Adansi Asokwa MP K. T. Hammond has said the sudden influx of soldiers in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region is purposely to prevent neighbouring Togolese from crossing over into Ghana to take part in the Electoral Commission’s upcoming voter registration exercise.
Locals in the region, as well as the biggest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its Minority Volta Caucus in Parliament, have condemned the military influx of the region.
Speaking to the media on the issue, Mr Hammond explained that: “The Togolese and the Voltarians – when I talk about Voltarians, the Volta Region – remember the history ... basically the same tribe, so, they walk into [Ghana] but they are not Ghanaians”.
“When they walk in there, they can do whatever they [want], so, I guess that is the reason for that [military influx]”.
“There is a classic example”, he recalled. “You remember 2008, the second round; we had so much – 100,000 or so votes leading Prof Mills at the time of the second round. In the next round, one constituency, Ketu South, cleared all the [votes] we had. Where did they come from?” he asked.
“You see, so, everybody from wherever, they came to vote, so, this is what the whole thing is about; 35,000 people at the time voted; the next one, everybody on earth voted there; where were they coming from?
“So, this is the whole issue: we want there to be sanity”, he added, noting: “The military is there to make sure that you vote if you are a Ghanaian, you vote if you have the constitutional right to vote; that’s all there is to it”, he said.
“They [military personnel] are not electoral officers, but they are a peacekeeping force ... So, the soldiers, the police and immigration are just maintaining the peace, making sure there’s no infiltration. I mean, come on, let’s be serious; what’s the point in going through all that we’ve gone through, to the Supreme Court and all that then allow a porous border for people to come through and then infiltrate the register again? We would have been back to where we started”.
The EC voter registration exercise starts from the end of June.
The resultant register will replace the existing one.
Ghana’s Supreme Court recently decided that the Ghana card and passport will be the only two breeder documents used in compiling the register.