Government says it has identified those bankrolling the Western Togoland rebels.
“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.
Meanwhile, 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.
“here 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, are 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 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 Class91.3FM's 505 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.
Mr Woyome said he had called the Tongu divisional police commander's phone, who had apparently been taken hostage by the militants and one of them answered it and mentioned the regional minister's name as supporting the group.
Speaking in an interview with Class News’ Volta regional correspondent Albert Kuzor, the South Tongu MP said: “What is happening now, looking at the scheme in which it has occurred, the coordinated nature of the whole activity here, Mepe, Atimpoku, I hear Afiefe and several other places at a go, at the same time, and the attacks on the police in this manner, it baffles me a bit.
“I don’t think the security will go to sleep and just relax and not be able to be on top and ahead of anything like this.
“Because, the way it happened, it means they might have sat, planned or deliberately, people who ought to act, didn’t act; people who must be acting and preventing them from happening simply just didn’t want to do and, so, for big names to be coming up like this, whether true or not true, which calls for some investigation anyway, it leaves so much to be desired and too many question marks.”
The South Tongu MP condemned the action of the group and the people behind its actions.
“Does it have some political undertone? Is it because the hearsay is that this is the stronghold of the opposition party and, so, let’s cause some confusion and disaffection so, maybe, people don’t go to the polls? Is that the plan? It’s just unfortunate”, Mr Woyome said.
“Now, people are hurt, but I’m aware that even a woman was shot at and, so, they’ve picked up her belongings including her ID card to chase her to the hospital to go and look out for her and see how she’s faring.
“You can see bloodstains on the ground and all that; that for me is uncalled for, it must not be happening.
“We’re in a country that I know that we have a very good security system in place but unfortunately, the way it’s going, it’s leaving too many question marks on our minds. The government must sit up,” he noted.
Mr Woyome further called for investigations into the matter.
“Should we say that we cannot trust in our security system anymore? That we should be here and somebody comes to attack us and goes free without picking intelligence and preventing it from happening. It leaves too many questions unanswered on our minds and I think that is a serious matter, it’s not like the group is not known…”
He continued, “There are better ways to go about this thing, not necessarily the blocking of roads, even if you should block the roads, I don’t think you should go to the extent of attacking police stations to the extent of shooting law enforcement agents, and then hurting them, and as a result, being attacked in response”.
“All these things are needless, we need to get into this matter”, he said.