The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has charged the people of the Volta Region to defy what they say is intimidation tactics by the ruling New Patriotic (NPP) government and ensure they go out in their numbers to register when the Electoral Commission (EC) begins its voter registration exercise tomorrow.
According to the main opposition party, the massive deployment of Military as well as other security personnel in the Ketu South Municipality and other border towns of the region has been timed to coincide with the commencement of the Voter Registration exercise across the country as a way of putting the residents into a state of fear.
At a press conference in Accra today, the NDC has argued that it is a tactic the government has deployed to intimidate people from getting registered in a region which is their stronghold.
The Minority has therefore called on all residents of the Volta Region to massively defy the NPP's intimidation and go out to register when the EC commences its exercise.
“We want to remind the good people of Ketu South and the Volta region and the sons of Volta region in all the other 15 regions of Ghana that this massive intimidation they are seeing and hearing of today, will by December 7th, be no more.
“The Egyptians you are seeing today, you shall soon see no more. Therefore, this is not the time for fear. This is the moment for courage. This is the moment for bravery”, Hon. Fiifi Kwetey said while addressing journalists at the NDC press conference today.
He added, “Remember that in the same way in 2008, the NPP orchestrated to close the eastern borders but the great people of Ketu South and the Volta still defied all odds and came out in massive numbers to support the NDC to snatch the parliamentary victory from the NPP in the first round and defeat them in the presidential elections in the second round, is the same inspiration we need to rise to the challenge this year”.
Read the full statement below:
5TH EDITION OF NDC WEEKLY PRESS BRIEFING ON THE MILITARY SEIGE IN THE VOLTA REGION – HON. FIIFI KWETEY
Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen of the media for responding to our invitation. Through your esteemed media, we wish to convey to our fellow countrymen the grave danger we see looming over our beloved nation. This danger comes clothed in the garment of democracy but in reality, is naked despotism and tyranny.
1. The Military Siege In Eastern border towns and other border towns
The immediate reason for this press conference is the recent shocking mass deployment of military personnel along the border towns of the Volta region. Similar deployment has been done in the Oti Region, the Northern Region, the Upper East Region and the Upper West Region. It is no coincidence that all these places happen to be strongholds of the opposition NDC. We will this morning touch particularly on the situation in the Ketu South Municipality and other parts of the Volta region.
We are in no doubt that this massive deployment of Military and other security personnel in the Ketu South Municipality and other border towns of the region has been timed to coincide with the commencement of the Voter Registration exercise across the country.
These deployments are creating panic and anxiety among residents of Ketu south and other affected towns and districts. Interviews done by some of your colleagues in the media reveal that residents along the Ghana-Togo border are living in a state of fear due to the presence of the military.
The MCE of Ketu South, who represents President Akufo Addo here, has explained that the reason for the deployment of the military personnel is so they can help check unapproved routes to prevent foreigners with Covid 19 from coming from neighbouring Togo and increase cases of Covid 19 in the Ghana. This position has been supported by the Volta regional Minister, Dr Letsa as well. So, this is the official government explanation for the turning of Aflao and other border towns in the region into virtual war zones.
How laughable! How utterly ridiculous! Total Covid 19 case count in Togo stands at about 615. This is less than Greater Accra, less than Ashanti region, less than Western region, less than Central region and just about 75 cases more than the case count in Eastern region. If there is any fear of Covid, it should rather be the people of Togo who should be afraid of Ghanaians crossing the border to spread Covid 19 in Togo and not the other way round. The epicentre of Covid 19 in West Africa is not Togo. Ghana is in far worse trouble than Togo. One of the first persons who came into the country with the virus was in the president's entourage in Oslo. So, this official reason being provided is hollow. It is laughable and actually represents an insult to the intelligence of our people.
Just a few days ago, the NPP parliamentary primaries across different constituencies became virtual Covid 19 dissemination zones. If the NPP government is looking for the real threat of covid 19, they do not have to look far. So, they should spare us the cock and bull story about the need to patrol the borders to stop foreigners with the virus from coming across. They should have the courage to tell the truth for once.
NPP MP, KT Hammond, in a recent interview, at least showed some honesty when he unwittingly disclosed what is obviously the real reason behind the deployment. He revealed that the deployment of troops to Ketu South and other eastern border towns is to prevent Togolese from coming across the border to come register.
Voila! We need no rocket scientist to understand that the grand agenda is to intimidate our teeming supporters and make it difficult for them to come out in their numbers to register when the registration exercise begins tomorrow, Tuesday, 30th of June.
