Tribute To The Late Efo Courage Togobo, Principal Member Of The Royal Fuiga Gbeve Lineage Of The Adzorvia Clan Of Anlo: Defender Of The Awoamezi (The Sacred Stool Of Anlo)
Mia woe nye Adza viwo tso Adza Tome. Adzavia vi! Adza le Adzame. Agbodo viwo metsia Agbodo wo to me o. Agbodo wo tomea hlawot tome.
Lt. Col. Courage Godwin Kwasi Togobo Rtd, Efo Courage or Col., as he became affectionately known, was one of the five sons of the late Dumega Theophilus Shishiawovor Anawluia (T.S.A) Togobo Esq. of the Royal Fuiga Gbeve lineage of Adzorvia clan and Madam Nancy Alwine Agbottah of the Blu Clan of Anlo, all of blessed memory. He was born on 3rd September 1933 and belonged to the 9th generation of the lineage of Fia Sri I, the 1st Awoamefia of Anlo.
His father, Dumega T.S.A was accredited with so many unbreakable records of modernizing and development as well as reforms in Anloland. Some of these include: sending some youth from Anlo to Koforidua to work in his import/export company. Unfortunately these young men ended up collapsing the company by making themselves richer whereby he went bankrupt and had to sell his mansion to repay the debt.
T.S.A used his own resources to roof the old clay classroom block for the Anloga E. P. School. He worked with Rev. Dr. F. K. Fiawoo and others to establish The New Africa University College (NAFRICO) which later became the Zion College of West Africa (ZICOWA or ZICO) in 1937, operated it from his own house at Lashibi, Anloga and that of Mr. G. D. K. Tettey. ZICO, the first Secondary School in the Volta Region and Eweland for that matter is the alma mater of many prominent Anlo citizens of today most of whom never afterwards contributed anything for its improvement.
T.S.A was responsible for the establishment of the Post and Telecommunication (P&T) in Anloga, which operated from his house. After ZICO was moved to its current location in Anloga prior to the temporary relocation at Keta because of the January 1953 riot and looting of the students, the building was used for Information Services. He built Lawn Tennis Court for Teachers’ recreational activities behind his house. He was responsible for the establishment of the Electricity Division at Keta and subsequent extension of supply to Tegbi, Woe and Anloga.
T.S.A worked without fear or favour in clearing the forest at Gbakute, which was the home of the major Anlo fetish Torgbui Nyigbla, to establish the Awoamefia State School at Avete and the Ghana Police Service Station. He also convinced the Adzorvia and the Dzevie clans to release part of the Agorve land, for the establishment of the Anlo Secondary (ANSECO) and Agorve Basic Schools. This land was given to Nyigblanua Ackumey by the 5th great grandfather of T.S.A, Awoame Fia Zanyedor I, as a compensation for surrendering of the Torgbui Nyigbla’s powers under the Authority of the Awoame Fia, a process which has become one of the installation rites of Awoame Fia ever since (Take note that Nyigblanua only surrenders his powers – handover his stuff during the installation of the Awoame Fia and not the one who installs him). As the right hand man of Torgbui Sri II, T.S.A used his family resources to complete the building of the Great Hall for Torgbui Sri II when Okyehene Nana Ofori Atta II was to visit Anloga in 1955. He was a Statesman, a traditionalist and a true royal who worked very closely with both Awoamefia Torgbui Sri II and Awoamefia Torgbui Adeladza II.
T.S.A’s knowledge as well as that of his brother Dumega David Kofi Togobo and other honest Adzorviawo about succession to the Awoamezi, helped in bringing a lasting peace among the Adzorvia and the Bate clans in 1956, when Torgbui Sri II, an Adzorvia Awoame Fia travelled to his ancestors and a session of Adzorviawo wanted to install another Adzorvia instead of allowing the Bate clan to install per the agreement reached in 1906, that the Bate clan should allow the Adzorvia clan to install Mr. Cornelius Kwawukume as Torgbui Sri II so that after him, Bate clan should install.
