THE HISTORY OF ASOGLI STATE, VOLTA REGION-GHANA.
The Asogli people, like most Ewe speaking people, trace their origin from a place called Abyssinia in what is now Ethiopia. They migrated with other Ewes from Abyssinia to Oyo in Yorubaland, Western Nigeria. From Oyo they went to Ketu in Dahomey (now Benin) before settling at Notse in present day Republic of Togo in about the 12th century.
Oral history has it that in their settlements at Ketu and Notse, the Ewes lived in walled cities called Agbome, literally meaning within the fence wall. At Notse, the Ewes were ruled by a tyrant, King Agorkorli whose sadistic rule is reported in the historical records of all Ewes.
The Asoglis naturally detested the rule of King Agorkorli and, under the leadership of Togbe Kakla, they broke through a portion of the fortified wall for all Ewes to escape. Togbe Kakla and his people broke the wall after softening it through a planned and persistent splashing of water.
The conspiracy included a deceptive plan under which the escaping subjects walked backwards out of the walled city. The objective was to create the impression that the footprints they left were those of people who had entered the city. This confused the King’s soldiers and by the time they realized what had happened, most of the subjects had escaped to freedom.
“Gligbayi”, the dagger which Togbe Kakla used in breaking through the wall of Notse, is a sacred relic of the Ewes. It is in the custody of the Agbogbomefia, the traditional overlord of Asogli State.
Togbe Kakla and his people broke away from the larger Ewe group to settle at Komedzrale, near what is now Ho, the capital of the Volta Region of Ghana in West Africa. At Komedzrale, the Asoglis engaged in subsistence farming and hunting.
Oral history has it that Togbe Kakla had three sons and a daughter. These were Akoe, Letsu, Asor and Esa. As Komedzrale lands gradually lost their fertility and could no longer support any meaningful economic activity and the growing population, the Asoglis migrated further.
The descendants of Akoe and Letsu founded Akoefe and Kpenoe, and later, Takla. The descendants of Asor settled at the present day Ho after a brief sojourn at Hofedo. The only daughter of Togbe Kakla, Esa, migrated and settled at present day Saviefe which lies north of Ho.
Credit : asoglistate.com
THE ROYAL TENUKPO AZADAGLI STOOL, Tadzewu.
23rd January 2018.
THE ROYAL PALACE OF EYAA AGLOHU II, Tadzewu.
My Dear Togbi Eyaa Aglohu II,
It is with the greatest of concerns that I write this letter to you to bring to your notice the pain and embarrassment that you caused the occupant of the Azadagli Stool as well as the whole Royal House of Azadagli.
In a recent development concerning the celebration of the 2016 HOGBETSOTSO MINI DURBAR at Tadzewu, you had cause to write to the Chairman, Anlo Hogbetsotso Committee through your counsel Binewoatsor Law Consult, and copied to a wide circle of personalities and offices, a letter expressing your grievances as to the manner in which your office and status as the Dufia of Tadzewu was being undermined.
In the said letter which sought the attention of the Awadada of Anlo Togbi Agbeshie II, and headed; MATTERS CONCERNING THE CELEBRATION OF THIS YEARS HOGBETSOTSO MINI DURBAR AT TADZEWU AND THE ROLE OF THE DUFIA OF TADZEWU – TOGBI EYAA II, – our attention has been drawn to paragraph 2, and I quote; “Togbi Eyaa II, known in private life as Benjamin Korku Avornyo, was duly selected, enstooled and outdoored as the Dufia of Tadzewu in the Afife Traditional Area in 2014, almost two years ago. As the Dufia of Tadzewu, Togbi Eyaa II is the rightful authority on matters connected with or related to the wielding and exercising of traditional authority in the township of Tadzewu. All other chiefs (if any) including merely honorary persons such as so called development chiefs in Tadzewu are subordinate to the traditional authority of Togbi Eyaa II” unquote.
Due cognizance is hereby being given that it is within your remit to write such a letter to right a perceived wrong that was being done against your office and person as the Dufia of Tadzewu. We have no problem with anything that is culturally and traditionally appropriate and pleasing to common sense and accepted behavior.
Here is the catch. We take very serious exception to the 7th line, para 2 of the said letter which stated inter alia; All other chiefs (if any) including merely honorary persons……. etc, which questioned the legitimacy and the rightful existence of any other chief or stool in Tadzewu.
You by your letter are trying to tell the whole world that apart from the Eyaa Aglohu Stool, there is or are no other stools, gazetted and recognized by the State of Ghana in Tadzewu. That is very unfortunate.
By your letter you mischievously questioned the valor and might of a legend called Togbi Azadagli, whose bravery in battles for Anlo are well documented and recognized, and a stool which was duly created and established as one of the two old stools in the Afife Traditional Area town of Tadzewu.
