A security think tank, Institute of Security and Safety Policy Research (ISSAPR), has said comments by Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, Kobina Tahir Hammond, which sought to suggest that people from the Volta Region of Ghana are Togolese is ethnocentric.
In a press statement by ISSAPR, its President Adam Bonaa, a security expert, said the comment made last week by the Legislator was volatile and unguarded and has the tendency to cause conflict in the Volta and Oti regions.
K.T. Hammond has courted public condemnation after the comments he made in a viral video about the mission of military personnel deployed to the Volta and Oti regions ahead of the start of the Voters Registration Exercise on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Mr Hammond, who is a Legislator of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), said it is his considered view that the military personnel have been deployed to control Ghana’s border and prevent foreigners from participating in the upcoming national exercise.
“The military is there to make sure you vote if you are a Ghanaian and if you have the constitutional right to vote. That’s all there is. They are not electoral officers but they are peacekeeping forces. They are keeping the peace,” he had said.
His comments, according to some, smack of ethnocentrism and also suggests that people from the Volta and Oti regions and resident in Togo were not Ghanaians.
Commenting on the matter, ISSAPR said K.T Hammond’s comment “does not sit well with the consolidation of our democratic governance in the area of peace and security especially with barely five months to go to the polls.”
The security think tank wants the Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye to “summon the lawmaker to the floor of Parliament to retract his comments and apologise unequivocally to the good people of Volta Region, the larger Ghanaian community and by extension to the people of Togo to avoid diplomatic conflict.”
ISSAPR also called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to withdraw the military back to the barracks and allow the security agencies in charge of internal security to take charge of the situation in the Volta and Oti regions.