T.S.A mentored and supported Torgbui Adeladza II and convinced other Anlo statesmen to establish the Hogbetsotso Za, which was first celebrated at the forecourt of his house in 1962. It is worth knowing that this festival has now assumed a wider dimension, attracting dignitaries and tourists from all over the country and beyond. He housed Torgbui Adeladza II for over five years when some Anlo citizens burnt his house of residence after the abortive coup of April 1967. He wanted to develop the Torkor Atorlia in Anloga, Wenya vudo (well) at Tegbi and many other historical areas as modern tourist centres when death laid hands on him in 1984.
The zeal of T.S.A in promoting Anlo traditional values made him to spend so much time on matters concerning Anlo at the expense of his family. A case in question was at a whole day meeting with Torgbui Sri II and Dumegawo to give the hand of Torgbui’s daughter Florence in marriage to Mr. Noah Dzobo, a teacher at E.P. Middle School Anloga, who later became Rev. Prof. Noah Dzobo, the Moderator of E.P. Church. The son of T.S.A, Courage, was to leave Anloga on scholarship en-route to London to pursue a higher course but T.S.A never left the engagement ceremony to see his son off. The departure of the only Accra bound vehicle without Courage being present would have marred his life forever. The young Courage had no choice than to cry all day. The mother Nancy consoled and gave him money and encouraged young Courage to take heart and go. This brought a rift between father, mother and son until the day Courage was to receive an Award in London, making the young Courage not to be so much interested in Anlo state matters in his youthful days.
However, ‘Akpa medzia vi woɖia Adeye o’, the involvement of T.S.A in traditional and state matters, was inherited by his son Col. Courage Godwin Kwasi Togobo. From the age of six, the young Courage attended the Anloga E. P. Primary School from 1939 to 1947. In 1948 he gained admission to Zion College Anloga, which was then located in his father’s house (The Koforidua Pride) under the tutelage of the founder the Rev. Dr. F.K Fiawoo. Nevertheless, in 1953 a riot in Anloga resulted in the college being temporally relocated to Keta where he obtained his Cambridge School Certificate in 1953. After school he taught at the Whuti and Srogboe E. P. Middle School from 1953-1954.
In 1954, Courage got a government scholarship to study Architectural Engineering. He and three other students from Achimota, Adisadel and Prempeh College were sent to the College of Arts, Science and Technology in Ibadan, Nigeria for a one year preparatory course. They left for the UK in 1955 where he studied at the South West Essex Technical College from 1955 to 1956.
Courage then continued to the Oxford School of Architecture from September 1956 to July 1959, and then on to the Brixton School of Building from 1959 to 1962. During his studies at Brixton School, he took part and was co-winner of the 1960/61 Daily Mail Architectural student’s competition for the re-development of London’s Piccadilly Circus. His first appointment was as a Junior Architect with the Architects Department of the London City Council (LCC) and later as Assistant Architect at the Public Works Overseas section of the Ministry of Public Buildings and works in London from 1962-1964. He was later elected as an Associate into the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He returned to Ghana in April 1964 and worked at the Ghana National Construction Corporation (GNCC), now Public Works Department (PWD). The following year, 1965 he was elected into the Ghana Institute of Architects as an Associate, going on to serve as Hon. Secretary, Vice President and later President between 1979-1980. He was elected a fellow of the Institute in 1980. Between, 1972-1979, he served on the management board of the Building Road Research Institute (BRRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Efo Courage became a very disciplined and a dedicated soldier when in 1966 General E. K.. Kotoka got him commissioned into the Ghana Armed Forces at the age of 33 on transfer from PWD due to his workmanship as a distinguished Architect, when the last European Architect in the Army left on retirement and there was a need for his replacement. This was upon the recommendation of Col. A. K.. Amuzu, his longtime pal and the then Military Assistant to Gen. Kotoka. He served with the Works Services Engineers unit as Planning Officer, Secretary to the Armed Forces Building Projects and Director of Engineering-Planning and Design. He rose through the ranks to become a Lt. Colonel and in 1983, he retired voluntarily from the Ghana Armed Forces as Chief Engineer-Planning and Design.
