Whereas, “Hogbetsotsoza” to wit, exodus festival, is an annual celebration of the chiefs and people of Anlo in the Volta Region of the republic of Ghana, it’s in memory of the migration of their forebearers from Notsie in the Plateaux Region of the republic of Togo to their present abode of Anloga, where their leader Togbi Wenya, declared “menlor afiadeke yiyi megale nunye o”, to wit, my limbs are shrunken, I can go no further, therefore Anloga becomes the headquarters of the 36 States of the Anlo Kingdom.
The annual Hogbetsotsoza is celebrated on the 1st Saturday in the month of November at Anloga which is the customary and ritual capital of the Anlo state. Unfortunately, this year’s pre-festival rituals are bedeviled with allegations of denigrating of the customary rites of the people of Anlo, due to the sharp misunderstanding between the members of the Loafe royal clan and the Anlo Traditional Council.
It would be recalled in the year 2022 when the Loafe clan installed and outdoor Togbiga Dutor Wenya III, the outdooring of the new chief was characterized with controversies regarding his title and status. This led the Anlo traditional council to the high court at Sogakorpe where the newly installed chief was sued for defrauding the state. The newly installed chief who is a legal practitioner also secured a certiorari at the supreme court against the high court and the Anlo traditional council. Although the supreme court of Ghana in its ruling has granted the reliefs of Togbi Wenya and co, the chieftaincy aspect of the case was referred to the chieftaincy institution for determination. The delay in processing the chieftaincy status has created a sharp division between the two sides of the divide.
A few weeks ago, the Togbi Wenya faction had begun performance of state rituals in the sacred shrines ahead of this year’s Hogbetsotso festival. Whereas, the Anlo traditional council through the agents of the Awadada had also began their rituals towards the festival.
The above allegations were contained in a clarion call by members of the Duamenefa Foundation of Fafaa 100.3 FM resident in Anloga. They claimed if the Duamenefa Foundation of Fafaa FM failed to intervene accordingly, the crises could degenerate into a major conflict between the two parties and their supporters.
The timely intervention of the Duamenefa Foundation on Fafaa airwaves brought the two sides of the divide to on-air interactions during its social intervention program on Sunday the 9th day of July, 2023 between the hours of 7 to 10 pm.
The program was hosted by Emmanuel Ketaman Evortepe, the Executive President of the Duamenefa Foundation and CEO of Fafaa 100.3 FM. The objective of the social intervention program is to bridge the communication gap between the two parties and educate the public on the need for reconciliation and peaceful coexistence.
During the interview, Tobokor Zegome, the chief sorcerer for the Anlo traditional council admitted that he was consulted by the Togbi Wenya side of the divide, although he accepted the consultation fee, he could not honor the day set aside to perform the state rituals. According the chief sorcerer, he was earlier approached by Togbi Zewu, on behalf of the Anlo traditional council, hence his refusal to perform the rituals as requested by the Togbi Wenya group.
Mr. Zegome further claimed that the ongoing controversies constitute desecration of the gods. Tobokor Zegome claimed that the gods are interested in peaceful coexistence of the chiefs and people of the state, but further investigations revealed that Tobokor Zegome, the chief sorcerer has performed an earlier divination for Togbi Wenya and Co and during the said process he allegedly told them that the gods have given an approval to Togbi Wenya to continue with the rituals on behalf of the Anlo State.
Hunor Korkortor Dziekpor Agumenu, the chairman of Ghana Psychic and Traditional healers Association was the frontline spiritual leader of the Wenya group. Hunor Korkortor led a team of diviners to perform divination and rituals to the gods. He claimed that with or without the state sorcerer’s participation, the right approach was adopted and the god’s accepted the rituals and sacrifices. Hunor Korkortor also called for peace among the two parties in order to foster good cooperation towards the Hogbetsotso festival.
Awadada Togbi Agbesi Awusu, the warlord and the deputy to the Awormefia of Anlo during the interview claimed he needed peace for the Anlo state and wish the state should coexist in peace. He therefore granted the program host the permission to conference Togbi Wenya on air for dialogue on the subject matter.
During the discussion, Awadada lament that he felt embarrassed and insulted. According to the Awadada, he was not consulted prior to the actions by Togbi Wenya’s group, whereas, for the past 23 years of his coronation he was in charge of the sacred shrines of the land and has never suffered this type of humiliation. Togbi Agbesi Awusu, wept silently with a voice of lamentation, he blamed some of our leaders who could sit unconcerned and watch this divisiveness in the kingdom, Awadada further laments that he could step aside honorably if the stakeholders felt his services are no longer needed. When asked on the need for peaceful reconciliation of the issue at stake, Awadada says he doesn’t have the capacity unless he consulted his council of elders.
When Togbi Wenya III was asked why he chose to perform the state rituals without due consultations, he claimed that he has earlier engaged the services of the chief sorcerer of the state, Tobokor Zegome, who consulted the gods through divination and revealed that he could go ahead with the state rituals, but when Zegome later failed to continue with the process he had to assign other soccerers and diviners from the four corners of the state, under the leadership of Hunor Korkortor Dziekpor Agumenu to continue the process to its logical conclusion.
Why didn’t you consult Togbi Awadada Agbesi Awusu, the warlord who was in charge of the state rituals for the past 23 years, Togbi Wenya, claimed he has initiated peace moves through eminent sons of Anloland to meet with Togbi Sri III, the overlord of the Anlo State, but all attempts to have a fruitful meeting in this regard could not yield the desired results, hence the Awadada could not be consulted directly. Togbi Wenya however agreed on peaceful reconciliation in the larger interest of the state.
When asked what about the high court case pending in respect of the Agorwowornu sacred shrine, Togbi Wenya says, he would notify the court accordingly
The Duamenefa Foundation of Fafaa FM deemed it necessary to present its intervention report to the Awormefia of Anlo with a blue print and terms of reference towards the peaceful resolution of the crises at hand.
The Duamenefa Foundation of Fafaa 100.3 FM is an NGO with over 33,568 volunteers, (still counting). Its members are scattered across the various communities of the Volta Region. Its thematic areas include, Intervention in Human Right Abuse / Spiritual Conflicts, Hospital Support, Promoting of Youth through Sports, Unity Through Community Fun Games, Skill empowerment programs, Rescue for Trokosi Victims, among others, in the interest of peaceful coexistence of people in the various communities.
The Foundation is registered in the USA as 501/C3 with its office in the US state of Alabama. Its aim is to champion the cause of unification of Ewe’s in the diaspora to promote development of the Volta Region
Watch out for further development………..
Source: duamenefafoundation.org / news editor in chief