2. NPP's Perennial Animosity Towards the People of The Volta Region.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, to understand the real reason behind this massing up of military and other security personnel in the Ketu South and other towns of the Volta region, it is important that we try to help the nation to see the big picture. This big picture is NPP's perennial discrimination against the people of the Volta region.
The bottom line is that as far as the NPP is concerned, the people of the Volta region are foreigners; The Ewes are not Ghanaians. People who do not know this might be surprised about this statement; so, let us do a systematic elaboration to establish this beyond any doubt. To begin, let us remind everyone especially the young people of Ghana that the NPP family has been on record, accusing the founder of our country, Kwame Nkrumah of being a foreigner. Specifically, they said he was from Liberia.
A member of the same group also took President Rawlings to court over claims that he was not a Ghanaian. The mother of President Rawlings is from Keta in the Volta region. He was born in the Gold Coast in 1947. He served this country as an air force officer; became the head of state of this beloved country. Despite all these, the NPP deemed him not good enough to be a Ghanaian- after all in the view of NPP, who have always believed they are the “owners of Ghana”, Keta is not part of Ghana.
If President Rawlings, despite hailing from Keta in the Volta region, was deemed not to be a Ghanaian, why is anyone in shock when we state that the NPP has an ingrained belief that the people of Volta region are aliens and therefore should not be allowed to determine the political destiny of Ghana?
Keta by the way, where Rawlings comes from, has always been a part of the Gold Coast. In fact, both Keta and Ketu districts have always been an integral part of the Gold Coast. They have never been part of Togo at any point. But not in the view of the “owners of Ghana.”
So many other sons and daughters of the Volta region have faced similar discrimination in the hands of the NPP. Some of you may recall how in 2009, at my parliamentary vetting to become a deputy minister of finance in the government of President Mills, NPP MP’s following the same agenda, boldly claimed that I was not a Ghanaian and therefore should not be allowed to become a member of Ghana’s government. My father Joseph Kofi Kwetey hails from Nogokpo in the Ketu South Constituency and from Anyako in the Keta constituency. But in the opinion of the “owners of Ghana”, I am not a Ghanaian. My mother Benonia Hlomador Ayivor, hails from Denu and Klikor both in the Ketu south constituency; but in the opinion of “the owners of Ghana”, myself and the people of Ketu South that I have the privilege of representing in parliament, are not worthy to be called Ghanaians.
It is against this background that we need to view what the NPP is doing in Ketu South and Other border towns of the Volta region. This siege of the Volta region dates back to NPPs perennial hatred towards any group of people that they perceive as standing between them and their insatiable desire for absolute political power.
The unfounded and rather incoherent rantings of my friend K.T Hammond will ordinarily be treated as just that. But they reveal the same deep-seated belief that somehow the defeat of the NPP in elections in this country is on account of foreigners who come from Togo. He actually claimed that the NPP was coasting to victory in the first round of the 2008 elections and Togolese were allowed to come from across the border to overturn the results in the second round.
Somehow KT Hammond and the NPP have forgotten that even back in 2008, the NPP left all other borders open but closed the eastern border of the country before and during the first and second round elections. So, the defeat of the NPP in 2008 had absolutely nothing to do with foreigners coming from Togo.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, this show of tribal hatred did not start today. The Nana Addo government is only taking it to a whole new level. This deep-seated animosity comes from a sense of entitlement- the belief that because they are “superior Ghanaians”, all others who do not share their political perspective must be deemed ineligible so that the political destiny of Ghana would remain exclusively in their hands.
The people of Cote D'Ivoire have suffered largely from that same sense of superiority. The concept known as Ivoiriete- i.e the proper Ivorian- led to the unfortunate and bloody civil war that almost destroyed the hitherto very peaceful country of la Cote D' Ivoire. During Konan Bedie's presidency, ethnic tensions rose sharply, with a widening rift between the country's pre-dominantly Muslim north and mainly Christian south. Before the 1995 and the 2000 elections, a law drafted by President Henri Konan Bédié and upheld by the Supreme Court required both parents of a presidential candidate to be born within Côte d'Ivoire. This led to the disqualification of the northern presidential candidate Alassane Ouattara, who represented the predominantly Muslim north and poor settler workers who worked on coffee and cocoa plantations in the south.
We, in Ghana must be grateful to God that despite the perennial attempt by the NPP family to define who a “proper Ghanaian” is, we have, as a country largely avoided the path of national disintegration and bloody ethnic conflict.
Just as Ivoiriete is dangerous, so also is “Ghanaete”, iniquitous and dangerous.
