The paramount chief of Alavanyo Traditional Area, Torgbega Tsedze Atakora VII, and other high-ranking chiefs in the area have given Dr. Kwabena Adjei, Member of Parliament (MP), for Biakoye Constituency, and one time Majority Leader in Parliament, a two-week ultimatum to prove his allegation that their chiefs and people have been hatching a plot to assassinate him.
They said the allegations are so serious that they cannot be allowed to die naturally, and that failure on the part of the MP to come out with concrete proofs of his claim within the stipulated time would compel the Alavanyo people to advise themselves on the issue.
Torgbega Atakora said this during a press conference at the main bowl of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs here last Friday. Describing the allegation as childish, the paramount chief explained that his people had nothing to gain from such a plot, and would not engage in any such 'worthless' act.
“Alavanyo wants the whole world to know that collectively or individually; there is no iota of truth in Dr. Adjei's claim that Alavanyo wants to assassinate him. Assassinating him will not solve our problems for us.
It will not tell the story of the so much injustice that Alavanyo has suffered in the hands of Nkonya. And it will not make the world see how much social and economic deprivation Nkonya's incessant attacks on Alavanyo has brought to us,” the statement said.
The chief and people wondered how the doctor could fail to address pertinent issues raised in a letter written by one Richard Meniabre and published in the July 13 issue of The Independent.
According to the letter, the MP attended a meeting of chiefs and youth of Nkonya at the Nkonya Secondary School (NKOSEC) campus, during which it was suggested that the long standing land dispute in the area be resolved peacefully by using the traditional boundary tree (anyati) as the accepted demarcation, instead of dragging the matter in court.
The writer also alleged that agreement was reached at the meeting that an apology is rendered to the Alavanyo chief, whose paramount linguist was 'killed' last year.
But while many applauded the suggestions, the letter alleged, Dr. Adjei kicked against them, saying that, 'when two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers'. This was said to have brought the meeting to an abrupt end.
Torgbe Atakora was also unhappy that even though the author of the letter gave his name and ethnic group in the publication, the MP discarded it and suggested that an Alavanyo person could have done that.
“If indeed these meetings took place we would not have known since there is virtually no contact between Alavanyo and Nkonya. We could not even have heard what transpired at the meeting and so could not have written such a letter”, he said.
The chief gave a catalogue if events that the Biakoye MP participated in on his land, including the Wuwudi E.P. Church centenary celebration of 1996, the 1998 Sasadu celebration at Kpeme, and other activities at Deme and Agoxoe, apart from the numerous visits to his palace; adding that if he (Adjei) was not killed all those times, what has changed now to prompt such a plot.
“Alavanyo is challenging Dr. Kwabena Adjei to come out with concrete proof that Alavanyo plans to assassinate him because this is a very serious allegation, which cannot be allowed to die a natural death. Failure to do this in two weeks will force Alavanyo to advise herself on the issue”, it stressed.
Giving an opening address to the conference, the secretary to the Alavanyo traditional council, Mr. W.K. Kpende, said if the former majority leader was truly a man of peace, he could have first condemned the callous manner in which their paramount linguist was murdered right in his village when he (linguist) alighted from an Accra-Kwamikrom bus.
“He knew the Tsiamega very well, and he used him to bring down the Alavanyo Kpeme Brass Band to join in his 2000 election victory celebration”, he narrated. According to Kpende, the council is also aware of news making rounds that the regional minister, Hon.Kwasi Owusu Yeboah, had either been an Alavanyo counsel, or that his wife hailed from there, and that his actions had been in their favour.
The secretary denied those entire allegations, calling them malicious claims, and asking those with any political scores to settle with the minister to do so outside the conflict.
He said Yeboah, a candidate on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) ticket, does not come from Hohoe North constituency, and as such does not need Alavanyo votes for anything. “If people have their own hidden agenda, like Hon. Kwabeha Adjei and Yeboa's other opponents in the NPP camp in Biakoye constituency, they should go back and do their homework more properly and adopt a better and more mature strategy. At best for now, the unfortunate allegations have backfired”, he disclosed.
On last Monday's clash in the area, in which two Nkonya citizens were killed, the paramount chief denied that it was an ambush. He said it was an attack on his people, which was fiercely resisted with return of fire, resulting in the death of the two young men, Frank Kwawu and Kwabena Ansah.
Asked by 'The Chronicle' whether there was any hope of peace in the near future, Torgbega Atakora said: “We are ready for peace and to make sacrifices, except to sacrifice our lives. Any other thing, if it is for peace, we will do”.
He also assured of his cooperation with the two committees set up recently by the regional coordinating council to bring peace to the area (Consultative & Mediation) because according to him, “It is only then that the injustices we have suffered in the hands of the Nkonyas will be known.”