It is very sad and unfortunate that you had to descend to such low levels to make your case and point. That level from where your abuse and insult and disrespect to your colleague and others came from can never guarantee peace within the confines of Tadzewu. The humble community of Tadzewu had known unparalleled peace for generations now. Why rumble the cot today with that uncalled for language?
Suffice to say you were not properly briefed by your kingmakers during your confinement and after, that there is a stool (an equal black stool or awadezi) in Tadzewu alongside that on which you sit today. So therefore we will not blame you. And again we will also not question your legitimacy, because we were living witnesses to your installation as the Dufia of Tadzewu, from the very day your elder brother who was the chosen of the gods eloped, and you had to be asked to fill the vacancy, because nature abhors a vacuum. We were there from the beginning to the end and we participated fully, financially and physically and spiritually. Moral support from us cannot be discounted. So we need not be told that you are not illegitimate.
With due respect to the high and mighty Royal Lord, the Dufia of Tadzewu, His one and only Overlord of everything, Togbi Eyaa Aglohu II, may we suggest that you go back and sit with your elders, the elders that you have sidelined, and ask them how the Mighty Azadagli came to be installed as chief of Tadzewu, how the Black Stool of Azadagli came into being, something that your old folks themselves had no control over but were witnesses to, how the Paramountcy and Lords of The House of Adrakpanya and The Majestic Awoamezi of Anlo and its King saw it fit and appropriate to confer a deserved chieftaincy title on someone you chose in your ignorance to demean and a Stool you chose to deride.
And if you find it difficult to go before your recognized and legal and legitimate Zikpitor Yao Avornyo, and the Elders you believed have nothing to teach you, then may we humbly suggest again that you rather approach the President of ATACA, who also happens to be the Dusifiaga of Afife, Togbi Adzaklo II and Togbi Agbeve Ayirim II, the Dufia of Agbevekorpe and the Honorable General Secretary of ATACA, who are deep wells of wisdom in a lot of fields, and also in chieftaincy and the traditional norms of the Afifes for the needed tuition, so as to forestall any future faux pas from you during your tenure of office.
And to your further information, the humble servants of the community that we respect so much, and which you derogatorily termed “so-called Development Chiefs” were installed by both the Houses of Azadagli and Ayivor (now Eyaa Aglohu). Your highly respected immediate predecessor, Togbi Ayivor III, Dufia and Togbui Tenukpo Azadagli III, Fia of Tadzewu were witnesses to the services rendered by the likes of Hon Alex Segbefia, former Minister of Health of Ghana, and were not hesitant in installing him the Dunenyo Fia of Tadzewu.
It was a widely authorized and celebrated public event in which the whole township of Tadzewu and its surrounding villages fully participated. The same goes for the present Ngoryifia of Afife Traditional Area. This personality you so derided and ridiculed in your letter singlehandedly saw to the burial of your predecessor, and was also the greatest instrument in the whole works that culminated in the successful selection, installation and outdooring of the Dufia known as Eyaa Aglohu II.
The contributions of this writer, and those of Togbui Tenukpo Azadagli III and Togbui Agbeve Ayirim II cannot be discounted. How ungrateful can one be.
We will not ask anyone to tell us if there is any other stool in Tadzewu alongside the Azadagli Stool, because the present occupant of the stool was outdoored on the same day as your immediate past predecessor Togbi Ayivor III, also known in private life as Mr Victor Nenyewode Ezi. We won’t make that mistake.
Again we aren’t going to question the legitimacy and the existence of the Ayivor/Eyaa Stool, because much records exist, if you care to know, in the secretariat of the paramountcy of Adrakpanya at Afife and Anlo Traditional Council offices of the mighty deeds of both houses of Azadagli and Eyaa.
To enlighten you and your house further, and to other like minds within your circle who believe there is no other stool apart from the one in your family, the very immediate past occupant of the Azadagli Stool, elected on 24th of April, 1953, known in private life as Etu Honu, even though was a Regent, applied for inclusion into the Chiefs List of the WHETA/AFIFE/KLIKOR LOCAL COUNCIL on 26th of September, 1956. His stool elders were men of honor and repute and they made sure he never said anything to breach the peace of the community at that time. And again he did not falter or say anything demeaning to his colleague Ayivor Stool occupant.
Some records you cannot wish away. The role played by the present occupant of the Azadagli Stool, who was with your kingmakers day and night, in your bed and drawing rooms, and in your own stool room cannot be discounted. When the going became tough, it was the tough Azadagli Stool which stood by your family and saw to a successful coronation. Then, Togbi Tenukpo Azadagli III was a chief of Tadzewu to your misguided collaborators. Is this the thanks that we get from you?
