Presidential nominee of the NDC, John Mahama has condemned the deployment of military personnel to the Volta, Oti and some other border regions.
According to the former president, the presence of the troops “have begun to create panic and anxiety among residents of the various regions…”
In a statement, Mahama said the residents “have been left in no doubt that the deployment is part of a larger strategy to intimidate them into abstaining from the [voters] registration exercise starting on Tuesday.”
“I have sufficient reason to believe that there is merit in the concerns raised by the residents of these Regions,” the opposition leader said.
He said the dispatch of troops to these areas ahead of the registration exercise “represents another unprecedented low in the shameless abuse of state power to attack the very citizens whose safety and security the Akufo-Addo government should be protecting.”
“Mr. President put an immediate end to this needless siege and live up to your oath of office which binds you to treat all Ghanaians equally and ensure their safety and security,” he said.
Speaking on the issue, Adansi Asokwa MP, K.T. Hammond said the security personnel have been deployed to ensure there is sanctity in the voters’ registration exercise.
He said the soldiers are there to guard the borders to ensure foreigners do not come in to register and vote in Ghana’s elections.
But Volta Regional Minister, Archibald Letsa distances the government from the NPP MP’s explanation.
“As far as we are concerned, we are only enforcing the closure of the borders; which remain closed till otherwise directed,” Dr. Letsa says.
He disclosed that the Regional Security Council had requested more forces to assist in that regard, a situation which he says is not a novelty.
“Maybe because it’s close to the registration of voters, people are reading other meanings and motives into it…as far as I am aware, this is not meant to intimidate anybody. This is not supposed to interfere with voter registration,” Dr. Letsa said.