Occupy Ghana, a social and political non-partisan pressure group, in a post on Joy Online calls on the incumbent NPP government to prosecute “to the fullest extent possible” suspects spearheading violent secessionist attacks in the Volta Region.
The group, while appreciating government’s early response to the violent attacks, noted among many other things that the “brazenness of any illegal group should be matched with a strong enforcement of the law.”
According to Joy Online, Occupy Ghana says “secession, separation or severing of any part of this great nation is a treasonous anathema that should not and cannot even be broached”.
Thus, in a press statement, the organization deflated some claims made by the secessionist group pertaining to their authority over the once British Togoland Territory.
They added that the legislative record leading to the combination of the British Togoland to the then Gold Coast is “uncontestable as propagated by the Western Togolanders, and thus the territory of Ghana cannot be compromised”.
“Section 1 of the 1957 Ghana Independence Act (the legislation by which Britain granted independence) identified the new independent territory as ‘the Gold Coast as defined in and for the purposes of the Gold Coast (Constitution) Order-In-Council, 1954.’
Section 1(1) of this Order-In-Council defined ‘the Gold Coast’ as ‘the Gold Coast Colony, Ashanti and the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast; and for the purposes of this Order references to the Gold Coast shall be construed as including Togoland under United Kingdom Trusteeship.”
Moreover, they said: “Having adopted this inclusive definition of ‘the Gold Coast,’ the Independence Act then provided that that ‘Gold Coast…SHALL as from [6 March 1957] TOGETHER FORM part of Her Majesty’s dominions under the name of Ghana,’ and that ‘as from [6 March 1957], Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom shall have no responsibility for the government of Ghana or any part thereof.’
Occupy Ghana therefore assert that the claims of the secessionists are false and baseless. “It is therefore blindingly obvious that the claim that some other or further document or action was required to unite the then British Togoland with the rest of the Gold Coast, is palpably baseless and profoundly false.”
They further implored the heavy hands of the law to deal with secessionists as it breaches Ghana’s Prohibited Organsiations Act, as well as several other Criminal Acts in the constitution.
They cited: “The 1976 Prohibited Organisations Act was passed when similar secession cries emerged. That Act specifically declares as unlawful and prohibited, any organisation ‘howsoever called, whose objects include advocating and promoting the secession from the Republic of Ghana of the former British Mandated Territory of Togoland or part of that territory or the integration of that territory with a foreign territory.’
The Act per the statement, also makes it “an extra-territorial crime to belong to any such organisation or for it to meet, advertise, campaign, use slogans, and/or obtain support or financing. The punishment for flouting this Act is up to five years in prison.”
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