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11.05.2004 Regional News

Produce Awoamefia or face the wrath of Keta youth

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Keta, May 11, GNA - Hundreds of enraged youths in the Keta District on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration through the principal streets of Anloga to show their indignation and resentment for the failure of the chiefs and kingmakers to produce an Awoamefia for the Anlo State. The youths, who were dressed in red and bound their hands and heads in strips of red cloth, chanted war songs, bearing placards some of which read "Another Dagbon in the offing," "Save Anlo State from Anarchy," "Nyonyo Atsitsogbi is an impostor" and "Bring back Hogbetsotso".

The procession, which took about two hours finally ended at the palace of Awadada Agbesi Awusu II, where a petition was presented through him to the Anlo Traditional Council calling on the chiefs to "produce" an Awoamefia within three months or face the wrath of the youths.

The youths also demanded the settlement of all impending chieftaincy disputes within the specified period and to restore peace and security in all parts of the state in preparation for the forthcoming Hogbetsotso festival to be celebrated this November. Presenting the petition, the youth leader of Awume in the Anlo constituency, Mr. Julius Gbekor said the youths could no longer bear the volatile chieftaincy conflicts, which had threatened peace and stifled development initiatives in the area.

Mr. Gbekor observed that since the death of Torgbui Adeladza II, chieftaincy disputes in the Anlo Traditional Area over the rightful occupant of the Awoamefia stool had escalated, giving room for certain usurpers to emerge from nowhere trying to "buy" their way to the throne. The youth leader said the youths would not look on unconcerned for any impostor to seize the Awoamefia stool either by force or by any other means.

"The youth will ensure that the tradition of installing an Awoamefia is strictly followed," he stressed.

Mr. Edward Kukubor, the youth leader in Keta constituency observed that the prolonged chieftaincy disputes had disrupted the Hogbetsotso festival, which had in the past served as a unifying force for all people of Anlo and created a single platform to plan development strategies.

He appealed to the traditional and civil authorities to expedite action on resolving all chieftaincy conflicts before the youths were compelled to "take the law into their own hands to install their own Awoamefia of the Anlo State."

Madam Agnes Apetorgbor, a member of the Keta District Assembly, pointed out that the vacancy created by the Awoamefia stool had led to the lack of development initiatives such as education endowment funds, giving out lands for development projects among others, which were normally authorised by the paramountcy.

She urged all well-meaning citizens, the youths and the government to ensure that the fragile peace in the area was handled with care before it exploded into an uncontrollable situation.

Torgbui Agbesi Awusu II, Awadada of Anlo and Acting Awoamefia receiving the petition, commended the youths for taking the bold initiative to draw his attention to the succession struggles to the Awoamefia stool.

He assured the youths that the Anlo Traditional Council would act quickly to bring peace and sanity to the state. On the recent conspiracy allegedly spearheaded by the so-called regent, Torgbui Sri III, to remove the Keta District Chief Executive, Mr. E.K. Vorkeh, the Awadada described the plot as, "absolutely scandalous and uncalled for."

He said it was calculated to sow a seed of discord, hatred and rancour among the rank and file of the people of Anlo on one side and the civil authorities on the other.

The Awadada called on the authorities to institute an impartial probe into the matter in order to expose the alleged conspirators. Torgbui Kuogo II, Dufia of Anloga and an assemblyman appealed to the youths to exercise restraint in all matters concerning the chieftaincy conflicts in the Anlo State saying: "Make haste slowly and be consultative and not confrontational." 11 May 04

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