Government has dispelled claims by the opposition NDC that security deployment along the country’s borders is to intimidate and prevent persons living in the Volta Region from partaking in Tuesday’s voter registrations exercise.
The NDC following some comments by Adansi Asokwa MP KT Hammond last week, took on the governing New Patriotic Party, describing them as bigots after the MP said some persons in the Volta Region are not Ghanaians.
But at a press briefing in Accra Monday, Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul said the deployments were made as far back as March 30, to help the immigration service ensure compliance to the border restrictions.
“We are concerned about people coming into this country. It is our duty to protect Ghana.
“What we doing is to make the people of Ghana safe by blocking all the unapproved routes and as long as our borders are closed, it is our duty as a government to ensure that Ghanaians are safe,” he said.
He said prior to the March 30 deployment, government since 2019 in an operation code-named Conquered Fist deployed 12 officers and 372 men from the military, four officers and 265 police officers, 172 Immigration Officials and 70 Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) officials to ensure sanity along some of the country’s border towns.
Giving a breakdown of the deployment, the Minister said 102 are in North East, 110 in Northern, Upper East has 207 and Savannah 21.
The rest are Upper West, 69; Oti 72 and Volta Region 72.
Mr Nitiwul said the military personnel will also help reduce crime in the areas because since security services were recalled after the lockdown was lifted, crime has been on the rise.
“What we are saying is that whether the Togolese, Ivorians or Burkinabes are free from the virus or not, we will not allow them into our country because our borders are closed. Good for them if they have fewer numbers but they were using unapproved routes to come into our country and anytime we arrest them, we see huge numbers.
“It will be irresponsible for any government to sit and watch their people die from Covid-19,” he stated.
Ghanaians currently living outside the country who wish to register for the December elections, must register with their respective embassies in a controlled exercise.
Mr. Nitiwul says the operatives will be stationed along the borders to ensure strict enforcement of the restrictions before during and even after the exercise.