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Regional News of Saturday, 27 June 2020

Source: The Herald

Residents of Ketu South living in fear as armed men are deployed to largest constituency


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An unusual number of security officials have been deployed to the Ketu South Constituency of the Volta Region, the stronghold of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) causing apprehension among residents.

The officers, comprising men from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), have been spotted in parts of the area and have erected tents against the harsh weather condition.

But it appears their presence has sent shivers down the spines of residents, who have begun questioning the exact motive behind their being there.

Though the officers were deployed days before the ruling by the Supreme Court that it is within the domain of the Electoral Commission (EC), to compile a new register, The Herald has gathered some of the residents are pointing accusing fingers at the Akufo-Addo government, saying it is an agenda to put fear in them.

It comes exactly a month after a cousin of the President; Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko expressed open concern about the sheer number of voters on the electoral roll from the Ketu South Constituency.

Mr Otchere-Darko at the time questioned “why and how”, but he was challenged by a former Deputy Communications Minister under the erstwhile Mahama government, Felix Kwakye Ofosu.

The now NDC parliamentary candidate for the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (AAK) in the Central Region, who described Gabby’s comment as ethnocentric, asked whether he rather wanted Kyebi, (the hometown of both Gabby and the president) as the most populous area on the nation’s voter roll?

The man, described as very powerful at the presidency posted on his twitter handle on May 25, 2020 “Out of Ghana’s 275 constituencies, Ketu South is the populous constituency in Ghana in terms of the number of names on the electoral roll. Why and how? Discuss”.

Later that same day, he came back at exactly 9:43 pm continuing “Ketu South constituency has 149,219 registered voters. Dome Kwabenya follows with 144,624 registered voters, with Ledzokuku, 142,995 and Ablekuma Central, 137,154”. Discuss the economic and/or social activities which give Ketu South the largest electoral roll in Ghana”.

The presence of the security officers has not only attracted social media users but the Parliamentary Candidate of the opposition NDC, Dzifa Abla Gomashie, who has written an open letter in that regard to the President.

The former Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts said the decision to send the Military and their sister agencies especially at a time the EC was preparing to register voters, was simply a clandestine attempt to “intimate the voters”.

She went on “It is not a secret that Ketu South is the NDC’s STRONGHOLD and the number terrifies you all. This is recipe for disaster I assure you”.

The former actress cum politician, said the NPP’s machinations that led to the replacement of the former EC Commissioner, Charlotte Osei with Jean Mensa, it supports for a new register, despite winning massively in the last general elections with that same register and the latest deployment of security officers, “As the pictures shows leave a sour taste in my mouth”.

She said, contrary to a position held by the government led by Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, that some names on the electoral roll were not Ghanaians, “Government through NADMO went to Togo to support Ghanaians in Katanga, ostensibly to alleviate their suffering after their homes were gutted by fire”.

The PC, accused government of playing deaf to their plight, especially since the closure of the borders in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying residents have been calling for some social interventions for the vulnerable, but no one has responded to them.

“Trust me, sir, this history you are writing will be here to be read till eternity. May I ask, what do you fear? I haven’t slept much since the Security Agencies took residence in all our border communities in Ketu South because my phones are ringing off the hook. This is like a COMMUNIST INFERIOR TACTICS” in 2020. The citizens want answers. Why are you doing this?

In an interview with The Herald, the former Deputy Minister said she has convinced the deployment of the officers, has nothing to do with the COVID-19, but an attempt to intimidate her people. She said all the border towns in and outside her Constituency, including even Ho, have this increased number of security personnel.

She questioned why same precautionary measure, has not been carried out in other regions, if indeed it is for the pandemic, asking even in Accra where most of the cases have been recorded no such deployment has gone. She said she became aware of their presence a week ago.

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