Heavy military presence in Volta region a decoy to intimidate voters – DCN Ghana
The Democratic Credentials Network Ghana (DCN Ghana) says the heavy military deployed to the Volta Region is part of a grand scheme to intimidate Voltarians from coming out to vote on December 7.
The group said it find the large number of security personnel in the region offensive and hence call on the diplomatic community to engage the government to ensure citizens in all parts of the country are treated fairly.
“The Democratic Credentials Network Ghana (DCN Ghana) and its collaborators including Community Focus Foundation Ghana (CFF-GH), Coalition of CSOs Against Political Vigilantism and Grassroots Mobilizers wish to bring to the attention of the general public especially the diplomatic community troubling happenings in some parts of Ghana especially the Volta Region ahead of the 2020 elections,” part of a statement from the group reads.
It continues, “We consider the huge deployment of armed military forces to the Volta Region as a communist inferior tactics being employed by the Ghanaian government to put fear among Voltarians not to vote and choose the leader of their choice in total contravention of Article 21 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in December 1948…”
DCN Ghana says there cannot be peaceful elections with the continuous brutalization, harassment, and intimidation of the good people of the Volta Region.
Ahead of the 2020 General Elections, the Coalition wants political parties to allow the state security agencies with responsibilities during the election to undertake their duty without influence.
“Political parties should not incite their supporters to be violent but rather support the state institutions to do their work and channel complains and grievances to the appropriate quarters for redress,” the statement adds.
Read the full statement below:
2nd December, 2020
MILITARIZATION OF VOLTA REGION, OFFENSIVE AND A DECOY TO INTIMIDATE VOLTARIANS FROM VOTING IN THE 2020 GENERAL ELECTIONS
The Democratic Credentials Network Ghana (DCN Ghana) and its collaborators including Community Focus Foundation Ghana (CFF-GH), Coalition of CSOs Against Political Vigilantism and Grassroots Mobilizers wish to bring to the attention of the general public especially the diplomatic community troubling happenings in some parts of Ghana especially the Volta Region ahead of the 2020 elections.
We consider the huge deployment of armed military forces to the Volta Region as a communist inferior tactics being employed by the Ghanaian government to put fear among Voltarians not to vote and choose the leader of their choice in total contravention of Article 21 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in December 1948, which famously set the standard that: ‘The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage’.
We cannot have peaceful elections with the continuous brutalization, harassment, and intimidation of the good people of the Volta Region. It is worth noting that the peace and security of Ghana, a country touted as a beacon of democracy in Africa, is continuously being threatened by actions and inactions of government machinery and the earlier we call them to order, the better for us all.
It is indeed a matter of public record that throughout the recent voter registration exercise, some parts of the Volta Region including Ketu South were reduced to military zones, where combined forces of military personnel, National Security Operatives, Immigration and Customs Officers sometimes storm people’s homes, ransack them and molest innocent citizens in search of so called Togolese nationals who allegedly attempt to partake in the voter registration exercise. This dehumanizing and disturbing tribal chauvinism allegedly sanctioned by government in the Volta Region were degenerated into preposterous extremes, where security officials indiscriminately attack vehicles conveying people to funerals, markets and other places of interest, and literally beat them up on suspicion that they are being conveyed to registration centres. Scenes of uniformed military personnel at peaceful polling stations and streets of the Ketu South Constituency and other parts of the Volta Region during the entire registration period cast a doubt on the President’s commitment to protect Volta Region, an area considered his waterloo from intimidation and brutalities witnessed during the registration exercise.
Of much concern to us (CSOs) is the alleged state sponsored separatist agenda in the Volta Region. Recently, there were some brute attacks on some government facilities in the Volta Region attributed to a separatist group named Homeland Study Group (HSG) but the said group dissociated itself from the attacks through a live social media broadcast by its leader, Papavi Hogbedetor, who challenged government to investigate why the state security capos sat down unconcerned when there was intelligence available for them to act swiftly. Papavi’s statement was revealing and has raised eyebrows among the populace as to why government did not act on the said intelligence.
For the avoidance of doubt, we will like to draw your attention to very profound statements made by government in their 2016 Manifesto regarding good governance, peace and security.
On Page 39 of the manifesto, they stated that “the fundamental requirement for sustainable development is good governance. The NPP is irrevocably committed to the establishment of a solid, efficient machinery for good governance, comprising accountable government and respect for the rule of law and human rights” Also, on security it was clearly stated on page 43 that ...“The NPP Government will secure peace and security for all Ghanaians. Under the NPP Government, Ghanaians will feel safe on the streets and in their homes. Ghanaians will go about their daily business in the secure knowledge that their persons, properties and lives are safe under an NPP Government. The NPP will ensure that our security personnel are also adequately prepared to deal with the emerging threats of terrorism and cybercrime, which will be another major priority of our government”.
If the above statements were NPP’s own words, and taking into account the current state of insecurity witnessed under the regime, then it simply implies they have woefully deviated from their own principles of safeguarding the safety of the citizenry. The insecurity situation in Ghana today clearly shows government is not doing much so far as state security is concerned and this is a great worry to majority of the Ghanaian people especially Volta citizens.
The frustration and anxiety of most Voltarians especially their traditional leaders (Togbewo & Mamawo) as evidenced in the Press Statement issued by the Vice President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, Togbui Patamia Dzekle lay credence to our position of crude tactics being employed by state security operatives to ostensibly intimidate potential voters in the Volta Region. Our fear is that if the military are not withdrawn as demanded by the Chiefs in their Press Statement, the volcanic fury of the people may erupt with its debilitating effects.
As a Coalition advocating for integrity of our governance architecture, peace and security, we recommend the following:
1. That the Diplomatic Corps and development partners impress on the President of the Republic, HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo to take decisive actions in line with his party’s 2016 manifesto and the Supreme Constitution of Ghana to ensuring that Ghana remains peaceful before, during and after the 2020 elections.
2. That Members of the Diplomatic Corps as a matter of urgency engage government, the National Peace Council, Leadership of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, and State Security Agencies to address the issues raised in this release. The allegations of bias on the part of government is dangerous and it is critically important government set the records straight without ill will.
3. That political parties must allow the state security agencies with responsibilities during the election to undertake their duty without influence. Political parties should not incite their supporters to be violent but rather support the state institutions to do their work and channel complains and grievances to the appropriate quarters for redress.
4. That CSOs, Media, Moral Society, Traditional Authorities among other stakeholders should be heard loud on the current state of insecurity in Ghana and take collective action and right the ills of society for posterity will judge them if they sit aloof for Ghana to be consumed by raging electoral violence.
1. Democratic Credentials Network (DCN) Ghana.
2. Coalition of CSOs Against Political Vigilantism
2. Community Focus Foundation Ghana (CFF-GH).
3. Grassroots Mobilizers Network
1. The President of the Republic, HE Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo
2. The President, Volta Regional House of Chiefs
3. Members of the Diplomatic Corps
4. The Media
5. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)
6. National Chief Imam
7. Religious Leaders
8. Chairman, National Peace Council
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