The Minister for Defence Dominic Nitiwul says the deployment of military personnel at the Ghana-Togo border is only for security reasons.
This was after tension and confusion arose in the Volta Region as the government deployed several military personnel to the region for what they say is to protect the border.
Dominic Nitiwul addressing a press conference on June 29,2020 debunked assertion that the military will be used to intimidate potential registrants in the upcoming registration exercise.
According to him, this exercise has been carried out at several entry points in the country and it only part of measures to fight COVID-19.
“For Upper West, Savannah, Bono, Western Region all have officers manning the entry points, even tomorrow we will send soldiers to Dormaa. I am telling you this for you to know that this exercise is just part of the fight against COVID-19 and there is no agenda against a particular tribe or to intimidate people in the upcoming voters registration exercise”.
Over the past week, residents in Ketu South raised concerns about the spontaneous presence of military men in the enclave, some few months to the December polls.
As a way of addressing the issue, two leading members of the ruling NPP government have proffered sharply divergent views on the development which have been labelled by a section of Ghanaians as largely contradictory and not representative of the ongoing issue.
According to K.T. Hammond, a Member of Parliament for Adansi-Asokwa and leading member of the ruling party, the influx of military men in the region is to check against the trend of over-voting and double registration in the upcoming December polls and the EC’s new voters registration exercise.
In the words of the lawmaker, “The military is there to make sure that you vote if you are a Ghanaian, you vote if you have the constitutional right to vote; that’s all there is to it”, he said. They [military personnel] are not electoral officers, but they are a peacekeeping force … So, the soldiers, the police and immigration are just maintaining the peace, making sure there’s no infiltration. I mean, come on, let’s be serious; what’s the point in going through all that we’ve gone through, to the Supreme Court and all that then allow a porous border for people to come through and then infiltrate the register again? We would have been back to where we started”.
These statements which didn’t seem to sit right with some Ghanaians have generated outrage not only among the main opposition party but also a section of the populace who have labelled it as ‘ethnocentric comments against the people of Volta Region’.
On the other hand, Interior Minister Ambrose Dery also gave his reason for the deployment of military men to the region ahead of the voters registration exercise and the December polls.
According to him, the presence of the military men in the enclave is not a new development because their deployment dates as far back as the initial stages of the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus.
The NDC has however given the government up to Tuesday, June 30 to withdraw the military deployment from the Volta Region.
MP for Ho West Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah speaking at the party’s press briefing at Aflao in the Volta Region said they will take action is the military is not withdrawn from the region.