Efo Courage was selfless, courageous, dedicated and outstanding both in his carrier as a soldier and in private life. These qualities made him to be respected among his colleagues. During the Rawlings’ revolution, his selflessness helped him to save many embarrassing situations particularly when he saved some of his cousins from the hands of gun toting young soldiers who were looking for the parents of these innocent children. As an Architect, he redesigned the clay classroom block roofed by his father for a modern block, the Anloga Town Hall, which is yet to be completed as well as Agorwowornu, a major sacred place for reconciliation of Anlo chiefs free of charge. Upon a request from Anlo citizens in the Diaspora, he freely prepared the cost estimate and led a group of Anloga citizens in supervising the reroofing of the Anlo State/Avete Basic (JSS) School in 2006. He also designed a cenotaph free of charge for the Martyrs of Anlo who died on the Black (Bloody) Thursday, 1st November, 2007, but for the egocentric interest of the powers that be in Anlo, this monument would have been erected to honour the fallen heroes. He had already finished designing a world class city to be sited on a land yet to be reclaimed from the Keta Lagoon between Keta and Anloga. He was responsible for the burial and funeral of Torgbui Adeladza II. He and his brother Dr. Ambrose Kofi Togobo organized the Togobo family to present tennis boards to schools in Anloga. Some of the boards are yet to be presented.
Efo Courage extended his father’s zeal for development beyond the shores of Anlo. We are aware of the works he did in designing the Revolutionary Square Monument in front of the Flags Staff House where the former President J. J. Rawlings lights a perpetual flame on every June 4th. Improvement of the 37 Military Hospital Accident and Emergency unit, the Teshie – Nungua and the Dansoman Estates, the Tamale Airport, Engineering wing of the Air Force station Accra, the supervision and construction of living accommodation for senior non-commissioned officers at Airforce station, Arakan Barracks, Meadow lines, Juba Ridge, Burma and Juba Villas, the Electoral Commission’s Regional offices in Kumasi, Wa and Accra just to mention a few, are all standing in his name.
Though a soldier of the Ghana Army, Efo Courage never used his rank as a Colonel to harass, intimidate or take undue advantage to make any personal gain whatsoever within or outside the Army. He abhorred lawlessness and injustice which he exhibited throughout his carrier as a soldier, and in his private life as a distinguished and a dedicated Architect and even as a true statesman and fought against them till his passing away. He was smallish in stature but try to underrate him and he would bring you down in all fields. He was a just man who believed in fair play and the rule of law. He was well informed about Anlo traditions and insisted that things should be done the right way and expeditiously without any unwholesome adulteration.
A little over a year ago, the Adzorvia Clan Development Foundation presented a special tribute in honour of Torgbui Clement Nyonator Kwawukume (a.k.a. C.N.), the head of the Kwawukume family and the leader of the Adzika Drafor lineage of the Royal Adzorvia clan and also the defender of the Awoamezi (the sacred stool of Anlo). The said tribute mentioned the role played by three other prominent Adzorviawo who were Amega Kofi Togobo, Amega Seth Agbonugla Kwawukume and Col. Rtd. Courage Togobo, to redeem Anlo from the current chieftaincy situation it has been bedeviled with by impostors. Efo Courage, together with the other three, played a prominent and a valiant role in resisting the on-going attempt to usurp the position of the Awoame Fia. He was the last of the ‘BIG FOUR’ who without fear or favour took the usurpers of the Awoamezi to court after Torgbui Adeladza II travelled to his ancestors and the mantle fell on the Adzorviawo to install the next Awoame Fia. The clarion call to duty was and remains the right thing to be done in Anlo and no kowtowing to vested interests bent on lawlessness. Efo Courage managed to trace all archival documents in respect to the Awoamezi as far as to Portugal, Denmark and the UK, and other Europe nations that Anlo had relations with; a feat that surprised many prominent Anlo citizens who supported the usurpers so much that they were afraid to meet the ‘BIG FOUR’ in court to defend themselves except to hide behind governmental powers to keep running away from their own shadows only to be hooked by the long arms of ‘contempt of court” cases. These men were found guilty of contempt of court and fined by the High Court at Ho and bounded to be of good behaviour in November 2003 AD by his Lordship Justice Akpaloo, having luckily escaped imprisonment when some of them including the main usurper Mr. Patrick Kobla Agboba himself, knelt in the court room to plead for leniency.
