Gbi Chiefs Set Conditions For Reconciliation
7/20/2012 4:30:14 PM -
Members of the Zongo community in Hohoe have been directed to perform purification and pacification rites to appease the ancestral gods for desecrating the Gbi State.
They are also to rebuild the damaged residence of Togbega Gabusu VI and the palace, restore any other property of the Gbis, as well as other personal assets of the paramount chief.
This was contained in a 14-page report outlining the conditions for the restoration of cordial relations between the indigenes and the Zongo community.
The report, which was put together by a committee set up to look into the Hohoe riots, explained that the attack on the Gbi State by members of the Zongo community was a taboo which required that customary rites be performed to cleanse the person who committed the offence of the consequential curse of what he or she did.
However, when contacted for his reaction, the spokesperson for the Sarkin Zongo, Mr Alhassan Ibn Battuta, said members of the Zongo community were yet to receive any communication on the report of the committee and could, therefore, not comment on it.
“We’ve not seen anything yet. No communication has been made to us. All that we’ve heard is from the news in the media,” Mr Battuta said.
The Zongo community in Hohoe went on rampage on Monday June 11, 2012 and vandalised several properties, including the residence of Togbega Gabusu, the palace of the Gbi Traditional Council and others.
Following the incident, a committee was set up to look into the riots and make recommendations for the restoration of peace in the area.
The committee submitted its report to the Gbi Traditional Council on July 10, 2012.
Pacification, the report said, must be carried out by the Zongo community for slandering Togbega Gabusu, saying what happened was a sign of the weakness and ineffectiveness on the part of the Zongo elders.
On the return and restoration of destroyed and or stolen ancestral regalia and relics, it said, “Not having received the destroyed or stolen ancestral regalia and relics as at date, the Gbi State has decided to advise itself on how to retrieve the said items and restore them to their original state.”
Other conditions on restoration include the rebuilding of the residence of Togbega Gabusu, the palace and any other property of the Gbis, recovery of money and other personal assets lost by Togbega Gabusu, recovery of other property, including those stolen or destroyed in the Hohoe Market, and the rebuilding and replacement of destroyed property at the Hohoe Hospital, and the rendering of a public apology to the doctors, nurses and other staff of the Hohoe Hospital.
The report also called for the setting up of a nine-member committee by the Gbi State to manage or oversee the implementation of the conditions.
On the issue of commercial activities, it said foreigners should be restrained from engaging in retail trade in line with the laws of Ghana.
With regard to communication with the traditional authorities, it said no Zongo community leader shall have direct access to the paramountcy on official matters relating to the Gbi State and that all official communication with the paramountcy shall be through the elders of Bla or Hohoe.
The report called on the government to immediately set up an independent committee of enquiry headed by a senior judge to investigate the Hohoe-Zongo riot, the shooting to death of two Gbi citizens by the security agencies, as well as the causing of injuries of varying degrees to others.
Meanwhile, the Municipal Security Committee (MUSEC) says it is yet to receive the said report.
A statement issued by its Spokesperson, Mr Charles Annan, said, “When the report is submitted, it will be forwarded to the Regional Security Committee (REGSEC) for further deliberations and fine-tuning with all interested bodies, that is, REGSEC, MUSEC, the Gbi Traditional Council and the Zongo Community.”
It said it was only after those discussions and an agreement reached by all sides, that those conditions would be made public and implemented.
“MUSEC would, therefore, urge the media to exercise restraint in discussing what has been put out in the public, as it has the tendency to negatively affect the process of getting a workable condition acceptable to all parties,” it advised.
The statement, therefore, called on the Gbi Traditional Council and the Zongo community to refrain from the said conditions in public and allow the process to take its course, since it was not the final document, according to the arrangement.