The Minority in Parliament is demanding the immediate withdrawal of military personnel deployed to some Ghana-Togo border towns.
The deployment comes just days ahead of the commencement of the voter registration exercise tomorrow.
Ghana’s land, sea air borders have remained shut since March 22 as a measure to stop the importation of coronavirus cases into the country.
According to the caucus, the deployment of the troops to border towns in the Volta, Oti, Northern, North East and Upper East regions is a ploy by government to instill fear into the people ahead of the exercise.
By this, the Minority is of the conviction that people in the affected areas would not be able turn out in their numbers to partake in the exercise.
Minority spokesperson on Defence and Interior, James Agalga, addressing journalists in Parliament on Friday said the deployment was intended to intimidate citizens in the affected regions which are considered strongholds of the opposition National Democratic Congress.
“There is a certain scheme which is designed by the government to intimidate our teeming supporters from coming out in their numbers to register and have their names on the new voter register,” Mr Agalga, MP, Builsa North said.
In James Agalga’s view, the deployment was uncalled for because “after all, we are all aware that our borders were shut down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“What is this second wave of deployment meant to achieve? Is there a threat of aggression from our neighbouring countries?” he asked.
Impressing on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, to immediately “Cause to be withdrawn the massive deployment we are witnessing along our borders,” James Agalga, a former Deputy Defence Minister said “COVID-19 did not start today.”
“The hotspots are not in the Volta Region. It is here in Accra,” he added.
Disclosing that the caucus had received a myriad of complaints from the people in the affected areas, especially in the Volta Region, that they were living in fear, James Agalga said “we know of no major security threat along that particular frontier” to warrant the deployment.
Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, has however dismissed the suspicions of the opposition lawmakers.
Even though Dr Letsa, Chairman of the Regional Security Council, admitted to the deployment, he said it was to enforce the closure of the country’s eastern borders in line with steps taken by government to stop the importation of coronavirus cases into the country from neighbouring countries.
Speaking on Joynews on Friday night, Dr Letsa who said the deployment was at the behest of the Regional Security Council was not a novelty.
“We are only enforcing the closure of the borders which remain closed till otherwise directed,” he stated.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI
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