Efo Courage hates to be dared, intimidated or threatened. After having failed to have the High Court sentence reversed by the Appeal Court in the year 2005 AD, and the miscalculation to use Mr. Nyonyo Agboada, to achieve what they were unable to achieve all these years, leading to the Black (Bloody) Thursday, 1st November, 2007 clashes and the deaths and injuries to innocent people, on the 10th February 2011, some representatives of the impostor called Efo Courage as well as some other principal members of the royal Fuiga Gbeve and Adzika Drafor lineages of the Adzorvia clan for a meeting at Agbogba, the Accra residence of the current Awadada of Anlo, Torgbui Agbesi Awusu II. Unable to inveigle Efo Courage and his men with money to accept Mr. Patrick Agboba as the Awoame Fia, they declared their intention to outdoor him whether Efo and his Adzorvia group likes it or not, against the conditions set by the chieftaincy Act of Ghana, section 57 clause one of Act 759, Chieftaincy Act, 2008, which states “ a chief is a person who hailing from the appropriate family and lineage, has been validly nominated, elected, selected and enstooled, enskined or installed as a chief or queenmother in accordance with the relevant customary law and usage”. They taunted Efo Courage and those opposed to them of not having money to take the law-breakers to court.
Though none of the conditions set up in the above Act was fulfilled by them, as indicated by the Awadada’s own Justice Jones Mensah Committee, which looked into the controversies surrounding Mr. Patrick Agboba, they went on to carry out their plans and unceremoniously outdoored Mr. Patrick Agboba on the 21st February, 2011. This was against the agreement, which was reached and put in writing on 17th February, 2011, at the Awadada’s Palace in Anloga, that for peace and tranquility to prevail and Anlo to move forward, the Awadada should appoint another Arbitration Committee to go into Mr. Patrick Agboba’s claim of eligibility, which he subsequently changed to derive from Dei Azimaxada instead of Adzika Drafor, as this was opposed by the Adzika Drafor lineage led by Torgbui C. N. Kwawukume.
The Awadada duly appointed the committee and the date of Wednesday, February 23, 2011 was fixed for it to start work at Anloga. Interestingly, the Awadada who presided over the meeting to appoint the said committee, for which Agbotadua Togbivi Kumassa signed on his behalf, gave way to pressure and compromised his earlier stand of neutrality and had Mr. Patrick Agboba declared and introduced to the people of Anlo and visitors at the Hogbe Park - Nyigblaveme – Gbakute or Torkor Atorlia (which in itself was an aberration and the wrong place for introducing Awoamefia to the people of Anlo), in the presence of heavily armed police and army contingents presumably to provide security for the late Prof. Kofi Nyidevu Williams (a.k.a Awoonor Williams) who was the then Chairman of the late President John Atta Mills’ Council of State. Not even an injunction order from the court could deter them from indulging in their lawless declaration of Mr. Patrick Agboba as the purported Awoame Fia of Anlo.
