The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said “having failed in their desperate attempt to stop the Electoral Commission from compiling a new voter register”, the biggest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has, “very characteristically, resorted to a dangerous ethnocentric agenda through outright fabrications and fear-mongering in what they claimed to be ethnic disenfranchisement”.

“We are calling on our brothers and sisters of the Volta Region and, indeed, all Ghanaians to stand up against being used as pawns in this dangerous political chess game by a desperate John Mahama”, General Secretary of the NPP, Mr John Boadu said at a press conference on Monday, 10 August 2020. 

He said Mr Mahama “showed very little concern for our brothers and sisters in the Volta Region when he had the opportunity as president to impact their lives”, adding: “John Mahama cannot be trusted and we say so by his own record and not just his dangerous words”.

The NPP said in his “hate-for-votes campaign, John Mahama falsely accused the military of disallowing ‘our brothers and sisters in the Volta Region and wherever there are settlements of Voltarians and non-Akans’ to register to vote. This was a big and dangerous lie. The former president of the Republic, who should know better, had earlier said on 28th June that President Akufo-Addo was sending ‘troops into regions in times of peace for the sole purpose of preventing them from registration’ and that this amounted to ‘declaring war’. These statements were clearly building blocks in his desperate ‘hate- for-votes’ strategy to create needless tension among our peace-loving people”.

In any case, the party said: “How could John Mahama accuse President Akufo-Addo of ethnic discrimination when recently, the President was in the Northern and Savanna Regions to ensure that 1.2 million people there have access to water, including John Mahama’s own maternal hometown of Busunu near Damongo?”

The flag bearer of the NDC, Mr Boadu said, “has no message because Akufo-Addo is working hard to solve the real-life problems that confront the Ghanaian people”.

“The Ghanaian people should not be misled by John Mahama’s hate-for-votes campaign. John Mahama has resorted to this old bogus propaganda trick used by empty power-hungry tyrants of decades gone-by because he has no policy response to Akufo-Addo’s social interventions and economic policies.  

“Akufo-Addo has been instrumental in maintaining peace and tranquillity throughout the country, including in Dagbon since he came into office. 

“He will be the last to want to disturb the peace. We must completely and totally reject Mahama’s hate-for-votes campaign and look at the real facts.  

“The facts tell us that at the end of the mass registration exercise, the Volta region was among the highest performing regions. There is also no evidence that there is an eligible registrant in the Volta region or our brothers and sisters of Ewe extraction throughout Ghana who has been denied the opportunity to register. Please, let us not allow John Mahama to fool us with his hate-for-votes agenda.  

“As has already been stated, John Mahama’s allegations that many soldiers were deployed to the Volta Region ostensibly to intimidate Voltarians cannot be supported by the facts.

“The facts are that the military were deployed months ago to patrol all our borders for a variety of security-related reasons including the prevention of terrorism and the enforcement of COVID-19 containment measures. The soldiers were not only deployed in our eastern borders but also in the north as well as the Western enclave. Indeed, the evidence made available by the Defence Ministry and the Ghana Armed Forces clearly shows that more military men were deployed on our northern borders”, Mr Boadu noted.

He gave the breakdown of the deployment, as put out by relevant authorities, as follows: Upper East 206 soldiers, Northern Region 110 soldiers, North East 102 soldiers, Volta Region 98 soldiers, Oti Region 72 soldiers, Upper West 65 soldiers, Bono Region 60 soldiers, Western Region 27 soldiers, Savanna Region 21 soldiers. So, there have been more military deployments in the Upper East Region; in the Northern Region as well as in the North East Region than in the Volta Region.

“If any region should be complaining of heavy military deployment, then it should be the regions in the northern part of the country. Clearly, the former President is only using this reckless ploy to try to motivate the NDC’s grassroots who have been consistently neglected by his administration in the Volta Region and cower the security agents from doing their legitimate job so that the NDC can employ foul means to populate the register. We should not confuse the genuine efforts to police the borders throughout the country to mean that the NPP is against anyone. 

“Elections in Ghana are for Ghanaians. Yet, as we speak, a number of Togolese and Nigerians have either been convicted or have their cases pending at the Keta circuit court charged with registering for a Ghanaian voter ID card”.

1. Okafor Wale, age 47 years; nationality, Nigerian.
Offence: Registered for Ghana voter ID card when not qualified to register.
Convicted and Sentenced to 2years in hard labour by Keta Circuit Court on 30/07/20

2. Evoda Yao Dieu Donne, age 22 years, nationality Togolese.
Offence: Registered for Ghana voter ID Card when not qualified to register.
Convicted and sentenced to 2 years in hard labour by Keta Circuit Court on 30/07/20

3. Emmanuel Philip, age 32, nationality Nigerian.
Offence: Register for Ghana Voter ID Card when not qualified.
Case pending before Keta Circuit Court.

4. Jerry Azameti, age 28 years, nationality, Ghanaian; and 5. Abigail Tagbor age 20 years Ghanaian. Offence: the two abetted Emmanuel Philip a Nigerian who is not qualified to register to register for Ghana voter ID Card by standing as guarantors.
Case pending before Keta Circuit Court.

6. Ekoume Sena, age 32 years, Togolese. Offence: Register for Ghana Voter ID Card when not qualified to register.  Case pending before Keta Circuit Court.

7. Ametame Raymond, age 33 years,Togolese.
Offence: Register for Ghana voter ID Card when not qualified to register.
Case pending before Keta Circuit Court.

8. The arrest of sixty-six Ivorian nationals last week
9. The arrest yesterday of 12 Nigerians currently in custody at the Kotobabi police station in Accra,  allegedly brought in to register by the NDC MP for the area.

Ladies and gentlemen, we love all our brothers and sisters of West Africa, but they cannot vote in our elections as we cannot vote in theirs.  We expect mutual respect for national sovereignty with our dear neighbours.