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25.12.2008 Elections

Trend to close borders during elections is in national interest-Dzamesi

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Mr. Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister on Wednesday said the trend to close borders during general elections in the country had been found to be in the interest of the country.

He said it was the same consideration- to ensure peace and security in the country- which necessitated the order to seal certain borders, just before and during the recent general elections on December 7, this year.

Mr Dzamesi told a press conference at Dzodze, in the Ketu-North District that Ghanaians and people of the Volta Region in particular should, therefore, not be surprised if the found the Ghana/Togo border again closed before and during the coming December 28 runoff.

Mr Dzamesi, flanked by Mr Justice Cudjoe, Ketu-South District Chief Executive however stopped short of saying that a decision had already been taken by government to close borders for the runoff.

Mr Dzamesi, who is Chairman of the Volta Regional Security Council (REGSEC) said the borders to be closed were based on appraisals of security reports.

That is why he explained the Aflao border could be closed while others in the certain other parts of the country would remain open.

He said individuals and groups particularly the Volta Regional House of Chiefs who slammed the recent closures as discriminatory did so because they were not abreast with the security details.

Mr Dzamesi said the peaceful nature of the December 7 elections was due to measures by government, including border closures, noting that government had the singular responsibility to ensure total peace at all times.

He said decisions to close the Ghana-Togo border during elections had antecedents going past the period of NPP rule and so not a new phenomenon.

Mr Dzamesi said the praises being sounded on Ghana and President John Agyekum Kufuor's administration as being peaceful and democratic came about because the administration worked for it and assured Ghanaians that the coming presidential runoff would run peacefully.

He said the arrest of the Nigerian, Oforkansi Martins with 34 guns of various makes and 2,000 cartridges, could have certain security implications for the country.

The Minister said complaints that the frontier should only be closed after a 48-hour notice was not feasible as security decisions “were taken as and when they were necessary”.

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