Tension Erupts In Anlo Over Hogbetsotso Festival

There is an uneasy calm in the Anlo state, in the Volta Region, over celebration of the Hogbetsotso Festival, after two rival chiefs, the Awoamefia and Togbuiga Wenya III, clashed over who has the authority to launch this year’s anniversary.

The latest development, The Anchor gathered, if not handled with utmost tact, could reignite a longstanding chieftaincy dispute, that erupted sometime in 2007.

It follows a letter issued by the Dutor of Anlo, Togbuiga Wenya III, inviting the media for the launch of the 2023 Hogbetsotso Festival, scheduled to take place yesterday at Keta.

Excerpts of the invitation letter, dated August 12, 2023 and signed by Prof. Togbi Damadzi IV, Chairman, Central Planning Committee, said, “We are thrilled to extend to you an invitation to the grand launch of the much-awaited Hogbetsotso Festival, a celebration of history, culture and tradition. The event will take place on the 16th of August 2023, at the beautiful Agblor Lodge, Keta starting at 9:00 AM.”

But the Office of Awomefia Togbi Sri III and the Anlo Traditional Council, in a swift response, strongly warned the public against it and called on all to disregard the purported media launch of the festival.


In a statement, sighted by The Anchor and signed by Spokesperson of Awomefia, Agbotadua Kumassah stated that the only authority under whose watch the historic festival could be celebrated is the Awoamefia, and with support of the traditional council.

“HRH Togbi Sri III and Anlo Traditional Council hereby state, without equivocation that the only Authority in Anlo Dukor under whose auspices and authority the Hogbetsotsoza is celebrated is the Awoamefia with the support of the Anlo Traditional Council (ATC).”

The letter, dated Monday August 14, and addressed to the Interior Minister and the Inspector General of Police, tasked the security agencies to take action on the self-acclaimed “Dutor of Anlo” to avoid any chaos in the area.

It said, “The attention of HRH Togbi Sri III, the Awoamefia of ANLO DUKOR, the Awadada of ANLO DUKOR, the Paramount Chiefs/Wings Chiefs of ANLO DUKOR, and the ANLO TRADITIONAL COUNCIL (ATC) have been drawn to a letter in circulation headed as above on the letterhead of a self-acclaimed ‘DUTOR OF ANLO’ and signed by Prof. Togbi Damadzi IV dated 12th August 2023.The purported letter is hereby attached for ease of reference.”

“HRH the Awoamefia, therefore, calls on the sector MINISTER to take immediate action to forestall any provocative actions of these sections of the Lafe clan to create chaos and confusion in our beloved Anlo Dukor.

“In the meantime, HRH the Awoamefia calls on the security agencies to enforce law and order in Anlo Dukor,” the statement read.

The Hogbetsotso festival is celebrated on the first Saturday of November every year. The festival is used by the people of Anlo to commemorate the exodus and the bravery of their traditional rulers, who through endurance and sacrifice delivered them from the despot, King Agorkoli.





It would be recalled, the purported “Dutor of Anlo,” a private legal practitioner known in private life as Ephraim Agbeko Vordoagu, was installed in 2022 under controversial circumstances as the new “King” of the Anlo State. He was installed alongside Ms. Confidence Haugen, owner of the popular Aphrodisiac Night Club in Accra, as “Queen” of Anlo.

The two were installed by some selected elders and kingmakers of the Anlo State, without the full blessings of Togbui Sri III, the incumbent Awomefia (ruler) of the Anlo State.

He was said to have been taken through some traditional rites and installed under the Stool name, Dutor Torgbiga Wenya III. His role, according to our information, is to serve as the head of the Leafe Clan of Anlo, the founder of the Anlo Kingdom, and would be the head of Anlo Land.

Since the installation last year, the Anlo state has recorded relative peace, amidst legal litigations at the court.

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