Peki chief finally goes home

President Mahama exchanging pleasantries with Togbega Gabusu of the Gbi - Dzigbe  ( Hohoe) Traditional Area at the funeral of the late  Togbe Deiga Kwadzo Dei  XI of PekiSIX years after his demise, the late Paramount Chief of Peki Traditional Area, Deiga Kwadzo Dei XI, was finally laid so rest on Saturday after a burial service at Peki-Tsame.

Among the large gathering of mourners were President John Dramani Mahama the Speaker of Parliament, Doe Adjaho; the Chief of Staff, Mr Julius Debrah; the Minister of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Dr Henry Seidu Daannaa and the Volta Regional Minister, Madam Helen Adwoa Ntoso.

President Mahama, in a tribute, said that the late chief who ruled for 40 years proved without doubt during his reign that gallantry and bravery were the hallmarks of chieftaincy.

He said that Deiga Kwadzo Dei, who was also the president of the Peki Traditional Council and the Dufia of Peki-Blengo, had left behind a legacy of hard work, service to humanity and love for his people.

Those values, President Mahama noted, were also replicated by the late Deiga Kwadzo Dei in the Volta Region House of Chiefs as well the National House of Chiefs.

The President of the Volta Region House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV, for his part, said that the region had lost an illustrious son by the passing on of the late paramount chief.

“The love he showed and the pieces of advice he gave have been of great inspiration”, Togbe Afede said.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana, the Right. Rev Dr Seth Senyo Agidi, in a sermon, said Deiga Kwadzo Dei was down to earth, unassuming, simple and humble.

He noted that although the late chief occupied the throne of one of the most powerful traditional areas, he was compassionate to all and sundry, and also remained faithful to the E.P. Church.

Known in private life as Seth Yao Tutu Brempong, the Deiga was born on Thursday, November 5, 1931 at Peki-Blengo to Mr Winfred Tutu Brempong and Madam Adzoa Glover, both from the Adivieyi clan of Peki-Blongo.

Deiga Kwadzo Dei started school at the Mission Infant School and the Junior School at Blengo in 1943. He was skipped from Class 3 to Standard 1 due to his brilliance.

He had his middle school education at the E.P. Middle School at Kpedze from 1948 to 1951 and gained admission at Ho Mawuli School the following year but due to financial challenges, had to leave the school prematurely in 1954.

Deiga enlisted in the Gold Coast Army at Keta on September 28, 1955 and trained as an auto-mechanic.

He worked at the GEME Workshop at Burma Camp in Accra and as result of his hard work and bravery he was sent to the Republic of Congo in 1960 on UN Peace-Keeping Mission.

The troops he commanded there were able to repulse the Congolese insurgents who sought the blood of the then President Patrice Lumumba.

In 1962, President Nkrumah decorated Deiga Kwadzo Dei with the Military Cross Medal.

His military service ended in 1962 when the lot fell on him to succeed the late Deiga Kwadzo Dei X.

Between 1964 and 1965, Deiga Kwadzo Dei XI studied at the School of Administration at the University of Ghana, Legon, and that equipped him with the relevant knowledge and skills to rule and administer the traditional area.

In September 1979, he was arbitrarily arrested together with the renowned musicologist, Dr Ephraim Amu and six others on murder charges arising out of the Peki-Tsito conflict.

They were tried by an Accra High Court which found them innocent and accordingly, acquitted and discharged them.

However, his palace was vandalized by a combined team of soldiers and police, resulting in the loss or destruction of valuable regalia, stools, drums and ornaments.

Between 1977 and 1982, Deiga Kwadzo Dei was again detained in police cells in Accra and Ho on four occasions.

Those arrests took serious toll his health from which he never recovered fully until his death.

In 1989, the royal families of Adevieyi-Blego, the Peki Traditional Council and the entire citizenry of the Peki Traditional Area honoured Deiga Kwadzo Dei by conferring on him two titles – Kanatamanto and Gbedegbleme – for his developmental achievements and continuous championing of the transformation of the Peki Kingdom.

He left behind his wife, Grace Abra Brempong and 17 children.

From Alberto Mario Noretti, Peki-Tsame

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