A 69-year old man, Mr. Mathew Komla Gbevi, who could not withstand the trauma, stigmatization and abuses he constantly received from residents of Baika in the Jasikan District of the Volta Region, has suddenly died in pains and misery after helping the community over the years.
The deceased, Mr. Mathew Komla Gbevi, who has supported the Baika community by giving so much of their family lands for the construction of a School and a toilet facility among others, faced unbendable deprivation and isolation at the later part of his life from the very people he supported.
This paper has established that, the land on which the Baika primary and Senior High School lands among others, was given to the community for such projects by the late Mr. Mathew Komla Gbevi’s father.
However, things begun to turn soar for Mathew Komla Gbevi, when he returned to Ghana and realized that people in the community especially, the elders were using the land he had given to the community to enrich themselves at the expense of the development of the land for the benefit of the whole community.
This paper has established that the late Mathew Komla Gbevi gave out some lands to the community for development, but every year during festivals, monies were contributed from people and companies towards the development of the lands.
The monies realized from these contributions were usually shared among few people leaving the land undeveloped till now.
Uncomfortable with the development, Mathew Komla Gbevi in 2015 decided to take his land back and thus proceeded to Court to ensure he take possession of his land.
His woes begun from then, as the villagers begun accusing him of being a wizard and practicing witchcraft.
The late Mathew Komla Gbevi had to endure a lot from the Baika community as villagers stopped him from buying anything in the village, and the residents including elders of the community also stopped his wife from selling in the community to help the family.
Investigations conducted in the community has also revealed that, residents if the community will gather round Mathew Komla Gbevi’s house and be throwing stones onto his roof at night to stop him from sleeping.
Baika residents have also been hooting at him whenever he passes or seen in public, making life very unbearable for him.
A daughter to the late Mathew Komla Gbevi, Elivava Mensah Gbevi who witnessed these incidents during her visits to the community for the Homecoming events which she usually organized to make her father proud, took the people to the Human Rights Court in Hohoe to stop them from the Human Right abuses.
In an interview however with Elivava Mensah Gbevi, she indicated that her father “died out of misery.”
She revealed that, “My father gave them so much of our lands to build school, toilet. He supported the community so much and yet they turned back and did all that to him. Because my father was always against the bad things they were doing, they have decided to ridicule him until he died of pain.”
Speaking to this journalist in tears, Elivava Mensah Gbevi said her family has been very supportive of the Baika community and considers his father’s death as another chapter of her ongoing trauma.
She said: “My main reason for moving from Accra to go and stay in the village was to protect and console him and make him feel loved. The reasons I wanted to continue supporting the village, I didn’t mind about the past what they did and were still doing to him. I kept telling him let’s keep doing good. He has always been afraid for me telling me not to repeat his mistakes, but this is in our DNA. helping the community.”
According to him, because they needed to survive, he had move to Cape Coast to make ends meet to keep supporting her father and the family.
“But life has been so hard these few times. I couldn’t pay his hospital bill as I was called upon few days ago that he was very sick. My Father Died yesterday. Not just that, but died through witch craft accusations. The Baika village people accused my dad of being a wizard and of practicing witchcraft after all the good he did for them,” she said.
The late Mathew Komla Gbevi was one of the pioneers of spinning music who travelled around the West Coast with the Disco Fathers Spinners Group.
He had also promoted music and football during his time and was the founder of the WayHearts Football Team.
Her daughter is however appealing to the Human Rights Organizations to look into the development surrounding her father’s death so as to prevent such abuses to occur in the community to any one of them or to any other person.
By Prosper Agbenyega