The President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbui Afede XIV, has requested the Electoral Commission to allow all Ghanaians trapped in border towns as well as those who could not be captured onto the voter roll during the recently-held mass registration exercise, to do so in order for them to exercise their franchise in the upcoming 7 December 2020 general elections.
The Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State made the request when the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) paid a courtesy call on him during his tour of the Volta Region on Wednesday, 19 August 2020.
“I am very happy to hear that the Kotoka International Airport is to be opened, hopefully from 1 September and happy to hear that when it is opened, Ghanaians who are stranded outside of Ghana will be able to come in and register to vote.
“My request is that similar dispensation is granted to Ghanaians who are trapped across our borders, who cannot have the privilege of flying into Ghana, to also vote”, the traditional leader appealed.
He said: “Our Leklebi brothers trapped on that 300-metre stretch of land between the Aflao border and the immigration border posts, must also be granted the franchise”.
“And so should all others who have not been able to register for one reason or the other”, he insisted.
According to Togbui Afede, “there are some parts of the Volta Region where the NIA people went to give out the ID cards [Ghana cards] after the [voter] registration was over”.
Those people, too, he stressed, “deserve the chance to register”.
“And I’m happy that the EC says registration will continue until sometime in October.
“So, I’ll urge Voltarians and, indeed, all Ghanaians, who are qualified to, but are not registered, to take advantage of this window and get onto the voter register so that we can all exercise our franchise come December 7”, he urged.
Additionally, the Agbogbomefia expressed qualms about the military invasion of the Volta Region during the voter registration exercise and the exclusion of some Ewe communities from taking part in the exercise.
According to him, the army invasion was the culmination of age-old lies told about Voltarians as people who smuggle their fellow Ewes in neighbouring Togo and Benin into Ghana to register and vote during national polls.
Togbe Afede, who condemned tribalism as a dangerous thing during a visit to his palace by former President John Mahama, who is on a four-day tour of the region, said: “Unfortunately, the freedom and the justice that we are promised under our Constitution has become imperiled by tribalism. Our country has never been as divided”.
“I don’t think the Ghanaian is inherently tribalistic, no. And I recall that during a meeting that Otumfuo addressed, he said it among all others that we are one people and Anlos (Ewes) and Asantes are one people. He talked, with pride, about the fact that the cook in his house is an Ewe and coincidentally, the cook in my house in Accra is an Akan, so, we are, indeed, one people. The Ghanaian is not inherently tribalistic”, he noted.