Dutor Torgbuiga Wenya I and the founding of the Anlo Kingdom Pt. 4.

Dutor Torgbuiga Wenya I and the founding of the Anlo Kingdom Pt. 4.


King Ago-Koli became very oppressive. When the elders tried to check him, he became antagonistic and sought every opportunity to have the elders murdered so that he might be left free to pursue his evil ways or retaliation. He began to bring pressure to bear on the Dogbo tribe on all sides. He sent them on many fruitless war campaigns. The least domestic offence he punished with death or sale into slavery. 

Not content with this, he set the people very difficult and almost impossible tasks to perform. Notable among these was his command that swish building should be prepared for him. Before the young men of the tribe went for the work, the King caused thorns and cactus to be put in the swish and covered up. When the young men went and set foot in the swish (the kneading was done in a special way by feet) many were injured. They had to go away in sorrow and anger.

At another time King Ago-Koli, nicknamed the “Cruel” asked the young men to make ropes for him with swish. The young men were bewildered. They had never heard of such a thing before. They went back to consult on the matter. Luckily there was an old man Tegli who escaped death from the hands of the King and was in-hiding.

 He gave the young men counsel that they should go back to the King and tell him that they were willing to undertake the task. But having never seen before what a swish rope looked like, they would be grateful if the King would provide a specimen rope from among those his grandfather or great –grandfathers had made and kept. For “the old ropes provide the pattern for the new”. Xoxoawo nue wogbea yeyeawo do.

The young men went and put their case. The King became adamant. He threatened to have the heads of all young men out off, if the ropes were not produced. The people saw that matters had reached a climax.

 Something had to be done and done quickly. Counsel was held over the matter. The Dogbo leadership resolved to leave Notsie forthwith. But the town was walled in, and the King’s watchman guarded the gates in the walls night and day.

 The people decided to have the part of the wall in their sector of the town thrown down. They ordered that all water used in domestic duties should be thrown against the wall regularly to make it become soft. Everything was done to keep things secret and to allay the suspicion of the King and his adherents.

On the day set for exodus, the men began tribal drumming in the afternoon. They continued far into the night. The women were instructed to do packing secretly in the houses. At midnight, the ‘Misego’ (tighten your waist) drumming was at its height but the King and the people in the other sectors of the town went to bed without suspecting anything. 

The leaders of the Dogboawo then gathered near the wall which had become soft. The old man in hiding, Tegli, was brought out. He uttered a strong prayer. With the words, “Oh God, open for us,” he thrust a dagger(which he took from Asor) into the soft wall. The men pushed. The strong wall went down before them. All the women and children were led out first. 

Then the elderly men. The young men came in the rear with the leaders, Torgbiga Wenya, Fia Sri, and other lineage heads. They walked backwards for some time in order to disguise their track. When day dawned they were far gone. 
Agokorli did not know what to do. All efforts to trace the footpath of the exited Dogboawo would lead Agorkorli’s emissaries back to the Dogbo quarters. He resigned himself to the situation and the people went away in peace.
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