FIRST EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON WESTERN TOGOLAND
Speech delivered by the Chairman of the Peoples’ Liberation Council of Western Togoland.
ENTHUSIASTIC COLLEAGUES AND COUNTRYMEN OF WESTERN TOGOLAND FROM ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD HERE GATHERED IN THE NAME OF WESTERN TOGOLAND; ENTHUSIASTIC SYMPARTISERS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE IN SOLIDARITY WITH WESTERN TOGOLAND HERE GATHERED; ON BEHALF OF THE PATIENT AND PEACEFUL PEOPLE OF WESTERN TOGOLAND, I am grateful for your presence at this not just only a historic gathering but also a final agenda setting phase on the plight of Western Togoland that lasted for a century plus: Togoland from the BREMEN MISSIONARY ERA; TOGOLAND FROM DR NATTINGAL ERA; TOGOLAND IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR ERA; WESTERN TOGOLAND IN THE PERIOD BETWEEN FIRST AND SECOND WORLD WAR; WESTERN TOGOLAND AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR UP TO THE FOLDING UP OF BRITISH COLONIAL ACTIVITIES IN THE GOLD COAST NOW GHANA; AND WESTERN TOGOLAND UNDER THE ILLEGAL ADMINISTRATION OF INDEPENDENT GHANA SINCE 6TH MARCH 1957. We pay a growing tribute to our fore-runners in this endeavor. Shall we observe a minute silence in their honour. May their souls rest in perfect peace but their spirits join us in this renewed activity and final stage of our long historical journey from Israel. AMEN
Colleagues, It is my fervent hope that the determination that prompted your presence here will become more solidified here and hereafter as you go along, so that, it does not make a mockery to scornful observers. Under the theme of our gathering here: ESTABLISHING WESTERN TOGOLAND AS A NOBLE STATE – WHAT CAN YOU DO?- as informed by our chequered history, Our goal, “the existence of Western Togoland as the number one productive nation with the highest consideration for human dignity in diversity is not negotiable”. Our mission is ”to get the state of Western Togoland re-established perfectly, working harmoniously with all activists, groups and all our world neighbours”. Our objectives are: to mobilize internal resources within this one year to achieve self -rule for Western Togoland in the next one year; to prepare our citizenry adequately for state service within the next one year; and to establish good working relationship with nations of the world for harmonious and sustainable development within the next one year; Colleagues, what can you do for your nation? What I can do, what you can do and what we can do depends on the deep understanding of the issues as they are today; what they were yesterday and what they were in the distant past and our passionate refection of these epochs, their unfolding events and what the implications for the future are if we do not act now. It is worth mentioning that all we need is resources such as we the human beings gathered here and elsewhere that needed to be mobilized; the larger community of citizens needing to be mobilized; financial resources; communication and educational materials; means of transportation among others. It is equally or more important to understand the issue and its implications to enable us approach the resource mobilization and its appropriate use in the appropriate situation.
THE ISSUE AS IT IS TODAY – WESTERN TOGOLAND AS A STATE IN GHANA Western Togoland, which is now considered by many as non-existent or integrated into Ghana, is still existing despite all artificial efforts to wipe it out in history and geography. The historical documents are the living testimonies of the day. This knowledge is growing day by day among the teaming youth of the land. The proliferation of several” Western Togoland liberation groups” is the manifestation of this growing awareness. This situation needed to be harnessed to curb the agitation of the impatient groups from degenerating into “freedom fighters behavior or best put radicalism”. There is the need to harness the scattered energy in these groups, focused appropriately to achieve our goal. Colleagues we are needed to be in touch with all these groups for a concerted effort towards the achievement of a western Togoland without a drop of blood. What can you do?
The current situation, also seen in the radicalism of the current government towards issues concerning WESTERN Togoland is a cause of worry for which if care is not taken groups working in the name of WESTERN Togoland may degenerate into rowdy groups in quick response to government agents excessive reaction on Western Togoland activists. Examples of arrests, disrespect for our chiefs, the current mischief of further fragmentation of our land into a region of Ghana instead of listening to the peoples awareness of they not being Ghanaians and the need for honourable steps to be taken for a peaceful parting etc abound.
