The suspects

The Vice President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, Togbe Tepre Hodo IV has described the recent violent attacks in the Volta Region by suspected separatist groups as criminal acts and has called on government to treat them as such.

According to him, violence should not be an avenue for the separatists if they want to be heard and taken into consideration by the Ghanaian people.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Wednesday, he said: “We need to start from the premise that what has happened or the events that have happened over the weekend and last night are all plain criminal acts. I think that’s the premise we should start all the talks.”

He was of the opinion that although the separatists may have a cause for their actions “they are not bringing that case up in a proper way”.

His comments follow the latest incident involving suspected separatist group militants who besieged the Ho Intercity State Transport Corporation (STC) yard setting one bus ablaze and damaging another.

They also held the security man on site at gunpoint and proceeded to assault drivers who had spent the night in the yard, fleeing the scene before the police arrived.

According to Togbe Tepre Hodo IV, the actions of this separatist group threaten the safety and livelihood of the very people whose independence they claim to be fighting for.

Not following the due process, he says, will make it very difficult for the group to garner any support from their sympathizers.

“We live in a civilized society, and I think that what people ought to do to articulate their grievances is to follow due process. The mere fact that they have resorted to these kinds of acts which are criminal in nature for some of us makes it very difficult for anybody to even feel sympathy for them,” he said.

He added: “That is the standing point of all these discussions because if you go on this kind of rampage, you cause bodily injuries to people, death has resulted, and innocent people have even been arrested.”

According to the VRHC Vice President, the separatist group is simply a “copy cat” – trying to execute terrorist-like activities in the country simply because they’ve seen it being done by other separatists groups in the West African sub-region.

This, he said, does not bode well for the country as a whole as it threatens the peace Ghana has enjoyed decades after independence.

“I don’t think this kind of thing augurs well for any group of people who will want to be heard in our kind of democratic dispensation…We don’t want to go down that lane. We have lived in peace for how many years? God knows how many years after independence…So let us all agree at a certain point that movement is criminal in nature and has to be seen as such,” he said.