The Member of Parliament (MP) for Adansi-Asokwa, Kobina Tahir Hammond, has asked the Minority group in Parliament to stop “crying wolf” about the deployment of military personnel along the country’s borders.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs on Friday accused the government of deliberately sending soldiers to Volta and Oti regions with the scheme to intimidate its supporters ahead of the voters’ registration exercise.
A ranking member of the Defence & Interior Committee, James Agalga, had said, “In a few days, we will witness the compilation a new register, and without any provocation whatsoever, the state has decided to deploy military along our frontiers which are also perceived to be the strongholds of the opposition NDC.”
“Our take on the unprovoked deployment is that there is a certain scheme designed by the government to intimidate out teeming supporters from coming out in their numbers to register and to have their names on the new register the Electoral Commission has decided to compile against all forms of admonitions and cautions.”
“So as a Minority in Parliament, we wish to bring this to the attention of all well-wishers of our country and peace-loving Ghanaians that this recent wave of deployment of military assets and personnel along the borders in the Volta, Oti region and the Northern Regions is uncalled for.”
“After all, we are all aware that our borders were shut down in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are also aware that there was another string of deployment on the northern frontiers in the wake of the terrorist threat in Burkina Faso and other neighbouring countries,” the NDC MPs stated at a press briefing in Parliament.
Mr. Agalga continued that those deployments were largely known to the NDC Minority and Ghanaians, and added that “the operation was code-named ‘conquer feast’. I am talking about the deployment that was meant to protect out frontiers from the threat posed by the terrorists in our neighbouring countries.”
“The fundamental question is what is this second wave of deployment is meant to achieve either than intimidating our people in the Volta Region which is known to be the stronghold of the NDC.”
“We call on President Akufo-Addo…we have had enough of the compilation of the register. Our main concern as a political party was that the compilation of the new voter’s register would disenfranchise some Ghanaians.”
But in a quick rebuttal, KT Hammond said the NDC MPs are engaging in “an unnecessary scaremongering” over military deployment meant to protect the borders of the country.
According to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP, “This kind of scaremongering does nobody any good and doesn’t serve the public.”
Earlier, the Volta Regional Chairman of the NDC, Henry Ametefe, beat war drums on the same issue and incited the people of the area against President Akufo-Addo and people of Akan descent.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Ametefe, without any justification, said the military deployment was not only a ploy to disenfranchise Voltarians, but a declaration of war against the residents of the region.
He said, “As I speak today there is a declaration of war against the people of Volta Region”, adding that the plot was hatched at the Presidency.
“To actualize it last Friday they marshalled the military contingent, the police, immigration, their so-called vigilante group and customs from Aflao to Tingyase in the Oti Region,” Mr. Ametefe alleged.
“That is the deployment that has been made. All full of military and police. They have succeeded in removing all the Voltarians, the Ewes from all these detachments and positioned purely an Akan people.”
“Why what have we done?” Ametefe, a former Deputy Volta Regional Minister asked, and continued, “We saw this thing coming under the guise of the so-called Jean Mensa propaganda of registering people under the so-called voters’ register.”
“But it was intended to suppress the voters’ region registration. That is why they went on to do the national ID card full of misrepresentation of issues.”
“I am calling on all Voltarians in Ghana… events are showing clearly that we are at war. I want to send a clear signal to Nana that if any Voltarian has to lose his life as a result of this deployment we will fight them to the wall. I am calling all our people, traditional chiefs and queen mothers to know that the Volta Region is at war with the NPP and with Nana Addo.”
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House