Concerned Lawyers Of The Volta Region Support Regional House Of Chiefs’ Call On The President To Withdraw Security Personnel From The Region.
In a press release two days ago, the Volta Region House of Chiefs (VRHC) made an urgent appeal to the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to, as a matter of urgency, withdraw the security personnel that have been widely deployed in certain parts of the Volta Region. The Chiefs state that their appeal emanated from calls on them by the citizens of the Region to make the urgent appeal to the President because they (the citizens) feel intimidated by the conspicuous presence of the fully armed security personnel and equipment, and this may affect their ability to come out to vote freely on December 7, 2020 in the national elections.
The VRHC statement states further that the citizens of the Region intimated to the Chiefs that the continuous presence of the security personnel and equipment, and their intimidating posture towards them (the citizens) may actually prevent them (the citizens) from going out on 7th December to cast their votes in a peaceful manner.
The Chiefs also state unequivocally that they share the concerns of the citizens of the Region, and therefore decided to call on the President to act urgently to withdraw the security personnel and eliminate the intimidating atmosphere that has the potential to discourage the citizens of the Region from coming out to vote massively in a free, fair, and peaceful atmosphere on December 7th, 2020.
In their statement, the Chiefs referred to how separate previous meetings with the President of the Republic on one hand, and some high profile government officials in charge of National Security, on the other hand, to discuss the deployment of security personnel in the Region and their harassment of citizens, and the general security or insecurity situation in the Region respectively, failed to yield any positive results.
We are concerned lawyers from the Volta Region, who have monitored this particular development for a very long time, starting from the period of the new voter registration exercise until now, when there is still unnecessary concentration of security personnel in many parts of the Region, and with increasing numbers descending on the Region rapidly in recent times. We noticed the heavy deployment of security personnel and equipment during the registration exercise, but which was drastically reduced immediately after the registration, but increased later during the mop-up of the registration exercise, and again now when the general elections are just in the corner.
Our observation of the developments suggests to us strongly that the purpose for the deployments may just exactly be what our citizens are afraid of, and have complained about to the Regional House of Chiefs. We are aware that government officials have in the past rebutted this notion aggressively. However, we are not convinced by their denials of what seems too obvious, and of which the President and his high profile officials are adamant even as our Chiefs have expressed their concerns to him against the intimidating effects on our people.
As lawyers from the Volta Region, we are very concerned that the Government of Ghana under President Nana Akufo Addo, who is also a lawyer, may be sponsoring actions and activities that have the potential to disenfranchise our people and thereby deny them the opportunity to exercise their most important civic responsibility. We therefore wish to express our total support for the call of our Chiefs on the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to, as a matter of urgency, withdraw the security personnel and their heavy equipment from the Region, and to ensure that no more security personnel shall be deployed in the Region during the elections than that which shall be done in other Regions of the Republic.
Ours is a challenge to the President and the Government of Ghana that if the purpose for the deployment is not to deliberately intimidate the citizens of the Region from coming out to vote freely on December 7th, 2020, then the President and his Government must prove us wrong by immediately withdrawing the security personnel and equipment and ensure that during the elections, the Region shall not see more deployments then may occur elsewhere in the country.
We wish to state our belief that the peace, which all of us, Ghanaians, are craving for during and after the elections would be ensured only if the entire process proceeds in a free and fair environment devoid of violence and intimidation. Disenfranchising of properly qualified Ghanaian voters from anywhere in the country will be unacceptable. We hope also that President Akufo Addo shall ensure that the Elections Task Force that shall be deployed all over the Volta Region and elsewhere in the rest of the country shall assist and facilitate the necessary movements of voters during the election period instead of rather frustrating the voters, some of who may be journeying from various parts of the country to their voting centres. We, as lawyers from the Volta Region shall pledge our total support and cooperation to the government and all State agencies that shall be interested in ensuring that only the right atmosphere is created during the elections, and that all citizens are accorded the necessary respect and decorum during the period of the general elections.
We are hopeful that President Akufo Addo and his Government shall treat our Chiefs with respect, and shall respond positively to concerns, which ultimately, are the concerns of the citizens of the Volta Region including us.
Long live Ghana.
ERIC DELANYO ALIFO – 024 901 6517
ERIC ATIEKU – 020 819 2763
GIDEON DELALI DEKLU – 024 467 1083
DAVID KWAKU WORWUI-BROWN – 024 437 3754
CHRIS A-ACKUMEY – 024 436 5656