We the present elders of the stool are sparing no effort in teaching our new occupant the norms of decent behavior as far as utterances are concerned.
During the Regency of Amega Etu Honu, some notable members of the Tadzewu community served at his court as advisers and elders. A short list of these elders of blessed memory, whose wise counsel and good deeds still reverberate within the confines of power in Anlo, will serve as a constant reminder to you and your collaborators how glorious and peaceful the community was during those times of old. These were men who departed Tadzewu to eternity with and in full glory. The list has some enviable names like; 1. Wutogui Azadagli, 2.Dahumegbor Sedzro, 3.Fred Ayaotor Attipoe, 4. Chief Emmanuel Nutornutsi Kluvia, 5. Atsu Adukpo, 6. Dzaka Kargbe, 7. Zioklui Dogbatse, 8. Atsikor Tovor, 9. Koto Adzaklo and last but not the least, 10. Akpabli Honu.
It is regretable to hear that all efforts and attempts being made to make you see reason by some of your concerned and enlightened elders in the persons of Zikpitor Yao Avornyo, C. K. Egbenya and C. K. Zormelo fell on deaf ears. Other attempts by the Clergy in the community you equally rebuffed.
Lest we forget, for peace and harmony to prevail within Tadzewu and for a smooth celebration of the Hogbetsotso event, the House of Azadagli was prevailed upon to exercise patience, and that immediately after the program, the elders of the Afife paramountcy will see to a settlement and resolution of this issue of “I am the only chief.” But regretably again, you spurned their initial efforts and so nothing has been heard from the House of Adrakpanya till date.
We therefore deemed it fit to demand an unqualified apology from you, and also demand that you employ and use the same channel you earlier used, to correct that wrong impression you created and shared, and also you must clearly indicate that there is another legitimate stool in Tadzewu, within the Afife Traditional Area called The Azadagli Stool, alongside that of the Eyaa Aglohu Stool, and of equal ranking, but your stool holds the place of Dufia, for the mere fact that in a classroom there must be a leader.
I remain with regards,
Yours in the service of Tadzewu.
Godwin Doe Adamah. Secretary to the Royal Tenukpo Azadagli Stool of Tadzewu.
AMU ROYAL FAMILY
The Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs
M. C. R. A.
PROTEST AGAINST THE AUTHORITY GIVEN TO TOGBUI SAPEY AGBO V, TO HEAD THE BURIAL AND FUNERAL OF TOGBUI HOR II
We, the members of the Amu Gate of the Adamah Royal Family of the Somey Traditional Area, otherwise known as the Makorsor Royal Family, write to protest against the power and authority you have given Torgbi Sape Agbo V, for the organization of the burial and funeral for the late Togbui Hor II. Your letter (Ref No. MCT/PET/18/SF3 of 16th November 2017) which is a response to Torgbi Sape Agbo’s letter (Ref No. TSA/HED/001/ED/17 of 6th November 2017) has raised a lot of pertinent issues which need to be addressed.
Togbui Sapey Agbo V in our view should not be given any authority to lead the organization of the burial and funeral rites of the late paramount chief of the Somey Traditional Area Togbui Hor II, because he Togbui Sapey Agbo V, among others, is the main architect of the confusion that has arisen since the demise of Togbui Hor ii in 2012.
Togbui Sapey Agbo V is a subject of suits at the judicial committee of the VRHC, Ho. He is both a plaintiff and a defendant all concerning issues, the subject matter of which is the death, the burial and funeral celebrations of Togbui Hor II.
In the first place, to the best of our knowledge, we do not think you have, as a minister, the constitutional mandate to direct how a chief should be buried, and Togbui Sapey Agbo V has no customary authority to organize or supervise the burial and funeral of a paramount chief of Somey. Also, your letter, instead of promoting peace in Somey (as you claim) has rather worsened the situation. The letter has sought to undermine the authority of the duly nominated, installed and outdoored Paramount Chief of Somey, Torgbi Adamah III. It has denigrated further and raised the agitation level of the people to fever pitch.
We feel very strongly that you were misinformed, ill-advised and forced by your political godfathers into taking the action you have taken, and that you have joined forces with those people – faceless and known – who are determined to obliterate the Amu Gate in the traditional administration of Somey. Our conviction is informed by the fact that upon sighting your letter, we of the Amu Gate called you and drew your attention to the mistake you were about to make, and advised you to withdraw the letter. But you ignored our advice and stuck to your political godfather’s well-mapped-out agenda. You told us point blank that as far as Torgbi Sape Agbo’s heading the Hor Funeral Committee is concerned, it is a “closed case” and that is “a favor you are doing the Adamah family”. We beg to differ; you are rather helping others to drive the nail deeper into the coffin of the Amu Gate.
