The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has categorically denounced assertions that the deployment of military personnel along the borders of the country are meant to subvert the elections.
“Let me state without any form of equivocation that these deployments are not in any way intended to prevent Ghanaians from registering to vote in December, they are there for their express purpose, which is to guard our borders. That is the limit of their remit and they will not be permitted to stay beyond that remit”.
He revealed this as part of his address on the voter’s register compilation exercise which is scheduled to commence from Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Akufo-Addo further stated, ‘I’m fully aware, like the military commanders of the sensitivity of their deployment in this position in our history and I’m confident that, that sensitivity will be fully respected. I have no interest in disenfranchising any eligible Ghanaian from registering in tomorrow’s exercise nor am I interested in any improper machinations to win any elections”.
According to the president, the deployment of security personnel especially the military along the borders is a step closer to guaranteeing the peace of the nation.
In his submission, he said, “it is no secret that our neighbor to the north, Burkina Faso, has in recent times been at the receiving end of terrorist attacks as has another neighbor, Cote D’Ivoire. To shore up our borders against such attacks, and to defend our nation’s territorial integrity, the Armed Forces, at least since I came to office has been very proactive in engaging in operations to secure our borders and from any potential terror attacks on our soil”.
The President cited various operations the military has been involved in to foil terrorist attempt since 21st February 2019 to meet the objective and as such, the deployment of soldiers along the borders are no new phenomenon.
“Deployment of soldiers along our borders has been regular and residents living in border towns will bear testimony to this”.
As part of measures to contain the COVID-19 virus spread, Akufo-Addo stated that, some personnel from the military were shored up to assist immigration officers on the eastern, western and northern borders to ensure compliance of directives.
He said, “this development for example, during the period of three weeks lockdown of Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi, led to the arrest of some five thousand persons along our borders who had entered our country illegally.
“Indeed, the first six recorded cases of COVID-19 in the Volta region, for example, were those of West African nationals who entered the country illegally”.
Essentially, he gave a detailed breakdown of deployment figures to the various regions as follows.
“In total, 207 soldiers have been deployed along the borders of the Upper east region, 110 soldiers in the Northern Region, 102 in the North East region, 98 in the Volta Region, 72 in the Oti region, 69 in the Upper West region, 64 in Bono region, 21 in Savannah region, and 14 in the Western region”.
In his parting statement, the president vowed his commitment to uphold the tenet of democracy, which he holds sacred.“I have spent my life fighting for free democratic institutions in our country and I’ll continue in that fight for the rest of my life. The idea of a president who emerges from a rigged election is abhorrent to every fiber of my being”.