Western Togoland: Ghanaian Opposition Condemns Military Deployment in Volta Region
The National Democratic Congress (NDC), the main political opposition in Ghana, has condemned the military deployment in Western Togoland (Volta Region) ahead of the 2020 Ghanaian elections. The move has been widely critcised by the opposition, while K.T. Hammond, an MP for the ruling New Patriotic Party, stated that the deployment is partly to stop illegal immigrants from Togo crossing the border and registering for the election. Moreover, Interior Minister Ambrose Derry stated that the military had been present since coronavirus measures were put in place. Critics, however, argue that Western Togolanders are being prevented from registering for the election as Western Togoland is an NDC stronghold.
Below is an article by BBC News Pidgin
Ghana opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) condemn de deployment of military operatives to Volta den Oti regions ahead of de compilation of new voters register.
De opposition NDC accuse govment say govment sheda send security to de region so say dem go intimidate people for de region during new voter register compilation ahead of 2020 elections.
Member of Parliament for de ruling New Patriotic Party, K.T. Hammond talk say part of de reason military officials dey Volta Region be sake of dem for stop foreigners from Togo who go like enter Ghana den register as voters during new registration exercise.
But govment say de main reason be to secure de Ghana-Togo border to fight illegal entry as part of de Covid-19 fight.
According to Interior Minister, Ambrose Derry "we start dey deploy from beginning of Covid, I be Ministry of Interior wey I dey talk so. Check like dem refuse to recognize dis until now."
"De soldiers support de immigration den police to keep people out for de eastern border" he add.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, GETTY IMAGES
Background on why Togo border be key to Ghana politics
De people from Volta region and Togo be the same tribe, except say de border dey divide dem between Ghana and Togo.
Traditionally, Volta region be de stronghold of opposition NDC, dis be de reason why opposition members and some Ghanaians dey suspect govment of attempts to intimidate people for de region.
Suspicions from years ago be say during elections some people from Togo dey enter Ghana to vote, so sake of dis wey govment send military to Volta and Oti regions.
Top statesmen condemn military deployment
But former Prez Jerry John Rawlings on Monday morning also condemn de deployment of military operatives for Volta den Oti region.
Press statement wey Mr. Rawlings release talk say "de deployment along de borders when we dey inside peacetime especially create plenty suspicion."
"Ahead of de voter registration exercise and December elections, e be important say we go demonstrate fairness den justice to everyone den groups of people while we also maintain de integrity and sanctity of de process" he add.
The presence of the military and other security agencies in some parts of the Volta and Oti Regions is generating animosity especially amongst innocent citizens whose basic way of life is being disrupted... pic.twitter.com/m21VEMVoBi
— Jerry John Rawlings (@officeofJJR) June 29, 2020
Also, Opposition flagbearer John Mahama say talk for statement inside say de deployment be part of big strategy to intimidate dem from abstaining from de [voters] registration exercise which go start Tuesday" he talk for statement inside.
Social media users vex govment over dis move
Dis move generate mixed reactions from Ghanaians for social media, some feel say dis move be bad whilst others feel say people dey play up ethic card for political gains.
There are those who think they'll be better off when they fan ethnic sentiments for Political Advantage. No sense in that thinking. And the government must also stop illiterate party officials from making comments that provoke ethnic sentiments. We need a louder voice!
— Sam Attah-Mensah (@Sammens) June 28, 2020
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So why is there alleged upswell in military operation in some parts of Oti and Volta Regions? Let us becareful the messages we convey ahead of the elections.
— Franklin CUDJOE (@lordcudjoe) June 27, 2020
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Are we hearing of the same military presence in the Ghana-Burkina Faso border ?
The Elubo border ?
If you think there’s nothing wrong with the kind of deployment in Volta region, you’re probably part of the problem.
— Jude (@mensaduncan) June 28, 2020
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Why are we adding tribalistic sentiments to military personnels deployment in the Volta Region? Facts are facts let’s not lose sight of that!Govts motive isn’t to de-franchise any citizen but rather non-citizens from attempting to penetrate our electoral system and that is that
— The Royal ðŸ‘‘ (@travelwithkow) June 28, 2020
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You claim foreigners came from Togo to vote in Volta region during an election that you won. Now are trying to prevent that same thing from happening again by deploying the military to the region.
Does this make sense?
Shouldn't your victory rather be questioned??
— ProfessorðŸ•— (@Espania_Mint) June 28, 2020
Photo: Former President of Ghana Jerry Rawlings. Credit: GETTY IMAGES