January 21, 2021

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Election is not a do or die affair – Chiefs call for withdrawal of soldiers to the Volta Region

2 min read

The chiefs said the military presence is causing fear and panic among residents and the seeming tension in the Volta Region over the deployment of some military men.

The chiefs said that has ignited another form of a tribal row.

According to the chiefs, this year’s “election is not a do and die affair” and charged the military to stop intimidating the residents in the Volta Region.

Vice President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs Torgbega Dekle Patamia, in an interview on Accra-based Starr FM, said “Election is not a do and die affair. After all, it comes every four years. We should stop intimidating our people so they live their normal lives. We have done registration, election and we have not seen this sort of military and their hardware. Are we at war? We had a meeting with the National Security Minister and as usual, what he said was, we’ll look into it. But nothing has been done.”

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But Deputy Defense Minister Major [Rtd] Derick Oduro said the soldiers have been deployed to the region for a reason.

“It’s not true that people are being intimidated. This is not the first time security is being deployed before the election, during, and after the election to the Volta Region. Generally speaking, every step taken by the national security is taken in the interest of the nation and not a few. When the people in the Volta Region talk about intimidation, they [military] don’t come to your house. They have an area of responsibility.”

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He added: “NDC has been complaining about military deployment for a long time. We’ve military deployment at the Northern border, Eastern and other places and they are not complaining so why is the Volta Region complaining?”

Earlier, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the Volta Region was not singled out for any special military operation in the run-up to the voters’ registration exercise, neither was there a political or ethnic agenda against the people.

He explained that the deployment of military personnel along the country’s borders was not exclusive to the Volta Region but an exercise carried out across all borders of the country to help prevent people from entering illegally as part of the interventions to stop the importation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“This has been labeled a ‘military invasion of the Volta Region’. Togbewo, Mamawo, Volta Region is an integral part of the Republic of Ghana, and military deployments in a region cannot be described as an invasion.

“Some elements on 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 who were being brutalised by soldiers,” Nana Addo said.