Colleagues, the reality underlying the arrogance being displayed is that it has become a task for Ghana Government to believe that we are awake to the truth and the only way they can stop our actions is to take legal battle which they know they do not have a locus and cannot win hence intimidation. Colleague, we who are gathered here, what can we do? Our strength in this current reality is that the 1992 Constitution of Ghana precisely the chapter on the territories of Ghana does not cover our land that is being illegally ruled by Ghana. While they are panicking because we have come to know the truth, lets cease the opportunity now to do what we can do to have our land rescued from illegal domination, abusive use of our human and materials resource to develop their country while we remain the poorest of the poor and slaves of a slave.
THE ISSUE AS IT WERE YESTERDAY OR THE IMMEDIATE PASTIn the narrative history of Western Togoland the epoch around Ghana’s independence from Britain is very important for our consumption and it is a very important fact that tells why Ghana’s 1992 constitution cannot be legally cratfed to include Western Togoland as a territory of Ghana. This fact is summarized in the quotation below as found in the letter written to the UNO by the British Secretary of state at the eve of Ghanas independeence: . (We have a copy.) THE WESTERN TOGOLAND STATEHOOD AS DOCUMENTED IN THE DISTANT PAST
The period from 1919 to to 6th March 1957 is very important and an asset for the Western Togoland Statehood issues and cannot be glossed over by any entity. The main architects of this era were Britain, the league of Nations, the United Nations& and Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana
-the recognition given Western Togoland in 1920 as a Mandated Territory and in 1946 by UNO as a Trusteeship Territory has never been changed by any statue known to Western Togoland citizens.
-reasons given by Britain to deny this status and the susequet mortgage to Ghana IS UNTENABLE:
- Western Togoland is too small to become independent.
- Western Togoland had no mineral resouces to back her economy,
- Western Togoland had had no coastline to make a harbour for foreign trade,
- The destiny of Western Togoland is in the Gold Coast.
With the unearthing of this truth to your knowledge what can you do for Western Togoland TO BE A NOBLE STATE AND NOT TO REMAIN A REGION OF GHANA, experiencing unpopular governance decisions? –
THE GENESIS OF THE TOGOLAND ISSUE – NATIONS WERE FORMED AND NATIONS WILL CONTINUE TO BE FORMED, WESTERN TOGOLAND WAS FORMED AND MUST REMAIN FORMED.
(A)Togoland was formed in 1874 when Dr. Gustav Nachtigal, a German explorer first signed a treaty of amity and commerce with King Mlapa of Gbaka Torgo and continued together with the German missionaries (who were already in the land with their Christian missionary activities around Keta, Peki and other areas), to spread German influence all over the land from the coast to the north as far as to its boundary with Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso)
Togoland was then developing marvelously in the suzerainty with Germany. At that time Togoland was thriving with education, manpower development, agriculture, trade and industry. Communication was advancing even to the extent that a radio station at Kamina, near Atakpamé was able to broadcast to the whole world. Roads, metal bridges, railway and telephone lines connected the capital Lome with major towns like Agbenoxoe, Atakpamé, Kpalime, Kpedze, Kpando Shia and many others. In agriculture, Togoland topped the world exporters list in cotton production; cocoa and coffee were booming; christian missionary work was also advancing: spreading churches, seminaries, educational and health institutions over the whole land. Then came the First World War.
(B) THE ALLIED FORCES INTURUPTED THE DEVELOPMENT OF TOGOLAND partitioning it into two countries: west and East Togo.
The historical existence of Western Togoland can be traced back to the time of the First World War when Britain and France attacked Togoland and divided it longitudinally into two for themselves as war booty obtained from fighting on the side of Allied Forces against Germany which was then working in suzeraingty with, and having no army in Togoland.
INTERVENTION BY THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND LATER BY THE UNITED NATIONS.
Without much going into the history beyond the context of this meeting, Comrades, I should like to bring to mind the fact that it was the League of Nations decision to recognize the two pieces of Togoland as Class ‘B’ Mandatory Territories that delivered them from direct colonialism on 20th December 1922. Thus U.K and France were given charge over these territories to be nurtured for self government. The mandatory conditions included the objectives of education, health, development and governance through which the people were supposed to mature and govern themselves.
Although the League of Nations did not live long, its successor, the United Nations took over and made the two Togolands her Trusteeship Territories under France and the U.K. with the same conditions. Hence the Western Togoland became a British Trust Territory.
