Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings has raised concern over what he described as “intimidating behaviour” of government in the Volta and Oti regions where armed security personnel have been deployed.
Armed military personnel have since last week been deployed to the area, raising concerns among the people in the area who claim the military is there to intimidate them from taking part in the voter registration exercise which begins from Tuesday, June 30.
There have been conflicting statements regarding the actual motive behind the deployment.
Municipal Chief Executive of Ketu South, Elliot Edem Agbenorwu has justified the military presence in the area, claiming the security personnel are there to help fight Covid-19 by patrolling the unapproved routes being used by people to enter the country.
Adansi Asokwa Member of Parliament K. T. Hammond had also claimed last week that the deployment is to check foreigners from Togo from entering Ghana to register in the planned voter registration exercise.
But that appears not to have calmed residents who have been agitating over the government action.
In a statement to comment on the ragging issue Monday, Mr Rawlings who hails from the Volta Region said the deployment of military to the two regions has not only generated “animosity” but also created “so much suspicion”.
“The deployment along the borders at peacetime especially at this particular point in time has created so much suspicion and will call for a lot of intelligent flexibility and diligence,” Mr Rawlings said.
He said it is “generating animosity especially amongst innocent citizens whose basic way of life is being disrupted.
Fairness and justice required
In his view, the Covid-19 restrictions have created enough difficulties for most citizens hence there is no need “to make it worse with overbearing and intimidating behaviour towards our border dwellers whose livelihood solely depend on activities along the border”.
“Ahead of the voter registration exercise and the December elections, it is important that we demonstrate a sense of fairness and justice to all individuals and groups of people whilst maintaining the integrity and the sanctity of the process”.