The Chiefs and people of Gbi Traditional Area are grieving the destruction of their ancestral royal regalia, especially its palanquin, which was lost in the violence that rocked the area five-months ago, as they sojourn to Peki to climax the GbiDuKorza festival.
Togbega Gabusu VI, Paramount Chief of the Area lamented that the Gbis continued to count the loss of their ancestral palanquin and the royal sword, which are embodiments of traditional authority and epitomize ancestral bonding, that were lost in the attack on his palace by some enraged youth from Hohoe Zongo.
He disclosed this to a three-member delegation from the National Peace Council, led by Mr Francis Azumah, its Executive-Secretary.
He stated that he would participate in the event with a heavy heart since the items of traditional adornment had not been found or replaced.
“The difference will be that while my counterpart dances and displays in the palanquin to set the tone for the celebration, I will be reduced to spectatoring,” he narrated.
Togbega Gabusu said the Gbi land needed peace and his chiefs and subjects attached unalloyed importance to peace but warned that that should not be countenanced for a sign of weakness.
He noted that, “We respect the law and crave for everlasting peace but justice must prevail to guarantee unblemished reconciliation and co-existence between the indigenes and the settler Zongos”.
Togbega expressed indignation about the lack of action on the rehabilitation of the devastated palace, the ancestral seat of the Gbis, stating “As I continue to remain homeless and sleep in the streets of Hohoe, we are abiding by the terms inherent in the peaceful process.”
Dr Margaret Kweku, Hohoe Municipal Chief Executive said peace building was a process and pledged the Municipal Security Council’s support towards building bridges for lasting peace.
The Executive Secretary commended the parties for agreeing to live in peace and allowing the processes towards actualizing total reconciliation to work.
He promised to send their grievances to the appropriate quarters, and said the regalia issue was high on government’s agenda but that its efforts could not be disclosed.
He said conflict in any part of the country was of grave concern to Peace Council and other state actors, alluding that conflict was robbing people of the requisite development in such hotspots countrywide.
He praised the parties for exercising maximum restraint, which prevented the unfortunate event from escalating.
The area is under a state of emergency resulting from an arson attack on the palace of Togbega Gabusu following a misunderstanding over the burial of the Imam of the local Muslim community, and the earlier electrocution of a Muslim boy.
A Presidential Fact-finding Committee is currently sitting and inviting citizens from both sides of the June 11 disturbances, in an attempt to chart a road-map for reconciliation and lasting peace in the area.