding to secede from Ghana blocked roads, leading to the Volta and Oti regions, including Kpong-Akosombo, Juapong-Ho, Ho-Mepe, Sogakope-Accra.
The separatists attacked two police stations at Aveyime and Mepe. They seized ten AK-47 assault rifles after breaking into the police armoury.
They ransacked the police stations, released inmates in custody, physically assaulted and injured police officers.
Just four days after this violent attack from the group, another act of vandalism was recorded.
This time, the group, also believed to be members of the secessionist group turned their focus on the State Transport Corporation (STC) in the Volta Regional capital, Ho.
According to the police, four armed men stormed the transport terminal Ho STC yard demanding the keys to all the vehicles parked.
The armed men set two minibuses ablaze when the drivers failed to produce the keys to the eleven buses which were parked there.
They also beat the drivers in the process. A flag believed to be that of the Western Togoland secessionists was found at the scene.
But reacting to these disturbances perpetuated by suspected members of the group, leader of the foundation, Papavi said the government of Ghana must thoroughly investigate the matter.
According to him, his group is a peaceful one and does not operate with violence.
“It had come to my attention that about a week or two ago, there was the blocking of roads, a sort of a demonstration, mayhem in the land (Volta Region). The homeland Study Group is a peaceful group. A peace-loving group. A peace generating group which started since 1994.”
“I am advising strongly that our people, the government of Ghana, should take that letter published online seriously and go by it. I have on two occasions written to the President of Ghana for us to sit down and talk at a round table but no attention has been given to the letter.
He added “Nobody should label the Homeland Study Group Foundation with this kind of thing. We are not like that. Ghana should intensify its level of investigation and not just suspect and arrest people, firing people and locking people up”.
Before going into hiding, Papavi on November 16, 2019, declared a Western Togoland independence from Ghana at Ho in the Volta Region.
“Today the 16th of November 2019, the leader of Western Togoland independence Mr Charles Kormi Kudzodzi has announced the separation of Western Togoland from Ghana. He sighted numerous reasons as the bases for which the union that was not established must not be recognized. More information will soon reach the General public soon,” the group wrote on Facebook.