Rambo-Style Arrest of Octogenarians worrying; State must Act to restore their Rights as Citizens

It is with great regret that I condemn in no uncertain terms, the Rambo-style arrest of our compatriots including octogenarians in Ho, the Capital of the Volta Region on Sunday the 5th day of May, 2019.

It is understandable that the state would take steps to protect the sovereignty and sanctity of Ghana, and to take steps to ensure the safety and integrity of the nation, however, such conducts by the state in the exercise of its rights, must be done in accordance with laid down procedure anchored in law.

Subversion is a serious crime so any allegations of same ought to be thoroughly investigated. However, the raw exercise of executive power ought not be abused in the manner it was applied in this matter on Sunday in Ho.

A mere declaration of intention is no crime. An intention by one to declare Volta Region a supposed independent state cannot constitute a crime. Were they arrested in the act of doing so? No. Indeed, several scholars including Emeritus Professor Amenumey and Hon. Kosi Kedem have written extensively on the trans Volta Togoland and Western Togoland union issues with the Gold Coast and raised fundamental historical, political, legal and jurisprudential issues underpinning the supposed union.

It’s a matter of record that these same people were arrested amidst state fanfare in 2017 and supposedly prosecuted in Ho High court. The State in its wisdom, discontinued the prosecutions in or about 2018.

It would be advisable for Gov’t to to engage the agitators, if indeed there are, with a team of scholars to deal with these issues once for all. The choice of criminal prosecution is a horrible one. Persecution has never succeeded in quelling the agitations of a people determined to attain ‘self-rule’.

It is regrettable that these senior citizens have been rounded up in the manner and whisked away from their homes in the Volta Region to unknown locations.

The state must recognise that these senior citizens, even if they decide not to submit to our courts, still maintain their liberties and rights as enshrined in the 1948 UN Charter on declaration Human Rights. Let proper due process be adhered to in this matter.

The government must, as a matter of urgency, act to put these senior citizens who are in its custody and control, to due process while restoring their rights and dignities.

Rockson-Nelson E.K. Dafeamekpor
MP, South Dayi, Volta Region*

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