Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has expressed worry over the constant and restricting military presence in some voters registration centres across the country, particularly in areas known to be predominantly inhabited by Ewes.
He believes this is an attempt by some persons to frustrate residents in these areas to successfully take part in the ongoing voters registration exercise.
Mr Ablakwa’s worry follows the emergence of a video which captured heavily armed military officers who had allegedly taken over a registration centre in Banda-Ahenkro.
Per the content of the video, some of the heavily armed military officers were in the act of inspecting, interrogating and instructing prospective registrants at the centre.
In an attempt to explain the purpose of the military men in the area, a man who identified himself as the Osiakwan of the Banda Traditional council said; “We the Akan people have long been marrying Voltarians and they have been marrying us too but I just want to know why the soldiers in Ghana are coming here to monitor a voter registration exercise. It’s just plain intimidation and so the government of Ghana, especially Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, whatever that you’re looking for in the town of Banda-Ahenkro, you will surely get it. Nobody should touch anybody in this town because that type of intimidation will not work here.”
This trend according to Mr Ablakwa is not only undermining efforts by residents who only seek to exercise their constitutional rights but also gradually becoming a breeding ground for unhealthy tribal divisions.
In a Facebook post dated August 1, 2020, Mr. Ablakwa summarized his sentiment in part; “Very troubling videos from Banda and other parts of our country. What will it take for some folks to understand that the EC is compiling a Voters Register and not an anti-Voltarians Register? We should be striving to protect our nationhood and enviable national cohesion not driving a wedge between us.”
He continued, “We in North Tongu are exceedingly proud that an important town such as Juapong, which is home to virtually every ethnic group in Ghana since the 1970s, largely because of our famous textiles factory continues to be a peaceful and tolerant haven where no one is prevented from registering or voting merely because they speak a different Ghanaian language other than the Tongu language. We are all one people with a common destiny. The enemy is poverty, unemployment, disease, superstition, corruption and lack of visionary leadership; not the guy from another ethnic group.”