To quote the late President John Evans Atta Mills as he indicated at the 2012 Hogbetsotso festival, “what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. No wrong should be allowed to stand”. Of course, every governmental support of lawlessness in any chieftaincy matter whether in Anloga, Agbozume or elsewhere in Ghana, in contempt and utter disrespect of the traditional and judicial processes cannot solve, resolve these problems or bring peace to the parties involved, as injustice cannot be allowed to stand. Efo Courage received the blessings and support from Torgbui Nyonator, now advanced in age and ailing, and Amega Seth Kwawukume for another contempt of court suit to be filed at the Accra Fast Track Court (now Human Rights Court), against the recalcitrant law-breaker Mr. Patrick Agboba and twelve others including the Awadada of Anlo, Torgbui Agbesi Awusu II and Mr. Dan Abodakpi for breaking the law again and also disrespecting the customs and traditions of the people of Anlo. The weakness of the Awadada actually set the tone (e ku ke de asi) for Adzorviawo to prolong the long haul of litigation. Meanwhile, the original Chieftaincy case which sought to challenge the eligibility, nomination, selection and installation of Mr. Patrick Agboba since the year 2000 AD, is on suspension at the moribund and corrupted Volta Regional House of Chiefs pending the completion of his third contempt of Court Case in the same Awoame Fia issue.
These cases shall run their full courses even if the ‘BIG FOUR’ have died and even if Patrick Agboba himself is either dead or alive. They can keep running but they can’t hide. As factual information, Patrick Agboba remains not properly installed, un-gazetted and would never take part in any activity organized by the Regional or National House of Chiefs. He cannot even preside over the confused Anlo Traditional Council except to be running around events organized by or for government. No authentic Adzorvia ritual was performed for him and he had never seen the Awoamezi or ever performed any ritual in its respect hence, he would never be recognized as Awoame Fia by the Adzorvia clan even if he masquerades as such. For those Anlo chiefs who despite knowing about the issues surrounding him as a law breaker whose eligibility is questionable and who is facing contempt of court charges, yet they see him as their Awoame Fia, only time will tell. Maybe they are not aware of the fact that one major abormination in Anlo is for an installed chief to swear to or take an oath from a non chief alive or dead. ‘Amea ɖeke meyכa Tamakloe dada be ye dada o eye dzכ kple ke ha mesכ kple tso vado o’.
“Old soldiers never die they say”. Courageous Efo Courage was not afraid to die. Despite several threats to and attempts on his life to show him where power laid by some power drunk individuals in government for not withdrawing the court cases against Mr. Patrick Agboba, the many planned assassination attempts on him, the ritual sacrifices made and thrown into his house and also placed several times in front of his gate both in Accra and Anloga, the frequent visits to his house by bare-footed men of Anlo who are supposed to know better due to their own believes in tradition, but chose to indulge in disgraceful and abominable acts of allowing an alien to rule Anlo, the employment of some unscrupulous and ungrateful family members as well as friends to put pressure on him to withdraw the court cases and to wash his hands from Anlo chieftaincy matters, the attempts on several platforms to brand him and the Togobo family as a hindrance and anti-development agents in Anlo, despite his own track records and that of his father T.S.A.’s unbreakable achievements in developing Anlo and beyond, he remained resolute and always insisted on freeing Anlo from the hands and bondage of charlatans and crooks. He had no respect whatsoever for wrongdoers, megalomaniacs and opportunists who always think political positions are their bona fide inheritance that they must use to intimidate, harass or suppress others for their egotistical gains. He knew all humans are born at a time and would surely die at another time. Five months before his death, he called the Adzorvia clan and told them to choose at least six members to substitute or join him on the court cases since he remained alone and anything could happen to him at anytime. He also called for the formation of Adzorvia Council which was duly formed under his watch. On the 8th of December, 2015, he went to meet our lawyer with some principal members of the Adzorvia clan and requested for their names to be added to him on the contempt suit in Accra; that process has been completed and the cases are more alive than before. He expressed his frustration about the delay of the case but was encouraged by the lawyer to exercise a little patience. On living the lawyer’s office, he complained of weakness in his legs and was helped to take a seat for some time where he called his brother Dr. Ambrose Togobo in London to complain of his health. He went to court on the 10th December, 2015 and expressed the same frustrations as the case was again adjourned. He fell ill on 30th December, 2015 and was admitted at the 37 Military Hospital with full of smile and warmly welcomed all visitors to his bedside even at the last hour with much hope. Unfortunately, he passed to his ancestors on the 9th January 2016 at the age of 82 on the eve of his 46th wedding anniversary. A great tree of shelter, fruit, medicine, flowers and energy has fallen but we still remain Adza’s children from Adza tome.
