The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has issued a warning to all individuals claiming to be the Dutor and leader of the Anlo Traditional Area, advising them against organizing this year’s Hogbetsotso Za Festival.
The ministry’s decision came after a meeting held on August 31, 2023, where representatives from both parties presented their arguments.
Investigations conducted by the ministry revealed that no Chief has ever been registered as Dutor in the Anlo Traditional Area, according to records from the National House of Chiefs.
The historical position of overlord in the Anlo Traditional Area has always been held by the Awomefia. As a result, the ministry has advised the individual in question to utilize the judicial committees of the Regional House of Chiefs and potentially the National House of Chiefs if they wish to pursue their claim.
The ministry, in its letter, emphasized the potential consequences of the individual’s actions, stating that it has the potential to breach the peace of the Anlo Traditional Area.
Also, the letter referenced Section 63(a) of the Chieftaincy Act of 2008, Act 759, which deems it an offense for a person to act or perform the functions of a Chief when they are not qualified to do so.
As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has informed the National Security Minister of their decision, requesting the implementation of necessary measures to prevent the unauthorized organization of the festival. This step aims to ensure the preservation of peace and order within the Anlo Traditional Area.
The Hogbetsotso Za Festival holds significant cultural and historical importance for the Anlo people, and the ministry’s intervention seeks to safeguard the integrity and traditions associated with the festival.
The festival, which translates to “Festival of Exodus,” commemorates the migration of the Anlo people from Notsie in present-day Togo to their current settlement in southeastern Ghana.
Read full statement here
CELEBRATION OF 2023 HOGBETSOTSO ZA FESTIVAL
I write this letter as a follow up to our meeting on 31st August, 2023 at the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs at which we discussed your claims to be the Dutor and leader of the Anlo and your decision to celebrate this year’s Hogbetsotso Za Festival. After the meeting with your representatives, I also met representatives of the Awomefia to listen to their side of the matter. I have also conducted research on your claims.
Investigation at the National House of Chiefs shows that no Chief has ever been registered as Dutor in the Anio Traditional Area. Since the inception of registration of Chiefs by the National House of Chiefs, the overlord of the Anlo Traditional Area had always been the Awomefia.
Therefore, should you wish to pursue your claim, I would advice you to make use of the Judicial Committees of the Regional House of Chiefs and possibly, the National House of Chiefs. In view of the above information, you are to desist from holding yourself as Dutor of Anio and not to organize any Hogbetsotso Za Festival as your actions have the potential to breach the peace of the Anlo Traditional Area.
According to section 63(a) of the Chieftaincy Act of 2008, Act 759 it is an offence for a person to “act or perform the functions of a Chief when that person is not qualified to act. I am by copy of this letter informing the National Security Minister of my decision and to ask him to put necessary measures in place to prevent you from organizing any festival.