President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had denounced accusations of ethnic and political bias by his administration against the Volta Region.
At a durbar held in his honour by the Awoamefia of the Anlo State, Togbui Sri III, at Keta in the Volta region on Thursday, he stated emphatically that he held no such political or ethnic motive against the region.
Opponents of government, ahead of the compilation of a new voters’ register last June by the Electoral Commission, accused government of deploying military and security personnel to “intimidate” residents in the region and prevent them from participating in the exercise.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the region was not singled out for any special military operation in the run-up to the conduct of the voter registration exercise.
He said those accusations against government were bourne out of mischief because the deployment of military personnel along the country’s frontiers was a nationwide exercise that “was done across all our borders and not in the Volta Region alone.”
“There was certainly no political or ethnic agenda,” he emphasized, saying those allegations was “because of the mischief that is so easily generated by some elements on social media, and also because of the season we are in, and the determination of some people to stir up ethnic sentiments in the hope of reaping some political advantage”.
The President said it could not be the case of a “military invasion” of the Volta region when out of 1000 soldiers deployed along Ghana’s borders, only 163 were sent to man the region’s border.
“Volta Region is an integral part of the Republic of Ghana, and military deployments in a Region cannot be described as an invasion,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo condemned the circulation of old videos taken in Accra and elsewhere that seemingly depicted soldiers attacking residents of the region, which had gotten his government marked as ethnocentric.
“Whilst social media is a useful tool for information sharing, it can also be, and has been, used to magnify small incidents, place pictures, videos and voices out of context, or simply generate outright fabrications, in order to stir up needless ethnic animosity amongst citizens who are, otherwise, living peacefully with one another,” he noted.
To him, those accusations could not hold sway becuase his government had been equitable in the distribution of development projects in the country.
“I dare say this area (Anloga) has done quite well under this Government. After years of demanding, an Anloga District has been created, and a new Assembly Complex is being constructed.
“There are numerous GETFund projects scattered all over Anloga, and Keta SHS’s is one which I am due to commission today. Important to me are two TVET projects in the Anloga district alone, one of which I shall be inspecting at Atorkor,” he stressed.
The President also pointed to the construction of the Keta landing beach project that will take off in September, the €85 million facility for the Keta Water Supply rehabilitation and expansion project, and the Keta Harbour Project.
“We have not completed our development journey, but, surely, we are on the right path, and no one can accuse this government of discrimination in the distribution of the national cake,” he noted.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that during the darkest days of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political tradition, it was in the Volta Region that the party drew its biggest strength.
“It was here in this region that people were most passionate about the political tradition. It was from here that the first people had to flee into political exile after independence, and it was in this Region that many chiefs had to flee into political exile, and some died there. Some of the consequences on the chieftaincy scene in the region have still not been properly resolved. It was from this region that people were sent into internal exile,” he said.
Many people, the President noted, forget that when J.B. Danquah, the first in the trinity of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political tradition contested Kwame Nkrumah for the Presidency, on Ghana becoming a Republic in 1960, Danquah did not win in his home constituency in Akyem Abuakwa.
“But he won in two constituencies, one is right here in Anlo and the other is Ho West. Even if there was a little, brittle tribal bone within my makeup, which there is not, I would not choose the Volta Region as a target. History would not allow me,” he added.
The President said his commitment to ensuring good governance and eradicating poverty in Ghana was unwavering, and asked for the support of the people of the Volta Region to enable his transform the fortunes of the country to bring prosperity to Ghanaians.
“It is a battle we can only win if we stick together and pull in the same direction, even if we have different perspectives. I am convinced we are set on the correct course, and I ask for your support to let us continue in peace with the transformation of Ghana.
“I assure you that I will do whatever it takes to ensure that the 7th December elections are free, fair, peaceful and transparent, so that the will of the Ghanaian people is made manifest,” he added.