Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has condemned the violence that happened on Friday dawn [25 September 2020] in his constituency when the Western Togoland secessionist group blocked major entries into the Volta Region leading to exchange of gunshots between the group and personnel of the security services.
The group mounted the blockade at dawn.
Nobody, at the time, could enter or leave the Volta region.
Class News’ regional correspondent, Albert Kuzor, reports that five persons belonging to the secessionist group have suffered gunshot wounds.
Reacting to the incident, Mr Ablakwa, in a Facebook post, said: “I strongly condemn the coordinated armed invasion of North Tongu this dawn”.
“Never have we experienced this level of violent siege and display of outright impunity with law enforcement appearing helpless even as some of their counterparts became victims.
“The least we can do is to demand answers from the state and assurances of better protection of citizens as is our constitutional right.
“In the interim, I appeal to my beloved constituents to exercise much restraint.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and hospitalised as we continue to assess the extent of casualties.
“We hope we can count on the state to undertake credible and impartial investigations to unravel the real motives and the true masterminds behind this violent incursion.
“We shall not be intimidated, neither shall we permit violent elements to destabilise the peace and tranquility we cherish so greatly.
“North Tongu shall continue to rise, by the Lord’s Grace and Mercies.”
The police cautioned commuters via Facebook on Friday morning, “Good morning Ghana, commuters to and from Accra – Ho – Aveyime – Adidome – Mepe – Akuse – Aflao are likely to experience traffic due to security operations within those areas.
“Anybody travelling on any of these roads should exercise caution,” the Facebook post read.
Meanwhile, security analyst, Adib Saani, has blamed the brazen activities of the secessionist group on the failure of Ghana’s security authorities to heed “early warning signs.”
Mr Sanni indicated that such actions are bound to recur because the secessionists have become more determined to “make strong political statements and control the narrative.”
Addressing the issue on his Facebook timeline on Friday, 25 September 2020, Mr Saani intimated: “We ignored the early warning signs and thought this was all a joke”.
“We arrest and release, re-arrest and release again”.
“Despite the presence of intelligence officers, they have largely failed to gather actionable intel in real-time.”
Mr Sanni, who is also the Executive Director of the Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace-Building, also said, “They seem to be succeeding into bullying government into submission.
“They have succeeded in disrupting lives and holding the nation hostage.
“Soon, we might go beyond condemning their actions to asking them what their demands are,” he added.
He further predicted that the secessionists “might start targeting critical infrastructure,” adding that infrastructure such as the over 100-kilometre Accra – Atimpoku – Juapong stretch, Adome bridge and the Akosombo dam are “high-value targets” that we cannot trade-off.
He, therefore, demanded the resignation of the National Security Minister, Mr Albert Kan Dapaah over the matter.
He also suggested that investments are made in human security.
In furtherance, he called for a collaborative effort with the Togolese authorities “so the group does not engage in cross-border activities and the trafficking of weapons to oil their seeming war machine.”