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Togbiga Wenya, Dutor Of Anlo, A Chief Or Not A Chief?

Feature Article Togbiga Wenya, Dutor Of Anlo, A Chief Or Not A Chief?
MAY 4, 2022 LISTEN

A new dawn in the Laofe Clan of Anlo as the sun rises on the Chiefs, intellectuals and very influential clan’s men whose umbilical cords are directly connected to their ancestors’ who fought battles and founded the Anlo States. They are up to possess their possessions among the Anlos of Ghana, West Africa. Possessing one’s possession according to them has nothing to do with creating or recreating, rather continuing from where their forebears left. Though when a lion wakes up and roars it may threaten the others, but they are not interested in taking anybody’s position or scaring away anyone from the table of development or share anything with anyone. They are simply saying that they are the members of the Loafe Clan, the first and the revered Clan of Anlo and they are the owners of the great Dzoshikpe, which is an ancestral stool of the Dogbos, bequested to them by Togbiga Kugborka Egbe through his son Togbiga Gemedra and to Togbiga Wenya. Which they brought with them to their present home of Anlo. Anlo is the name derived from a statement made by the great Togbiga Wenya, Dutor of Anlo, “Nye amea Menlo, afia deke yiyi me gale nunye o”.

The question thereof is who are the Loafewo of Anlo? They are the owners, leaders, founders of the Anlo and their father who is the founder of Anlo is Togbiga Wenya, Dutor of Anlo. “Wenya menya henao”, a descendant of Togbiga Egbe, “Egbe mekplor na xome o, ava de gbe gbedzi”, whose son was Togbiga Gemedra and father of Togbiga Wenya. Their Totems are the Monitor lizard ‘eve’, Antelope ‘se’ and Sparrow ‘atsutsrɔe’. Members of this clan are forbidden to destroy or eat totem animals. If any totem animal is found dead its body must be covered with leaves or if possible given a burial. Some critical minds argue that violation of the taboo may result in your demise. The clan boasts of gods/cults such as Aʋadoʋaklo, Kodzikli, Aʋadatsi, and Tsiamitsi. Togbiga Wenya as the founder of the Anlo states, his nephew is Togbi Sri who is the Awormefia of Anlos in their present home. In the past, “Amegawo”, traditional Priests, and hunters were the Chiefs and Kings in the whole of Negro-Africa, (Mamattah, 1978). Based on that historical facts, the installation of Togbiga Wenya II and the great Dzoshikpe, the Loafe Clan’s leaders argue that Togbiga Wenya is Togbiga and Dutor of Anlo.

Apart from being the founder and Togbiga, Togbiga Wenya prays for his people, which any serious leader does. His clan’s men do installation of other chiefs in the 36 States of Anlo as the owners of the land. The Loafe Clan has a lot of properties including lands, war gods and many of his descendants and children are the founders of most of the 36 States of Anlo. Among the Dogbos and for that matter Anlos, aside from the old ancestral stools of Dzoshikpe and Tsinakpe, the rest of the stools on which chiefs sit are all created for the forebears who distinguished themselves at war and returned with a lot of heads. And for the records, every stool created for a warrior is not created without a body part of a human being. There are some other stools that are not necessary for this discussion.

Torgbiga Wenya, Dutor of Anlo sits on the great Dzoshikpe. They are warriors, one of them is the legendary Gen. Nyamakpa, who is noted to be one of the greatest warriors in the history of Anlo. He stood his grounds and fought with all his might at the time that it was unfashionable and others’ courage drowned by blood. Loafe Clan has many Chiefs who sit on stools made for them as a result of their intrepidity and valour at war. They include but not limited to Togbi Addo, Dufia of Klikor, Togbi Dzisam, Dufia of Norlorfi, Togbi Gawu, Dufia of Tegbui, Togbi Kpemini-Gawu of Anloga-Whuti, Togbi Akabah of Anyako, Togbi Damadzi of Anloga, Togbi Akwah, Dutor of Alakple, among others. And they have very influential people from their clan.

It is an established fact and agreed to by opposing views that Togbiga Wenya led the Dogbos into their present home, Anlo, and Anlo is made up of 36 States. Togbiga Wenya was the leader of the Dogbos in Notsie and their leader in their present home as the Dutor of Anlo. Togbiga Wenya sits on the great Dzoshikpe of the Dogbos, Togbi Agorkorli sits on Anakpe of the Notsie’s and Togbi Sri sits on Tsinakpe of Tandos, (Mamattah, 1978). Aside been the leader and king of the Dogbos, his predecessors were also hunters, priests and healers.

Togbiga Wenya led the Dogbos from Notsie and throughout their migration and was assisted by couple of others including Tsali, Sri, Kli, Adeladza, among others. But he was never and has never been an assistant or subordinate to anyone but undisputed leader in his own right through his dauntlessness, wisdom and love for the others. Which some misconstrued and capitalized on. And some of his descendants have being intimidated and shove aside over the years anytime that they attempted to possess their possession in Anlo by installing their Togbiga Wenya, Dutor of Anlo.

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However, as an observer, these current leaders and members of the Loafe Clan are resolute and stuck to the facts, and fate anchored on the great Dzoshikpe and Awadatsi. They are intellectually apt, spiritually up to the task and are ready to correct some historical mistakes caused by accident of history for the benefit of posterity irrespective of the resistance of some few who know nothing or little about the stature of Togbiga Wenya, Dutor of Anlo. As a great founder, advisor and the owner of the Anlo, the Loafe Clan argues that Togbiga Wenya is needed to sit on the Dzoshikpe, which is necessary for the development of the Anlo land. As suggested, if the owner and the founder is not there, progress and development is difficult to be achieved and some invisible heads reign supreme.

