Former President John Dramani Mahama has solidarised with regions he termed are under “military siege” ahead of the voter’s registration exercise.
In a statement, the NDC flagbearer said the development is akin to declaring war on residents of those areas. He said it is part of a grand scheme to disenfranchise some Ghanaians in the upcoming polls.
The deployment of the soldiers in the Volta region particularly has created a storm on social media with many Ghanaians divided over the issue. Supporters of the ruling party have justified the move while opposition members push back with voter suppression claims.
In a statement signed by his personal aide, Mr. Mahama said “I have sufficient reason to believe that there is merit in the concerns raised by the residents of these Regions. This represents another unprecedented low in the shameless abuse of state power to attack the very citizens whose safety and security the Akufo-Addo government should be protecting. It is becoming evident by the day, that the Akufo-Addo government perceives political power as an end in itself hence the resort to such crude and high-handed measures to usurp the mandate of the people.
“To send troops into regions in times of peace for the sole purpose of preventing them from registration amounts to declaring war on them. Any President sanctioning this sort of activity stands in breach of his oath to the people of Ghana. Any President doing this, commits a grave sin against the very people he swore to protect”.
“To our compatriots in the Volta, Oti, Upper East and Upper West Regions, do not be crestfallen over these acts of intimidation. Let this motivate you to turn up to register when the exercise begins. That is the only way through which you can retain the power to vote out this government that has put you under siege because of your legitimate political choices.”
The statement added: “The singling out of the Volta, Oti and other regions for this kind of attack must be condemned by all. We cannot remain silent while a part of our country is marginalized on account of political calculation. The people of those regions reserve the right to support any political party of their choice and should not be punished unjustly for doing so. Mr. President put an immediate end to this needless siege and live up to your oath of office which binds you to treat all Ghanaians equally and ensure their safety and security”.
The statement also called on members of the armed forces not allow themselves to be used to intimidate other citizens.
“To the men and women of the Ghana Armed Forces who have been deployed for this exercise, remember that your fidelity is to the state of Ghana and not a political party. The people you encounter are the very people under whose authority you wear your respected uniforms. The politicians who send you to intimidate fellow citizens will not be there always but your commitment to the sanctity of the state of Ghana is eternal.
“I urge you therefore not to become the tool by which the rights of innocent Ghanaians are abused. Bear in mind that there is always a day of accountability and that any abuse you subject your fellow citizens to, will be subject to scrutiny in the near future. To all Ghanaians, I implore you to take interest in this matter and not sit aloof. The time has come to call out this government that continues to over-reach and abuse the mandate you bestowed on them. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security in the thinking that this is happening far away from you”.
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