The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has rejected claims that military persons deployed to the Volta Region are assaulting and intimidating residents.
Military personnel have been sent to some border towns in the country, one of which is the Volta Region.
Even though the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul has stated that the deployment is to secure Ghana’s borders against the importation of COVID-19 due to the illegal entry of foreigners into the country, the opposition New Democratic Congress (NDC) is of the view that the presence of the military in the regions known to be NDC strongholds is to intimidate residents to prevent them from registering for the new voters’ ID card.
Already, there have been reports that these security officers are assaulting residents and causing fear among them.
But the Ghana Armed Forces in a statement says “this issue has been investigated, and no soldier has been involved in any such act”.
According to the statement, the soldiers are only there to protect the residents and never to intimidate them, as reports claim.
“We also wish to assure all and sundry that troops will uphold the high standards of professionalism in the performance of their duties. All residents are therefore encouraged to go about their normal duties without any fear or anxiety,” the statement added.
The Armed Forces however pledged that should any security personnel be found culpable of going against the law in line of duty, the person “will be thoroughly investigated and the case dealt with in accordance with GAF Regulations”.
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 NPP 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 even gave the government a 24-hour ultimatum to withdraw the security personnel from the region.
But the Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul downplayed these calls, adding that the Minority was only spewing “propaganda.”