The Togobos have contributed their quota to Anloland and Ghana as a whole though they are not politicians, MPs, Assemblymen, Ambassadors or High Commissioners. Instead of tarnishing their image, they deserve to be honoured. If all the politicians Anlo ever had were to have just 5% of the mindset of the Togobos on the development of Anloland, this unique land would have been incomparable to none in Ghana.
In the words of Efo Courage Togobo, Amega Kofi Togobo, Torgbui C. N. Kwawukume and Amega Seth Agbonugla Kwawukume, so far as they live, the right thing must be done in Anlo. Nobody must be allowed to use money or governmental position to usurp the Awoamezi, which was fought for and protected by our forefathers with their blood, for their own selfish reasons in Anlo or elsewhere in the country. The Awoamezi is sacred to Anlos and not only to the members of the royal Adzorvia clan. It must not be seized and exploited by any person or group of persons whiles others stand aloof and allow themselves to be deceived by crooks –wolves in sheep clothing who are bound to loot Anlo but pretend to be working for it.
The work of Efo Courage and the three others is finished. Ekpo de mie megbeawo dzi. He would give his account to his maker and the Torgbeawo who had journeyed to Tsiéƒe before him. Those left behind must keep searching for the truth, uphold the laws, what is wholesome of our tradition and customs, live peacefully with one another and work together to ensure that the right thing is done within the Anlo Dukor at all times. Henceforth, as custodians of Anlo customs, we will always remember him and the others as our ANCESTORS and we believe that what was started in search of the truth and uniting the Royal Adzorvia Clan of Anlo will not go away with him since nobody is allowed to take anything along to the end of life’s journey. We conclude this tribute with the following admonishment by our greatest grandfather Fia Sri I as noted by Rev. Dr. F. K. Fiawoo;
Togbui Sri ƒe Nuxlɔmenyawo
Vinyewo! Miga ŋlכe be o, nuv-כwכla la dugbalae wònye. Migbe nya na miaviwo, eye mia he wo le dzכdzכe nyenye blibo me. Wotכe nye dula, elabena egbea koe nye miatכ. Ke etsכ la miegali o. Midawo ɖe mכdzכdzכe dzi, bena du la natsi ɖe dzi, le ŋuse kple lכlכ kpakple kale me. Atsyכ nue vi setonu nye na dzilawo kple dukכ sia; gblotsi kple suie wònye. Eganye adzagba kple sika, duwo ƒe leke wכnuwo. Eyae nye nunya si doa dukכ sia dukכ ɖe ŋgכ; eyae nye dzidzכ le agbe sia megbe. Ewכ se gbe dzi, ele du ɖe te. Eyata vi dzeaglã netrכ kכ, eƒe agbenכnכ nesכ; fenyila nedzudzכ ŋkuga toto. Alakpatכ nesrכ nyateƒe toto. Ke fiafitכwo, amesrכ xכlawo, kple amekudolawo ya la, gomea ɖeke meli nawo le Aŋlכwo ƒe kesinכnuwo dome o. Nye dukכ kple amesiawo maɖu hotsui nyui o, negbe dzaa ɖe wotrכ nכnכme.
Le esia ta la, vi si be ye mele to ɖo ge o la, miakpכ nכƒe ne le Tכkכ Atכlia
Aŋlɔ Klotsiklolo. Naketsi ɖeka nכ dzome binu.
Efo Courage, xede nyuie. Mawu ga la nutכ nakplכ wo ɖכɖכɖכ ne naɖo tכgbeawo gbכ dedie.