Non-government organisation Care-Ghana has exposed the government’s “hypocrisy” around the deployment of heavily armed soldiers to the Volta Region during the just-concluded voters’ registration exercise nationwide.
CARE notes that Akufo Addo administration had a sinister agenda for the deployment because the troops were withdrawn from the Volta Region as soon as the registration exercise was concluded.
When critics accused the government of using the military deployment to intimidate residents in the Volta Region from registering in the register, the government and its appointee’s counters by saying the deployment was specifically to check coronavirus from entering the countries through borders in the Volta Region.
CARE is convinced that the government may have deliberately misinformed the public the motive for the deployment, because the troops have now been recalled, yet, the COVID-19 infection rate in the region has not subsided.
“This confirms the claim by the Member of Parliament for the Adansi Asokwa constituency in the Ashante Region Hon K. T. Hammond that, the military deployment to the Volta and Oti Regions was to prevent some Ghanaians considered to be Togolese from voting in the 7th December, 2020general elections,” CARE said in a statement.
“Military personnel were captured in the just ended registration exercise questioning, assaulting, harassing and removing innocent applicants from queues and preventing them from registering.
Therefore the claim that, the military presence in Volta and Oti Regions during the registration exercise is not an invasion but for the enhancement and enforcement of the compliance of COVID – 19 protocols and the closure of our borders to prevent illegal entry is doubtful,” said Care in the statement signed by David Kumi Addo, CARE’s Executive Secretary.
“This deception does not bolster confidence but erodes the trust people have in leadership, cast doubt on the assurance of a peaceful electoral process and rubbishes the promise of a free, fair and transparent elections. This divisive act makes the assurance of a peaceful election rather rhetoric than a commitment.”
The Volta Region is the political stronghold of the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The deployment whipped up the suspicion that the government had sent the soldiers to the region to intimidate residents from voting, with the hopes of recording lower voter turnout in the Region during the elections in December.
“The involvement of the military in a simple activity such as a registration exercise to create confusion reduces the respect the institution commands and should be condemned in no uncertain terms. The assurance of a peaceful election must find expression in our actions in the processes leading to the 7th December 2020 elections, CARE wrote.