It is high time the NPP family were told once and for all, that the fact that they never once won any election against Kwame Nkrumah had nothing to do with foreigners. Nkrumah was beloved by most of the people of Ghana and won elections freely and fairly. The founder of the NPP family, JB Danquah could not even win one election in his lifetime.
Instead of addressing why their political group has for the most part lost most elections, the NPP chooses rather to direct their venom and hatred towards innocent groups and accuse them of being aliens. It will be recalled that this was the main reason that the NPP family introduced the Aliens Compliance Order in 1969- a wicked legislation introduced by them when they finally won through manipulation the 1969 elections after orchestrating to have the CPP banned. What cowards and manipulators they have always been!
It is high time the NPP family were informed that their humiliating electoral loss to President Rawlings in both the 1992 and 1996 elections, had nothing to do with foreigners from Togo. The Volta region together with 8 other regions voted for President Rawlings and the NDC in both 1992 and 1996. This was an overwhelming support in all the regions of Ghana except one. Infact, there is no previous election the NDC has won in Ghana that the party did not win at least 8 of the 10 regions.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, where from all this hatred and animosity towards one region and all the spurious and unfounded claims that the painful defeats suffered by the NPP were on account of foreigners from Togo? Was it Togolese who have been winning the Central and Western regions for the NDC in all the elections the party won? Was it them who won the Eastern region for the NDC in both 1992 and 1996? Was it them who win the Greater Accra and Brong Ahafo regions anytime NDC wins the general elections? Was it the Togolese who always win the three northern regions for the NDC in all the party’s electoral triumphs?
This heightened sense of delusion- this refusal on the part of the NPP to face the naked truth must come to an end. Both Nkrumah's CPP and Rawlings' NDC did not humiliate the NPP family at the polls because of Togolese or Liberians or aliens from Jupiter. They did so because they won the hearts and minds of the people of Ghana through their patriotism and dedication to the wellbeing of Ghanaians.
NPP's chronic problem is that they do not have it in their DNA to accept an electoral defeat. They just cannot come to terms with the fact that they cannot win every election. Maybe the delusion that Ghana is their property makes it too difficult for them to accept this reality. When they lost in 1992, it was a stolen verdict. In 1996, it was a bought verdict. In 2008, Nana Addo used all shenanigans including the most dastardly attempt to change figures in the strong room of the EC; but for the vigilance and the courage of the NDC in the strong room in that second round, Nana Addo and his NPP will have succeeded to subvert the will of the people. We have not mentioned their failed efforts, as was captured on tape, to even place dead bodies in water bodies in the Volta region as a way of subverting the will of the people. After all these evil machinations failed, Nana Addo, true to character, refused to concede and congratulate the winner JEA Mills.
After the 2012 defeat, the NPP went on a violent spree, beating and assaulting innocent citizens at Obra Spot and destroying property. Then to cover their shame, they went on a face-saving journey to the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn the Supreme Will of the people of Ghana. They just do not have it in their genes to accept defeat. After all, how can the “owners of Ghana” ever lose to parties of aliens and foreigners? The only time they accept electoral results is when they win. It is either their way or the highway. What kind of people are these!
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the anger of the NPP anytime they lose elections should rather be directed at their own internal campaign inadequacies. It is only chronic losers who blame others for their losses. Winners elect to do deep introspection and self-correction, when they lose, rather than direct their venom towards others. So, instead of being angry against Ewes for daring to deny you, your God given right to rule Ghana, it would be better to do a deep self-examination. As the great Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living."
Why does the NPP family believe that they are superior Ghanaians and that they have a God given right over the political and economic destiny of Ghana?
Kwame Nkrumah's CPP that fought for the independence of Ghana at the time the NPP family kept begging Britain not to grant independence to our nation, did not even behave as though they were superior Ghanaians. Where were these tribal bigots who think they own Ghana, when Dr Kwame Nkrumah ably aided by Volta Region's Dr Agbeli Gbedemah and other nationalists declared the motion of independence on the eve of our independence?
Where were they?
Where were these tribal bigots who think Ghana is their property when Kwame Nkrumah, Agbeli Gbedemah and others fought to keep Ghana as one unitary nation- one Nation, one People- One Destiny, at the time the NPP family was busy fighting for Ghana to be a federal nation with each region keeping its own resources? To keep this beloved country united, Kwame Nkrumah had to pass the Avoidance of Discrimination Act, in 1957 to outlaw political parties based on regional, ethnic or religious differences.
Where were these tribal bigots?
