Elliot Edem Agbenorwu, the Municipal Chief Executive for Ketu south in the Volta region has intimated that, calls for the withdrawal of military and other security personnel deployed to the Volta Region is inappropriate and unfortunate.
His comment comes on the back of a recent press statement issued by the Volta Regional House of Chiefs demanding from the President, the withdrawal of the security personnel from the region with their reasons being that, the presence of these personnel is intimidating and also causing fear and panic among residents.
Explaining the reason for their deployment as he spoke in an interview, he indicated that, the deployment of security into the region and most especially into the border communities is in line with the government’s efforts to enforce the closure of the Ghana-Togo border to prevent cross-border importation of the deadly novel Coronavirus.
He further stated that, it is unfortunate for the Chiefs, who are key stakeholders to be calling for the withdrawal of the military and security that have been deployed to protect all their people who are also citizens.
He also describes as unfortunate the excuse given that, people would not come out to vote and explained that, the military, is there to protect the closure of the borders.
“I think it is a slap on the face of the President, the President has directed and that directive must be upheld. The President says the borders must be closed, why are we closing the borders, it is because of Covid-19. So, all those speculations that the military has been deployed in only Volta region is inappropriate.”
He posited that, the recent insurgence and actions of the pro-separatist group Western Togoland campaigners in the region has made the deployment of these personnel a necessity in their region.
“We know that Operation Motherland is still in force, I mean the secessionist movement is still there and so we are only experiencing a peaceful environment because the security is still here with us and so, I will rather the chiefs support the military to protect us.”
Mr. Agbenorwu, reacting to claims of brutalities on civilians in Ketu South by the security, admitted that such incidents have been brought to his attention but officers involved have suffered punishment when found culpable.
“The borders are closed and so why would citizens attempt crossing. Skirmishes may come one way or the other, security men are just humans. There is nothing like intimidation, I’m saying that these things come to my attention, those that come to my attention, we quickly investigate and if the officers are culpable, some are on interdiction. It’s also on record that people who crossed illegally are prosecuted by a competent court of jurisdiction.”
Recently, the Volta Regional House of Chiefs appealed to the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to evacuate the security personnel deployed to the region.
In a statement signed by the Vice President of the House, the chiefs believe that withdrawing the security persons will allow people vote and stated that, the continuous stay of the security personnel in the region will discourage people from voting.
The chiefs also noted that it is the wish of their citizens that security personnel be withdrawn, now that calm has returned to the area