Heavy military presence in Volta divisive – Togbe Afede

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The Agbogbomefia, Togbe Afede has described as “divisive” the heavy deployment of personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces to the Volta Region by the Akufo-Addo government on the claim of preventing the spread of the COVID-19.

According to him, “Never have we seen military invasion like this in peacetime” insisting the deployment is “divisive.”

Togbe Afede, who is the President of National House of Chiefs, made the remarks when ex-President, John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) called on him on Saturday to conclude his tour of parts of the Volta region in Ho.

Mr. Mahama was in the region to monitor the ongoing voter registration exercise.

Togbe Afede said the country’s problems are already huge and cannot be compounded by intimidation stating Africa needed peace to develop its accumulated resources that contribute about 20 per cent to global mineral deposits, a population that constitutes 17 per cent of the global population with a share of gross domestic product (GDP) and world trade constituting three and two per cent, respectively.

“We need peace and unity to develop, the fallouts from the COVID-19 pandemic is already colossal to deal with.

Togbe Afede said the role of Chieftaincy as an institution cannot be overemphasised.

“Let’s foster peace and unity for all under the directive principle of state policy,” and urged Ghanaians to thrive to register under the dispensation to vote.

On his part, ex-President, Mahama, called on citizens of the Volta region to maintain cool heads as they go out in their numbers to register for the new voter card.

He said there have been complaints from inhabitants of intimidation from the military disposition in the region in the communities he’s visited and urged the people not to ”be angered by the situation and come out in large droves to register to vote.”

The Flagbearer had earlier visited Akatsi North, Akatsi South, Ketu North, Ketu South, South Tongu, Agotime-Ziope, and Ho Central Constituencies to have a first-hand assessment of the registration exercise allegedly botched by intimidation and harassment from military deployment across the region and the Oti Region.

He said civic rights are fundamental to all and no military deployment can curtail it.

Mr Mahama believed there could be other reasons for the military deployment than the COVID-19 pandemic excuse.

The ex-President said if from two cases there was no deployment, why the need to deploy now when COVID-19 cases have risen to beyond 20,000 saying “our neighbouring countries must rather be afraid of us because of our numbers.”

The NDC flagbearer drew linkages between the military deployment and the compilation of the new voter register.

The flagbearer congratulated Togbe Afede and the National House of Chiefs for not shirking their responsibilities but always spoke to the moral conscience of the nation on topical issues and reprimand errant people irrespective of political representation.

“In the heat of the moment reprimand us and call us to order when we err”.

Mr Mahama promised to epitomise peace and unity and expressed the hope that Ghanaians will reward him on his second coming.

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