Kwame Nkrumah, Agbeli Gbedemah and those who won independence for Ghana never once contemplated betraying this beloved nation. They never once stooped so low as to become paid agents of any foreign power to work against the interest of their own country. Declassified files of the CIA show that same cannot be said about the main founder of the NPP family- J.B Danquah, the beloved uncle of President Akufo Addo. Yet Kwame Nkrumah and Agbeli Gbedemah never once believed that they were more Ghanaian than others. What gives the NPP family the moral right to think that they are superior Ghanaians?
President Rawlings and the many patriots who toiled with him from 1982 to 1992 to lift this beloved nation from the brink of collapse- a time when things had sunk so low and the self-belief and confidence of our people was so shattered that some of our brothers were moving in droves to Togo to work as shoe shine boys and some of our sisters left to Nigeria and Cote D'Ivoire and had to prostitute themselves just to survive- Rawlings and the many patriots who through sweat and dedication rallied the great people of Ghana back to the place where once again we became a nation that was respected and admired among our peers, have never claimed they are superior Ghanaians. Where were these tribal bigots when this massive reconstruction of our nation was being done?
Where were they when this group of patriots worked tirelessly to bequeath to Ghana the 1992 Constitution that has today become the foundation of political stability upon which all sons and daughters of Ghana, north, south, east and west, are working hard to construct a Ghana that will become a great and strong nation under God? Where were these tribal bigots?
The earlier the NPP family snapped out of this pathological delusion that some other Ghanaians are foreigners and only they are “proper Ghanaians”, the better it would be for all of Ghana. This respect for all Ghanaians, north, south, east or west, is crucial in the endeavor for all of us to hold hands in the true spirit of brotherhood, as envisaged by Dr Kwame Nkrumah at the time of our nation's independence.
3. Desperation to subvert the will of the people through every imaginable machination is the name of NPP’s game.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the massive deployment of the security forces along the border towns is just one of the several desperate means the NPP government is employing to achieve its political ends. We, in Ketu South and the Volta region, are not completely shocked though. Have we not seen the brutal violence unleashed on innocent Ghanaians in broad daylight during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by election? The whole world witnessed in shock how this despotic regime turned a simple by election into a war front; and resorted to the criminal abuse of power. We were witnesses to the egregious blood-letting by a gang of NPP brigands and bandits, masquerading as national security personnel, with the tacit approval of the President of the republic, who also is the Chairman of the national security council.
To confirm that the hoodlums operated with the tacit blessing of the regime, the president who often touts his democratic credentials, blatantly refused to implement critical recommendations of the Commission that he had set up himself. How tragic! How shameful!
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, this is the same game plan the NPP are following- a plan which today has reduced an electoral commission that has since 1992 gained international recognition for neutrality, professionalism and credibility, into a pliant instrument to subvert the will of the people of Ghana. The saddest part is that while all this is going on, they actually delude themselves that the people of Ghana and the rest of the world cannot see the systematic efforts they are employing to bastardize the electoral system and virtually turn this beloved nation into a banana republic.
Same things the NPP is doing with institutions like the NIA and the NCA. The NCA is the state institution that is being used under the guise of enforcement of regulations, to close down some media houses that are perceived to be too critical of the regime. Freedomhouse.org, an international media freedom watchdog recently described the modus operandi of regimes like that of Nana Akufo Addo- regimes that pretend to respect the rule of law but in reality are living no stone unturned to subvert media freedoms.
"Governments are using the more subtle tools of media regulations to restrict press freedom maintaining a veneer of legality and pluralism that is less likely to draw attention or criticism from abroad. Manipulation of the regulatory framework allows them to either tolerate or rein in influential news outlets depending on the political situation and permit even democratically elected governments to fortify themselves against future electoral competition."
The above accurately describes the shameful methods being used by the Akufo Addo government. When concerns are raised, the president points to regulations and laws. He has so soon forgotten that even apartheid was backed by law; even the trade and ownership of black slaves was legal in the US until 1865. Kwame Nkrumah's Aliens Compliance Order was also backed by law, yet the NPP family to date denounces same with vehemence. The undemocratic ways of this regime are bad enough. The high handedness is terrible enough. But what adds insult to injury is when they actually pretend to be the custodians of the rule of law, of civil liberties and of democracy.
What hypocrites they are! Christ refers to these people as whitewashed graves. In Matthew 23:28, Christ describes this type of pretenders in the following words: "Woe to you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed graves, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean." “God is not mocked. Whatsoever we sow, we shall surely reap.” So, the NPP should not forget that the day of reckoning will surely come sooner rather than later.
