The enstoolment of Awormefia Sri I, at Anloga, marked the beginning of the the monarchical chiefdom among the southern Ewes. After Sri’s reign, the power of the Awormefia extented to other parts of the inland Ewe communities. The Awormefia was acknowledged as a virtual Supreme head(Fiaga) to whom people living far away as taviefe, Volo and Daffor owed allegiance before the British and French invasion and occupation of the Anlo state and the Eweland in 1874.
Before the year 1700,Anlo had a constitutional head,the Awormefia who reigened rather than ruled. He had no power to make laws by himself without approval of his state council of elders and chiefs. Also he could not declear war or make peace without the prior knowledge of his chiefs and elders. Genuine democracy and administrative justice had therefore been the cardinal principle in the entire Anlo socio-political system. The Awormefia was denied a veto power over his people because Wenya and others feared that if all power was invested in the Awormefia,he might be power drunk and turn to behave like Agorkorli whose wicked deeds led to the exodus. So the title of the Awormefia, was made obsequious by majority vote of chiefs and the state council of elders. The concept of a state council was very vital to the the socio-political system of Anlo but this died off after Ghana’s independence, which was a retardation to the state of Anlo (Anlo Duta 36).
Appointment of the Awormefia’s sub-chiefs was largely a matter of who distinguished himself in the civil and social life of his people. This has been responsible for the variety of stools found in Anlo today. There were three degrees of allegiance which cut across the Anlo nation. The tribal oath of allegiance is made through the partrilineal head chief. The local oath of allegiance is make through a wing chief of the town or locality. The military allegiance is sworn through a wing chief. In civil matters, the people people owed their allegiance to their local chiefs irrespective of the clan or tribe or geographical location or military wing (awalogo). Ceremonial stools ‘Hozi‘ or war stools ‘Awazi‘ were all odained by the Awormefia at Anloga, Kleve or Avenue-Tsiame through the recommendation of the great war chief who was the state ruler and the left wing war chief. Thus, once a stool was established, be it Awazi or Hozi, it becomes hereditary.
Some war stools moved hand in hand in the olden days because of the help they received from one another. War chefs were captured and enstooled regardless of their wealth. They were installed with mystical powers and strength but the actual power belongs to the people. Thus the saying,’ a nation does not live with the chief,it is the chief who lives with his nation'(du me nɔa fia gbɔ o, fia ye nɔa du gbɔ) has always been the first decree of Ewes.
To be continued