The Aflao Traditional Council is asking the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, to recall the military personnel deployed to the country’s border towns especially the Volta Region.
Even though the Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul has clarified the reasons for the deployment, various groups insist it is a deliberate plot by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to prevent the residents from registering to vote.
Accusing the security personnel of “constant harassment of citizens occupying the borderlands” in a statement, the traditional council insisted that the “presence of the troops started causing fear and panic amongst the inhabitants when they embarked on house-to-house searches and brutalizing of motorbikers within the towns.”
The Paramount Chief of the Aflao Traditional Area, who doubles as the President of Aflao Traditional Council, Torgbui Amenya Fiti V, said the residents feel “surrounded by the detachments consisting of the army, police, immigration and national security armed personnel in uniform”.
They are therefore asking Akufo-Addo to “call to order the military personnel brutalising the civilian population as well as withdraw the obstacles placed in the daily activities of the Aflao people”.
Various leaders of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), including former presidents, John Dramani Mahama and Jerry John Rawlings, have condemned the deployment of the military.
According to the NDC, the governing party is doing this because of the longstanding suspicion that the NDC has been allowing Togolese to register as Ghanaians to vote in the Volta Region, which is its stronghold, so as to influence election results in Ghana.
The Volta Caucus on the Minority side in Parliament has since given the government a 24-hour ultimatum to withdraw the security personnel from the region.
The Minority after storming the Ketu South municipality today stressed that “We don’t fear people. We only respect people and therefore, whoever deployed the military personnel to our borders should call them back immediately. We are giving them up to the end of tomorrow, Tuesday, the military personnel must be called back,”
This was said by the Chairman of the Caucus, Emmanuel Bedzrah.
But in response, the Defence Minister at a counter-press conference organised by the Information Ministry today insisted that the Minority was only spewing “propaganda.”
Read the statement from the traditional council:
AFLAO LIVES MATTER
BY AFLAO TRADITIONAL COUNCIL
29TH JUNE 2O20
As the Government projects its power across the Volta Region (without doing same at the Western frontier with Ivory Coast or the Northern frontier with Burkina Faso) and to a larger extent Aflao along Ghana’s Eastern frontier with the Republic of Togo, we the Chiefs and people of Aflao within Ketu South Municipality are feeling surrounded by detachments consisting of the army, police, immigration and national security armed personnel in uniform.
These detachments, which look more like an occupying force, were deployed on Thursday 18th June 2020 according to media reports. Tents were erected and checkpoints mounted all over the rural settlements specifically Akato to Wudoaba where tents were erected in market squares (against civil norms) thereby inhibiting people from performing their daily activities.
The presence of the troops started causing fear and panic amongst the inhabitants when they embarked on house to house searches and brutalizing of motor bikers within the towns. Additionally, the constant harassment of citizens occupying the borderlands are having detrimental effect on agricultural and other produce being brought to the markets.
“One thing that is beating our imagination is how Ghanaians have been conditioned by politicians to believe that the Flawus are so cheap to be bought when it comes to politics.”
“But at some point maybe Ghanaians will wake up and recognize that politicians will continue to create this divide and rule antics to enable them have their way through.”
Aflao is the second most populous town in terms of population after Ho in the whole of the Volta Region. Aflao border is one of the top three (Tema Harbour and Kotoka International Airport are the others) revenue generators in Ghana. Despite all these revenue generation, the town with over 70,000 population continues to be denied developmental projects. Those who are fortunate to land jobs in Lome (Togo), the Kayayes and truck pushers are languishing at home due the border closure.
The Aflao Traditional Council, together with all the security agencies within Ketu South Municipality supported the Government in its implementation of the protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the records are there to prove that the MUSEC is on top of security in the municipality.
However, it should be noted that silence in the face of brutality being dished out to innocent citizens around the municipality only goes to embolden the aggressor. These sorts of abuse of power clearly goes to show that the detachment of security personnel operating in and around Aflao lack knowledge in civic duties in addition to their military training. Law-abiding citizens have certain inalienable rights that the Constitution protects.
Brutalizing of innocent civilians is frowned on by the Constitution of Ghana. Even Prisoners of War are protected by The Hague Convention let alone civilians going about their lawful business.
The Government of Ghana cannot allow its troops to brutalize its own citizens without recourse to justice whilst hypocritically lamenting George Floyds’ passing at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis (USA). We are peace-loving and believe in Ghana’s “Freedom and Justice” for all.
We as Chiefs cannot look on unconcerned when security personnel brutalize our citizens no matter how difficult the situation they find themselves in.
Please note that because we are peace-loving does not make us cowards; when the fire is lit, there will be no turning back and the said fire will consume everything in its path.
We the Chiefs of Aflao Traditional Council in collaboration with Aflao indigenes home and abroad wish to appeal to H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana to call to order the military personnel brutalizing the civilian population as well as withdraw the obstacles placed in the daily activities of the Aflao people.
Torgbui Amenya Fiti V,
Paramount Chief of Aflao Traditional Area
and President of Aflao Traditional Council,