Honourable Minister, we wish to refresh your mind again about the case in point. The paramount stool of Somey is rotated between two Gates – the Amu Gate and the Hor Gate. With the passing on of Torgbi Hor II (of the Hor Gate), it now becomes the turn of the Amu Gate. The Royal Makorsor Family met and tasked the Amu Gate to find a successor who will subsequently preside over the funeral of the late chief. A worthy candidate was therefore chosen – he was duly nominated, installed and outdoored as Togbuiga Adamah III, according to the sacred customs and practices of the Somey people.
But, sad to say, soon after the installation Mr David Fianyor, (who hails from the Hor gate), who had harboured a secret ambition of succeeding his late uncle, in collaboration with Torgbi Sape Agbo V and some members of a so-called Nukpornuku family which has no royal dynasty in Somey, began their machinations to deny the Amu Gate their sacred right to the throne. Togbui Nukpornuku dynasty is at the moment ruling in Keta.
Mr David Fianyor then went to court and challenged the installation. The suit filed by Mr. David Fianyor was withdrawn and settled amicably by the Makorsor Family. The family had also drawn a roadmap for the resolution of all pending matters. The other suit filed by Togbui Sapey Agbo V is still pending before the Judicial Committee of the Volta Region House of Chiefs (VRHC).
Honourable, it is because of these developments that Mr. David Fianyor, the children of the late Torgbi Hor II, Torgbi Sape Agbo V and the Nukpornuku family are bent on making sure that the Amu Gate and for that matter, Torgbi Adamah III is not part of the funeral Planning for the late chief. They have a hidden agenda to pursue and are trying to use you to achieve that. Discussions on the funeral have been stalled several times because of this ploy to deny the Amu Gate its royal right, and not because of the lies being spread around that the Amu Gate does not want the funeral to be held. The Amu Gate is very desirous of seeing the late chief buried and given a befitting funeral.
Honourable Minister, it is in the light of these concerns and developments that the Ketu South MUSEC, in collaboration with the Volta REGSEC and the Volta Region House of Chiefs, in their wisdom, decided to allow only the Kingmakers of the Royal Makorsor Family to plan the funeral without the involvement of the Makorsor, Torgbi Adamah III, and any other chief at the highest level – the Central Planning Committee level. At the meeting at which this decision was taken, it was made clear to Torgbi Sape Agbo V that he could not be a member of that committee, let alone preside over it because he is not a member of the Royal Makorsor family. The good people of Somey (and even Klikor and Aflao) accepted that initiative in the belief that it will bring peace and calm to the area. We believe that you are aware of the wise counsel of the MUSEC, REGSEC and VRHC. But you ignored it and rather issued a rather provocative and divisive unilateral directive or veto, much to the chagrin of all of us – the chiefs, the Amu Gate, the Dumegawo and the people of Somey. They are not prepared to work with the directive you have given because they know it will not work.
For your information, your two agents – Mr. David Fianyor and Torgbi Sape Agbo V have their daggers drawn and ready to do battle with each one claiming the right to convene a meeting to plan the funeral. Each has issued separate letters convening meetings on different dates. Moreover, the paramount chiefs of Klikor and Aflao have not taken kindly to your decision of asking them to serve in a committee presided over by a divisional chief. Sir, what other proof do you need to convince you that you have taken a wrong decision and that your plan will not work.
Mr. Minister we humbly submit that by your appointment of Togbui Sapey Agbo V you have ironically made him both a referee and a player. The Amu gate which he has sued is then placed at a disadvantage.
We, the members of the Amu Gate bear no grudge against you. We have more to achieve when we work together than when we go our separate ways. So please, adhere to good counsel and stop collaborating with those who are bent on erasing the name of the Amu Gate/Adamah family from the history of Somey. Theirs is an exercise in futility for we have time, history, custom, the people and the Almighty God on our side.
Honourable Minister, we believe that there are processes by which redeeming your image in this funeral impasse can be solidified, and these are:
(i) recall your infamous letter to Torgbi Sape Agbo V,
(ii) apologize to the good people of Somey and the Amu Royal Gate as well as the Paramount Chief
(iii) allow and support the MUSEC, REGSEC and the VRHC to continue with the initiative they have taken.
When this is done, we believe all the stakeholders in this regard will re-rally behind you in all your efforts to carve a niche and leave a lasting favorable legacy not only for yourself but also for the people of Somey and the Volta Region, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs and the Government of Ghana.
Accept our warmest regards and best wishes for the year 2018.
The Good Lord be with you.
Yours in the service of the People of Somey.
GODWIN DOE ADAMAH
STOOL FATHER, (THE AMU ROYAL FAMILY)