In what could be described as a clash of the opinions between an expert and politicians, security expert Professor Kwesi Aning and NDC’s Sammy Gyamfi and Osei Bonsu Amoah of the NPP ‘locked horns’ during discussions on the way forward as far as the subject of the Western Togoland attacks are concerned.
Dr Aning has proposed dialogue between the government of Ghana and the ‘rebels’ as the ideal way of dealing with the problem.
He advanced on Joy News that attempts to use force and the law could lead to an explosion of the issue as the separatists are well grounded and have an army behind them.
“In the negotiation process, there is give and take. You don’t just use the law to punish people. The history of secessionism and the way these issues have been resolved does not speak to that (using force). In Liberia and Sierra and other affected nations, talking to those who feel excluded and have lifted arms against the state does not show weakness on the part of the state”, Professor Aning told Joy News.
But in one of the rare situations where members of the two leading parties share similar opinions, Sammy Gyamfi who is the Director of Communications for the NDC and OB Amoah who is an MP on the ticket of the NPP both disagreed, insisting that negotiations may not be the best solutions.
According to Sammy Gyamfi and OB Amoah, government will be showing signs of weakness if it decides to negotiate with the group.
Both men made cases for the chastisement of the group because they have attacked the territorial boundaries of the country.
Sammy Gyamfi was firm in his conviction that the actions of the separatists amount to treason and sedition and therefore must be dealt with by the law.
Reacting to Professor Aning’s proposition for dialogue, OB Amoah said “With all due respect, I don’t agree with Professor Aning. The grievances of the separatists is that they don’t have facilities and want to join Togo. Even where they are concentrating their activities now were not part of the plebiscite”.
“This is like a coup leader trying to run basis for his actions. We should be very careful. We can’t run a country this way. The constitution says this is a unitary state and anyone who tries to create federalism is against the constitution”.
Sammy Gyamfi added that “there are certain things that are subjected to mediation and negotiation. In my opinion, there are other things that cannot and should not be subject of mediation and negotiation and one of them is treason and sedition. When the territorial integrity of the country is threatened by rebels, you don’t negotiate. You stamp it out.”