The Late Togbe Afede Asor II

Togbe Afede Asor II was the second son of Togbe Dogbe Korsi (Togbe Afede XII), who ruled from 1905-1948, and the late Victoria Abratedze of the Agbanyo clan of Taviefe-Deme. He was born on Friday, July 27, 1927 at Ho-Bankoe where Rev. Fr W. Bond baptized him at the Roman Catholic Church in 1930. Togbe was known in private life as Jacob Asor Dogbe Akorli. He was enrolled at Ho-Bankoe Roman Catholic Boys School in 1936. He successfully completed his elementary school education by obtaining his Senior School Leaving Certificate in 1946.

On leaving school, the young prince was determined to look beyond the then Trans-Volta Togoland and seek further education in the then Gold Coast but the family could not meet the financial requirements.

He was therefore prevailed upon by the then Registrar of Asogli Native Authority, the late Mr. Felix Y. Medie, to accept a job, temporarily, to earn some money to be able to assist his parents to pay his fees in any of the Secondary Schools in Accra. Based on this advice, he readily accepted a job as a Messenger at the Asogli Native Authority in 1947.

In 1948, his father, the King, died after ruling for 43 long years.

Further education was no longer his priority. How to keep the family together and take up the other regal responsibilities became the obvious choice. He therefore decided to concentrate on the secretarial job and continue to fend for the family. He however did not abandon his pursuit of knowledge. He subscribed to several correspondence courses leading to the University of London matriculation examinations and various professional courses.

But as fate would have it, the mantle fell on him when on February 22, 1952 he was enstooled as the new King to succeed his father Afede XII, at the tender age of 25. He had risen to the position of Administration Assistant at the Asogli Native Authority.

However, the first seven years of his reign were beset by a protracted chieftaincy dispute which he inherited. He finally won the case and was gazetted as Fiaga of Ho on October 24, 1959. (Vide Local Government Bulletin No. 97).

As if to make up for what he could not achieve through formal higher education, the new Togbe set forth for an ambitious dream that was to see a number of schools spring up to become some of the best in our part of the country.

He was therefore very instrumental in the establishment of Mawuli School, OLA Secondary School, the Ho Technical School (now Ho Polytechnic) and the Kabore Complex School. Others were the Methodist School and E.P. Primary. The United Evangelical Church (Carpenter Church) and others were first started in the palace. These gestures were to enable as many school children as possible in the community to access education in local schools.

Togbe also encouraged the establishment of other institutions in Ho such as the Volta Military Barracks (now the Mortar Regiment), the Catering Rest House (now Woezor Hotel), the Police Training Depot and the various church sponsored educational units. As residents of Ho and its environs enjoy abundant potable water and electricity, their gratitude must go to Togbe for fighting relentlessly for these and other infrastructural developments for Ho.

Perhaps one of the greatest political achievements of our late King was the revival of the 33 amalgamated traditional areas (which went dormant) into the Asogli Traditional Council of which he became life president.

Togbe, who had the benefit of a course in Local Government Administration at Greenhill (GIMPA) in 1964, was one of the rulers who formed the nucleus of the Volta Region House of Chiefs, and was one of the Volta Region Houses' representatives at the historic first meeting of paramount chiefs in Kumasi, the Ashanti capital, on November 16, 1967.

His other 'big six' colleagues who formed the Volta Region House of Chiefs were Togbe Adeladza II, Awoamefia of Anlo, Togbe Adja Tekpor VI, Osie of Avetime, Togbe Tepre Hodo III of Anfoega, Nana Aburam Akpandja III of Buem a (who are all deceased), and Togbe Kodzo Dei XI of Peki.

At the chieftaincy front, he was elected Vice-President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs in 1963, 1965, and again in 1975. He was also chairman of the Standing Committee on chieftaincy disputes presented to the House.

His achievements at the regional level, perhaps, accounted for his being elected a member of the Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs.

It would be recalled that Togbe played a very leading role in the success of the 1956 Plebiscite through which the then Trans-Volta Togoland became part the Gold Coast, now Ghana.

As a pioneer, Togbe was quick in convincing his elders about the need to do away with some customary practices that he thought were obsolete. He was able to champion their abolition, with the active involvement of the late J.M.K. Addo and others back in the 1970's, before many other traditional areas saw the need.

In his desire to help preserve Ewe history, identity, and culture, Togbe, during the Agbogboza (Agbogbo Festival) at Notse in the Republic of Togo in September 1968, assisted the Togolese President, Gnasimgbe Eyadema, to lay the foundation stone for the Ewe Museum.

Endowed with the wisdom of King Solomon, our late King will be remembered for his calm disposition and great power of judgment which has helped restore peace in many traditional areas, not only in the Volta Region, but throughout the country while he served on the various judicial committees of the National House of Chiefs.

Togbe sadly left for the village at dawn on Monday, June 25, 2001 at the age of 74 years after a protracted illness, and after almost 50 years of unblemished rule, having fulfilled one great desire - the reconciliation of all the Divisions of Ho to live in peace with one another as is evident in the brotherly manner in which we now conduct our affairs.

Togbe was a devoted Christian and a past Grand Knight of the Knights of Marshall of the Catholic Church. He was survived by a wife, eighteen (18) children and thirty-six (36) grandchildren.

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