5. Voices Of Conscience Must Speak Up Against What Is Happening In The Volta Region and other strongholds of the NDC
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, all those watching these developments and not raising their voices are through their silence, encouraging the entrenchment of an oppressive and tyrannical regime. Those watching this looming danger but failing to speak up and condemn it, should remember that their silence makes them accomplices and posterity will judge them if their own consciences fail to do so. We urge them to speak up and let the NPP government and others who think alike to appreciate that Citizenship is a question of law. Neither the government of Akufo Addo nor the military contingent stationed all over our border towns can decide who is or who is not a citizen of Ghana.
There are very many Ghanaian families that live on both sides of the Ghana Togo border. Lome, the capital of Togo, is also a major economic centre. It is a commercial and educational hub that attracts Ghanaians from as far as the Western region, the Ashanti region, the Eastern region and so many other regions. The government of Ghana, some months back, sent NADMO across the border to make available relief items to Ghanaians resident in Togo. This is ample evidence that there are many Ghanaians who live and work in Togo. Ghanaians do not cease to be Ghanaians just because they live across the border, just as they do not stop being Ghanaians simply because they live and work in England or the USA.
Many of us have heard the famous case of Bonito Olympio, who proved in court, that he was Ghanaian by descent, even though his father Sylvanus Olympio was the first President of Togo. The Olympios descend from the Amegashie family- a family that to date continues to live in both Ghana and Togo.
For the information of the tribal bigots who continue to insinuate that they are more Ghanaian than the rest of us, we wish to inform them that the Amegashies who live in Togo are not foreigners. They continue to be Ghanaians by descent, even if some of them opt for dual nationality.
Let me now seize the opportunity to mention a few other families who hail from Ghana and have relatives living and working across the border. The Fitis, the Adamahs, the Acorlatses, the Adjavors, the Tettehs, the Malors, the Akakpos, the Atikpos, the Amuzus, the Folis, the Quashigahs, The Grunitzkys, the Senoos, the Quarshies are not aliens just because they live in Togo- they are Ghanaians.
The Gbedemahs, the Gadzekpos, the Agbemabiases, the Amegashitis, the Ganyos, the Antonios, the Adedzes, the Quists, the Blagogees, the Kukubors, the Tamakloes, the Dusseys (one of whom is the current foreign minister of Togo), the Apaloos, the Baetas, and my own maternal families, the Ayivors, the Hlomadors, the Badohus, the Kudawoos, the Armattoes, have not morphed into aliens from Pluto or Jupiter just because some of them live and work in Togo. They remain as much Ghanaians as the Akufo Addos, the Osafo Maafos, and all the other tribal bigots in the NPP.
As for the few of our own Ewe brethren who have allowed their NPP affiliation to blind them to the point of taking part in fake documentary purporting that those who come from across the border to register and vote are not Ghanaians but Togolese, may our ancestors have mercy upon them.
6. Rallying Call To All Sons And Daughters Of The Volta Region To Massively Defy The NPP Intimidation And Come Out To Register
We want to remind the good people of Ketu South and the Volta region and the sons of Volta region in all the other 15 regions of Ghana that this massive intimidation they are seeing and hearing of today, will by December 7th, be no more. The Egyptians you are seeing today, you shall soon see no more. Therefore, this is not the time for fear. This is the moment for courage. This is the moment for bravery.
Remember that in the same way in 2008, the NPP orchestrated to close the eastern borders but the great people of Ketu South and the Volta still defied all odds and came out in massive numbers to support the NDC to snatch the parliamentary victory from the NPP in the first round and defeat them in the presidential elections in the second round, is the same inspiration we need to rise to the challenge this year.
The same spirit of boldness and defiance that inspired us in 2008 should animate us even more now because if we thought the government of President Kufuor was bad, then this current one can only be described as the most desperate, the most dangerous, the most intolerant and the most abysmal in the history of our country.
Ketu South and the Volta region have proven before that they are capable of rising to the challenge when it is critical to reject the misrule of the NPP. Let us once come out in our multitudes, defy the intimidation and register massively in order to let this oppressive, desperate government of tribal bigots get out of power. We call on the supporters of the NDC all over to rise up and refuse to be intimidated during this registration exercise.
As our Flagbearer and leader has said, “Where there is the will, there is always the way”.
Victory beckons us. Destiny is on our side. The Court of the People of Ghana, under the influence of the only Supreme Court of Heaven, will speak on December 7. The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory shall be.
So, May God help us to resist oppressors’ rule with all our will and might forever more. Amen.