Regional News Mon, 26 Jan 2004

NRC Witness welcomes democracy

Ho, Jan. 26, GNA - Madam Mary Anthonia Kumeni of Gbi-Bla near Hohoe on Monday told the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) sitting in Ho that she is happy that there is freedom in the country.
She said the freedom started with the Second Republic during which the Kpeve-Hohoe trunk road was tarred and the services of the State Transport Corporation (STC) were extended to Hohoe.
Madam Kumeni who was wearing the Progress Party (PP) cloth said despite the ordeal she went through as a Women's Organiser in the Hohoe East-Dayi Constituency following the overthrow of the Second Republic, she would never quit politics.
Madam Kumeni said her political career developed from her father with whom she was fighting for "Ablordey" (freedom).
She said following the coup of January 13, 1972 she was arrested and placed in cells for three days at Hohoe with other activists. Madam Kumeni said from Hohoe all the political activists were moved to Ho where they were in detention for two-and-half months and slept on bare metal beds and later sent to Accra to sign a bond never to do politics.
Madam Kumeni said her husband left her and took their children away, while her town's citizens prevented her mother from selling a quantity of bananas she was about to sell before her arrest while, her shed was also broken.
She said she was five months pregnant before her arrest but she lost the child immediately she gave birth on her return from detention. Mr Moses Kofi Asase of Ho-Dome told the Commission that he was a member of the "Ablordey Gbadza" (Togoland Congress) in the 1960s. He said in the afternoon of April 4, 1960 just when he had returned from farm, a soldier came with a car and said he was being invited to see a big man.
Mr Asase said he thought it was one of such invitations as an elder to discuss issues with the authorities.
He said he was taken to the police station in Ho where he met several other people and they were told that they were under arrest because their activities were unacceptable.
From Ho they were driven in several vehicles to Usher Fort prisons in Accra where they were kept under difficult conditions for six years. He said one day, a prison warder told them that there was going to be good news for them and that there was a coup d'etat. Mr Asase said before being released they were asked not to oppose any government.
He said what happened was painful because his children were then in school as a result of which they could not achieve the high level of education he wanted to give them.


Source: GNA
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