Mahama, Togbe Afede express misgivings over military presence in V/R

Former President John Mahama and the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV on Saturday joined voices to condemn the heavy presence of armed military personnel in some border towns of the Volta Region, describing the deployment as an act of aggression against the people.

They insisted that the government’s explanation that the soldiers were enforcing the closure of the border was pointless, because that should have been done in March when there were only two case of the virus in the country and not when the voters’ registration exercise was ongoing.

The two personalities made the remark when Former President Mahama capped a tour of some voter registration centres in the region with a courtesy call on Togbe Afede at the Asogli Palace in Ho on Saturday.

Former President Mahama said with more than 21,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 now in Ghana, neighbouring countries should rather be afraid of Ghanaians crossing into their territories and not the other way round.

He noted that it was every citizen’s right to register and vote but the wanton acts of intimidation by the soldiers in the border town communities was not only depriving the people of that right but also taking away their very livelihood from them.

“Some people are afraid to come out of their homes to go to their farms because they are now confined to their houses in fear, the ‘artificial borders’ which were drawn by the former colonial authorities cut across families and communities.

Togbe Afede, who is also the President of the National House of Chiefs, said the Volta Region was not at war with any nation and the “invasion” by the military was mind boggling.

He sought to know why arrangements were being made for Ghanaians in Europe and USA, for instance, to vote in elections in Ghana but Ghanaians living in neighbouring countries like Togo were not expected to just cross the frontier into Ghana to vote.

The Agbogbomefia warned that the havoc caused by tribalism was much greater than the chaos of racism, “so we must all condemn tribalism in our country as soon as it starts showing its ugly head before it spreads to engulf all of us”.

FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO-BANKOE

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