The 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).
He said it was, therefore, unfortunate that in spite of the detailed clear explanations given by the Minister of Defence and some of his colleague ministers on the issue, some people were still suspicious about the presence of the military in the area.
Addressing a durbar organised in his honour by the Awoamefia of the Anlo State, Togbui Sri III, in Anloga yesterday, the President said the region was part of the country and that if there was the need to step up national security, it was in order for the region to be included.
“This has been labelled 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,” he said.
He said currently there were 1,000 military people deployed along the country’s borders, 163 of whom had been deployed along the Volta Region border, stressing that that could not be the basis for the attacks that the exercise had received and accused critics of abusing the privileges social media provided.
“There was no ploy to target the good people of the Volta Region, and this has even been escalated into accusations of ethnic cleansing and the government that I lead has been labelled as tribalist.
“While social media is a useful tool for information sharing, it can also be, and has been, used to magnify small incidents, place pictures, videos and voices out of context or simply generate outright fabrications in order to stir up needless ethnic animosity among citizens who are, otherwise, living peacefully with one another,” he added.
According to President Akufo-Addo, when J. B. Danquah, the first in the trinity of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political tradition, contested Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah for the Presidency on Ghana becoming a Republic in 1960, Danquah did not win in his home constituency in Akyem Abuakwa.
“But he won in two constituencies — one is right here in Anloga and the other is Ho West. Even if there was a little, brittle tribal bone within my make up, which there is not, I would not choose the Volta Region as a target. History would not allow me,” he added.
Sharing of national cake
The President further said the easiest way to tell if people were being discriminated against by a government was to consider how the national cake was shared, and said on that score, his government had been exceptional, as it had spread development projects equitably to all parts of the country.
“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 that for the Keta SHS is one which I am due to inaugurate today.
“Important to me are two TVET projects in the Anloga District alone, one of which I shall be inspecting at Atorkor,” he said.
Additionally, he said, the construction of the Keta Landing Beach would start next month, while plans were in place to begin an €85-million Keta water supply rehabilitation and expansion works and 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,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The Awoamefia said politics was about working towards the development of the people and, therefore, appealed to the President to fulfill the promises made to the people of Anlo.
He also prayed for peace before, during and after the December elections.