My dear comrades, Britain’s termination of her Trusteeship over Western Togoland at the time she was also granting independence to Ghana was immature because the main aim for the trusteeship was to have the people become independent. The reasons Britain gave to back her suggestion that Western Togoland should not be granted independence as mentioned prompted a referendum for the people their future. This is a genuine process which every government could use to seek the opinion of her people but in the case of Western Togoland there was no government to take the next step after the people have expressed their opinion through voting. The absence of a government is still hindering implementation of the peoples’ own decision till date. WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The U.N. Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) solemnly proclaims the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations. And point number 3 of that declaration states clearly that: “INADEQUACY OF POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL OR EDUCATIONAL PREPAREDNESS SHOULD NEVER SERVE AS A PRETEXT FOR DELAYING INDEPENDENCE”.
My comrades, this particular point and the other six under the same declaration are glossed over in the case of Western Togoland. WHAT CAN YOU DO?
A people without a government is a weakling before any fortified colonialist, and that is how Western Togoland stands before Ghana now.
Comrades, this conference is not meant to incite vengeance but to excite serious commitment to supporting a peaceful transition for ‘REBUILDING WESTERN TOGOLAND INTO A NOBLE STATE – WHAT CAN YOU DO?’
WESTERN TOGOLAND UNDER MODERN GHANA.
Fellow participants, the situation of Western Togoland under Ghanaian domination cannot be equated to a union as the plebiscite of 1957 suggested but the fear of the PLC is that should Ghana be allowed to execute all the hidden agenda on Western Togoland as is happening in the Cameroons, we who are present today shall never have peace in all existence to come. WHAT CAN YOU DO?
My comrades, I shall not go into detail the occasions of Ghana’s armed invasion of Western Togoland, the letter of the British minister of state for the colonies confirming the union of Western Togoland and the Gold Coast (now Ghana), the dehumanizing and demoralizing conditions of Western Togolanders in Ghana to which some elites are indoctrinated to be blind, deaf and dumb, and the total breakdown into which Ghana plunging herself. You can even get the information from the print and electronic media about Ghana’s aggressiveness towards Western Togolands mineral resources and Ghana’s apparent application to be re-colonized by China and America undoubtedly with the natural resources of Western Togoland as a guarantee. Ladies and gentlemen, the PLC believes that it is necessary to reverse the ignoble trend of affairs, for the sake of the future generations of Western Togoland and Ghana. WHAT CAN YOU DO?
WESTERN TOGOLAND MUST BE SAVED;
GHANA MUST ALSO BE SAVED ! WHAT CAN YOU DO?
We are not condemning any of the actors although some of their actions have brought us this far. We are still seeing some good in Britain, Ghana and the U.N. because some of their actions and inactions are to benefit us all if we should agree to make amends.
For this reason the Peoples’ Liberation Council of Western Togoland is initiating a process whereby what Britain left undone could be done, what Ghana’s could not see can be revealed to her, the error of the U.N. can be corrected and Western Togoland’s development into a noble state shall restore human dignity in the relation of the stakeholders of Western Togoland’s plight.
Colleagues, PLC has invited you here and thrown light on the idea of WESTERN TOGOLAND being a state that was denied an existence and the awakening sprit of the people to correct such an injustice. We have thrown light on the idea of engaging in the mass mobilization of the people for liberation and development; to make use of the amount of liberty we have to secure the total of whatever we deserve; to apply a negotiated approach and citizen’s diplomacy to build a better relation between Ghana and Western Togoland as well as Western Togoland and all other countries of the world; to promote development, education health and gender issues and to guide the people into establishing a constitutionally elected government of their own without causing any harm to anybody or any country.
We have opened the door for passionate discussion of the issue at this conference to ensure we connect all involved to our set goal and mission. WHAT can you do?
We have opened the PLC Secretariat at Ho, where we shall be in direct contact with the people on the ground. This office needs to be promoted as a national headquarters. What can you do?
The PLC Secretariat needs to intensify sensitization to counteract the demoralizing indoctrination of perpetual servitude among the people what can you do to help? The PLC Secretariat needs to take up provision of support services to the deprived communities of Western Togoland – WHAT can you do about it? The PLC Secretariat needs to play diplomatic roles in establishing cordial relationship between Western Togoland and Ghana as well as Western Togoland and other governments- what part can you play? The PLC needs to Promote development, education and health while taking steps to restore an appropriate authority to establish Western Togoland as a noble state. WHAT CAN YOU DO?