Togbiga Wenya led his people, founded the Anlo land, he joined his ancestors and buried and his Grave is at the “Wornugah” of Anlo till today, where difficult disputes were settled and unity achieved. And at the same Wornugah, we have the “Duli” of Anlo, which is the god on which the Anlo States were established. We also have the shell of a turtle, which is very prominent when it comes to settling of disputes, the “Nyikor wu” used during the days of “Torkor Atorlia” is also there, and a hut under which Awormefia sits during special occasions and in the past to adjudicate over disputes is also there and many other “things” buried under the earth are also there. If Togbiga Wenya is that prominent to the Anlos and is buried at one and the foremost prominent historical monuments of the Anlos, then why is Togbiga Wenya, Dutor of Anlo not important to the Anlos now that he is needed most? Remember Abraham Lincoln, “A nation that does not honour its heroes will not long endure.”

Today we are talking about an ancestral stool or symbol being the great Dzoshikpe on which Togbiga Wenya, Dutor of Anlo sits and he also has the Great Awadatsi of Anlo. And in 1956, Togbiga Wenya II, Dutor of Anlo was installed and recognized by all. And his name publicly displayed in legal documents, commission’s reports on Anlo and recognized as Dutor and reigned from 1956 to 1980 right in Anlo land not any far away land. He played his roles and distinguished himself. And his children are still alive, which can attest to the fact that once upon a time there lived Togbiga Wenya II, Dutor of Anlo. He was installed following all the rigorous processes for the installation of a Togbiga in accordance with the necessary procedures. Some argued that they have never heard anything about Togbiga Wenya II, Dutor of Anlo. The question on the lips of the Loafe Clan’s leaders is, can those doubting them now eat the humble pie by admitting that wisdom or knowledge is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it and it does not resides in the head of a person? In fact I dare ask, did “we all” sleep and miss this one from 1956 to 1980? Oh! Anlos, let us write our history properly to encompass everything.

For the records, becoming a “Fia/Fiaga” in Anlo has tedious procedures. Those according to the customs and traditions of the clan or the traditional area, which others especially some latter-days pedestrians cannot speak to and they should shut up. According to the Loafe Clan, they are going through their processes for the installation of their own Fiaga, Togbiga Wenya III, Dutor of Anlo. And they don’t need express permission from anybody, but have to inform Awadada and Awormefia, which they did. So what is our problem? Awadada’s office came out with statements of queries and Loafe Clan swiftly came out with statements of perfect responses to the queries. The great youths of Anlo land, it is time to get our history right through consensus and understanding of one another. Anlos are too enlighten to be put in one corner by the accident of history and oral history full of embellishment.

The questions arising are; Are they the Loafe Clan members? Are they the owners of the Dzoshikpe and Awadatsi? What then happens to Awormefia? Was there Togbiga Wenya I and Togbiga Wenya II? Is the person appointed by the clan legitimate? And do they know the processes for the installation of a Fia/Fiaga in accordance with the customs and traditions of the people of Anlo? To put it bluntly, most of these questions are none of our business. If in the whole of Anlo States, members of the Loafe Clan are the ones who know how to install chiefs and have installed many chiefs for the Anlo land, then who are we to question them and the processes of installing their Fia/Fiaga? What we should be asking is what can we do as individuals and groups for the betterment and progress of the great Anlo land?

They are not novices, they know it best, and very experienced. One of the oldest Chiefs if not the oldest in all the 36 States of Anlo and many other chiefs are members of this clan. Very revered traditional Priests are from this clan. One of the greatest members of the law enforcement in Ghana is from this clan and great intellectuals, historians and lawyers in Ghana and abroad are also from this clan. That is why it is time for the whole of the Anlo States to stay calm and listen to opposing historical facts to the already existing historical views that we all seems to embrace and taken inn hook, line and sinker. And draw our own conclusions as discerning and intelligent members of the Anlo land. Not stay put and be equipped with only one sided stories, which is never the case in an intellectual argument or academia or historical facts. As some scholars will say “you will end up having a mono-knowledge if you don’t listen to opposing facts and reasoning. And it is only those who don’t have the fact that always dismiss opposing views”.

History of a group of people is not a Bible. History can only favour the narrator that is why the famous saying has it that, “Until Lions write their own history, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” Historians lived in Anlo in the past, before the current historians. And “we all” have our forebears or ancestors who told us historical stories some under the passionate influence of alcohol, which are handed down to us, with all manner of embellishments. That is why we need to listen and reason through what others have to say not be dismissive. Clever as Anlos are, we will know who is economical with the truth except those who are wheeled by emotions and addicted to only what they know. Some argued that despite grey hair is a sign of wisdom, we shouldn’t be heedless of the fact that “other people” also grow old too”. And to be wise you listen to many views and decipher what you need to believe. This is just an intellectual argument not war, let us accommodate others’ views and facts. However, the question on the lips of many is, what at all is happening in Anlo land as Chiefs now have to answer to Agbotaduwo and some elders? Let our Chiefs communicate with one another with decorum in the presence of their linguists not elevating some individuals above the Chiefs and reducing the status of our Chiefs.

As a humble son of Anlo land, I am observing and critically analyzing issues concerning the processes with regards to the installation of Togbiga Wenya III, Dutor of Anlo. Some argue that in the past, Togbiga Wenya, Dutor of Anlo and his Nephew, Togbi Sri I, the Awormefia of Anlo lived in harmony and understood each other and knew each other’s importance and roles for the development of Anlo. The question on the lips of the masses is why not now?

By Charles Atsyatsya (Aworl-worl)

Author: “Struggles on the Path of Sorrows” and “The Hero that Never was”

A humble son of the great Anlo land.

Email: [email protected]

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