We, the Chiefs and People of Peki, vehemently protest against the inauguration of the newly created Ho West District in the Volta Region of the Republic of Ghana.
This protest emanates from the placing of Dededo to Kportornu, the bona fide property of Peki, into Ho West District as contained in L.I. 2083 of 2012.
We have on several occasions written to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana and have sought audience with him, as a matter of urgency, when the issue of the creation of Ho West District came to our knowledge.
We have sought other means to bring our case before the Government but the only encouraging responses we have had have been word of mouth that the matter was receiving due and urgent attention.
Though, we have been assured of due and urgent attention to the matter, yet the very issue that we have protested against to the Government is going on according to Government's schedule.
We, the Chiefs and People of Peki, take this action on the part of Government in bad taste and are calling on Government to respect our sensibilities and suspend the inauguration of the Ho West District until they have heeded to our plea.
Our reason, as detailed in our protest letter of May 3, 2012, to the President and which reasons we bring to the attention of the media are:
In 1974, Dededo, which is and had till then been acknowledged Peki Land in the then Kpando District, was surreptitiously hacked from the then Kpando District and placed under the Ho West Municipal Assembly.
It is trite knowledge that there has been a long standing dispute between the people of Peki and Awudome. This case has traveled to and from the Courts and the then Stool Lands Boundary Settlement Commission several times. Currently, the matter is back at the High Court.
Respectively, we, the people of Peki, do not in anyway expect His Excellency the President to extra judiciously determine the substantive matter which is still before the High Court.
Our concern, is that, while the determination of ownership of the land is still in the Court, the Government has carved out part of traditional Peki land and ceded it to the other party, our opponents, who form part of the Ho Municipal Assembly despite protest from the people of Peki.
That move by the Government is not only prejudicial but has also been a sour taste in the mouths of the Chiefs and People of Peki Traditional Area and as well as a course of discontent and the feeling of betrayal by the Government, who as a father for all, need to treat all parties fairly.
We trust that the Government will apply its dispassionate appraisal to consider whether it is conscientiously proper and just that when ownership of a piece or parcel of land is in dispute the status quo should be disturbed with one party being allowed to have its jurisdiction of the object area whereas the other party is deprived of its uses, especially, when the party being denied has historically and from time immemorial have been in possession and control of the said area.
Indeed, Dededo market toll is collected by Ho Municipal Assembly while South Dayi District Assembly gains nothing from Dededo in spite of the fact that Dededo used to be under the Kpando District from which South Dayi was carved out.
It may interest any neutral observer to know that schools in Kporvi, Soyakordzi, and Tiam among others were founded by Peki and administered by the Peki-Guan Local Council from 1952 and later by Peki Traditional Council and we wonder what happened to cause the secret transfer of these schools to the administration of the Ho Municipality while the said dispute is still in court.
This gross injustice needs to be expeditiously addressed in order to avoid any violence and maintain the peace, knowing very well that a "threat to peace anywhere in the world (and Ghana) is a threat to peace everywhere in the world."
It is worth noting that from the Seventeenth Century till 1974, or thereabouts, Amenu Kofe, Tsive, Soyakordzi, Afram Kofe, Tiam-Dededo, Tsikofe and Kporvi (Avega), were traditionally and politically the domain of Peki and listed under the Kpando District.
Looking at the Gold Coast Chiefs list of 1941, attached hereto, No. 7-13, were all areas occupied by and are properties of Peki families: Tsive, Soyakordzi, Awalime, Avega, Awalime Kpedito and Nyetror, whose "Hanuas" (Leaders) were George Apia, Kwame Wuaku, Livingstone Dra and Kwamla Dzamfosu respectively, were all indigenes of Peki Abanase (Avetile) who were occupants cultivating these areas long before the 1941 Chieftaincy Registration and issuance of the relevant gazette and thereafter.
The ceding of these areas in the disputed area against the status quo to the Ho Municipality during the pendency of the case in court seems to suggest that judgment has been pre-empted.
We, expect Government to be honest and lover of truth and peace; and therefore wish to implore the Government to maintain the status quo before the institution of the Peki vrs Awudome land case and the ceding of Dededo to Ho Municipality maintained/restored.
Awudome seceded from the Peki-Guan Local Authority to join the then DutasorLocal Council without demanding Afram Kofe, Amenu Kofe, Avega (Kporvi), Soyakordzi, Tiam (Dededo) and Sanga to go with it in 1954, because the people of Awudome knew very well that these were component settlements and villages of the Adonten Division of Peki.
We want peaceful co-existence with all our neighbours. We do not want to be at war with anyone; we would, however, not allow ourselves to be deprived of what is legitimately ours.
Despite the protestation of Peki when Dededo was placed under Ho Municipality, a close study of L.I. 2083 of 2012 seem to suggest that Dededo and the area between Dededo and Kpetornu have again been added to the newly created Ho West District.
This seems to suggest a re-demarcation of the boundary between Peki (Avetile) and Awudome (Tsito).
The original boundary between Peki (Avetile) and Awudome (Tsito) is the Abiakpetre stream situated/located between Kpetornu and Afram Kofe is between Kpetornu and Dededo.
This boundary was confirmed by the High Court on the 4th day of June 1960, in suit No. T.R.D.10/55, titled Elias Boafo Afram (successor of S.B. Afram - Deceased), of Abanase Peki versus John Ntow Peniana and 2 others.
The Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No. 13/62 upheld and affirmed the decision of the High Court on the matter on the 28th day of February, 1966 when the Defendants, John Ntow Peniana and Co of Awudome Tsito, appealed against the High Court decision of June 1960.
Any attempt to re-demarcate the boundary by whatever means would amount to nothing but a traveswty of justice; and extra-judicially over-ruling and undermining the judgment referred to above. It is very important to indicate that in a democratic environment like ours, everyone, including Government, need to respect the decisions of any court of competent jurisdiction.
We wish to state that until the final determination of the substantive land case between Peki and Awudome, all Peki towns and settlements be put under South Dayi District Assembly to maintain the status quo.
We, the Chiefs and People of Peki have for a long time been holding on to our patience in the face of extreme provocations even from the Government in order to maintain peace in the area. However, should the Government fail and or refuse to see to our plea and go ahead to inaugurate the said Ho West District including Kpetornu to Dededo, then the peace that is reigning in the area is thrown over-board.
Bernard Duose, President, Peki Union & Chairman, Peki Union National Council