Govt’s tackle against secessionists must be strategic

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Nkrumah, Acheampong encountered Volta secessionists, time for national strategy – Security expert

Security expert, Col (rtd) Festus Aboagye, has called on the government to draw a robust national strategy that clearly articulates its approach to dealing with the security threat posed by the Western Togoland secessionists.

Festus Aboagye told GhanaWeb on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, that because the agitation for the independence of Western Togoland started during the time of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, there is a need for the current government to adopt a more proactive approach to dealing with the secessionists.

“Government’s approach to fighting the secessionists must be articulated in a national strategy. The strategy will tell us, initially, where which phase we are in this conflict – if I may call it that way,” he said about the situation in Volta Region.

This strategy, he said, must clearly state government’s position on the demands of the secessionists but also answer the question “whether we have gotten to an ‘armed violence phase’ as of Friday, September 25, 2020, when arms were used to attack a police station…”

The Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF), which is agitating for an independent Western Togoland (an area that covers the entire Volta and Oti regions) on Friday, September 25, 2020, attacked a police station in Juapong, a town in North Tongu District of the Volta Region.

They seized a police commander and paraded the streets with police patrol vehicles, but calm was restored after security forces stormed the area.

“This school [HSGF] was established in 1994, but it started in 1944, just after the Second World War. They attacked us in 1957 and Nkrumah dealt with it; then Acheampong dealt with it between 1972 to 1977, that was why Achemapong formed the Ghana Guard Service to try and strengthen the security of our borders, but particularly along the border with Togo…

“From 1981 to 1993/1994, Rawlings as a revolutionary leader under PNDC and NDC-1 [first National Democratic Congress administration] had to deal with this issue. Especially at a time when some Ghanaians were trying to use Togo to come and overthrow Rawlings’ regime,” Festus Aboagye gave a historical account of the group’s activities.

He said while the current government cannot be held for the seeming resolve of the secessionists recently, it has not handled the situation well.

He said it is important for the current managers of Ghana’s security to tap into the existing intelligence of the group under past administrations to plan a more exhaustive strategy to mute the threat the secessionists pose.

“NDC-1, NDC-2, NPP-1, NPP-2 all of them, I believe, have Intelligence Dossiers on this group. To wake up to think that we don’t know anything about them and it is only a recent thing is not true,” he stressed.

Source: ghanaweb