Military presence in Volta Region not political, ethnic agenda- Akufo-Addo
Weeks after residents of border towns in the Volta Region complained about military invasion during the voter registration exercise, President Nana Akufo-Addo insists that there was no political or ethnic agenda against the region.
In a move to clear doubt about the deployment, the President said it was meant to protect the country against terrorism as its neigbours, particularly Burkina Faso, struggle to hold back terrorists.
Addressing the chiefs and people of the Anlo state at a durbar, President Akufo-Addo insisted that the region was not singled out as “currently 1,000 military personnel have been deployed along the borders.”
Out of this number, he said that 163 had been deployed along the Volta Region.
The President said the country being spared the wave of terrorism in the sub-region had been because of hard work and the grace of God, arguing that the deployment was meant to strengthen the country’s borders.
“This has been labelled a military invasion of the Volta Region but Togbewo, Mamawo, Volta Region is an integral part of Ghana and the military deployments in a region cannot be described as an invasion.
“Some elements of social media went into a frenzy, mostly with old videos taken in Accra and other parts of the world being passed off as residents of the Volta Region being brutalized by soldiers.
“This has been escalated into accusations of ethnic cleansing and the government that I lead has been labelled as a tribalist whilst social media, which is a useful tool for information sharing has been used to magnify small incidents, the President said.
During the voter registration exercise from June 30 to August 9, there were reports of harassment by the military personnel dispatched to the Volta Region.
The situation created tension, particularly in the Volta Region, where the opposition accused the government of promoting ethnic profiling and vote suppression.
The Volta Region is a stronghold of the NDC.
But President argued that the social media antics were simply fabrications meant to tarnish his image and that of the government.
He said the easiest way to tell if people are being discriminated against by a government would be to look out for how the national cake is shared.
President Akufo-Addo used the opportunity to mention some of the developmental projects currently going on in the Anlo State.
“I dare say this area (Anloga) has done quite well under this government. After years of demanding, an Anloga District has been created and a new assembly complex is being constructed.
“There are numerous GETFund projects scattered all over Anloga and Keta SHS, is one which I am due to commission today [Thursday]. Important to me are two TVET projects in the Anloga district alone one of which I shall be inspecting at Atorkor,” he added.
Additionally, the President indicated that there is the Keta landing beach project, construction of which commences in September, the €85 million facility for the Keta Water Supply rehabilitation and expansion project and the Keta Harbour Project.
“We have not completed our development journey, but, surely, we are on the right path, and no one can accuse this government of discrimination in the distribution of the national cake,” the President said during his tour of the region.