The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu is demanding neutrality from security agencies deployed to the country’s border towns.
This is not the first time the Minority is raising concerns over the deployment of the security officers.
It has always insisted the move is an attempt to intimidate residents of border towns especially, those in the Volta Region, from taking part in the ongoing new voters’ registration exercise.
The NDC flagbearer, John Mahama, had earlier complained that the deployment of military personnel was meant to intimidate residents from coming out to register to vote.
Addressing the press today, Friday, July 10, 2020, Haruna Iddrisu noted that “We have received reports across the country by a section of the Ghana Armed Forces and the Police or combined Police and Military operation in parts of the country. We have received reports of intimidation and harassment in some instances particularly in the Volta Region of the military even entering houses and asking people questions. Our caution to the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Armed Forces is that they should stay neutral as a state institution and work to secure the peace, stability, and security of the country and that partisan politics is not their calling”.
He, therefore, added that the security agencies “should not allow themselves to be used for that purpose. Therefore all acts of intimidation by members of the Ghana Armed Forces and the Police Service must cease henceforth and that it is not within their mandate and have no authority in any law to ask any person if he or she is a citizen.”
Responding to the claims by the Minority Leader, the Deputy Minister of Defence, Maj. (Rtd) Derrick Oduro said the Minority’s claim is unfounded.
“It is untrue to say that the soldiers have taken sides. The soldiers have never taken sides in any political endeavour. If yesterday they didn’t take sides, why will they take sides tomorrow? Ever since soldiers were deployed at the border last year, nobody complained. The soldiers are not going into people’s homes, bedrooms and kitchens. Soldiers don’t do that. People are just going that far to tarnish the image of the Ghana Armed forces. It is very bad for a political party to destroy the Ghana Armed Forces. They want to weaken them and that is not good and fair. Let us stop assisting those who are telling lies, unfounded and baseless stories to discredit the Ghana Armed Forces. ”
Government justifies decision
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has justified military deployments along the country’s borders amidst the compilation of the new voters’ register and the rising cases of COVID-19 infections.
He said the deployment is to save the country against the intrusion of foreign nationals who have the potential of jeopardizing Ghana’s democracy and health efforts in these crucial moments.
“The longstanding deployment of security personnel, especially the military, along our borders is another dimension of this process of guaranteeing the peace of the nation. To shore up our borders against such attacks, and to defend our nation’s territorial integrity, the Armed Forces, at least since I came into office, have been very proactive in engaging in operations to secure our borders and foil any potential terror attacks on our soil. Deployments of soldiers in areas along our borders have been regular, and residents living in border towns will bear testimony to this”, he said.