Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul has cautioned Former President John Mahama to behave like a former president and not like a party footsolder.
The Defence Minister gave the caution when reacting to a post posted by the Former President on his Facebook page on the current happenings in the on-going voter registration across the country.
Mr. Mahama is said to have raised several allegations against the Ghana Armed Forces for the incidents that happened in Banda Constituency in the Bono region last Sunday and other places where the military is said to suppress some section of Ghanaians.
Below is what Former President Mahama wrote on his Facebook wall on First August, 2020
“This is not the Ghana our forebears toiled for and built! Each and every successive President left a peaceful, stable and united country.
The road President Akufo-Addo is taking our beautiful country through, using the military and party thugs to stop people from exercising their right to register and vote in the upcoming December elections, is dangerous and unacceptable.
There have been many reports and video evidence, like the one in this post, of the President’s deployment and discriminatory use of soldiers to target our brothers and sisters in the Volta Region and wherever there are settlements of Voltarians and non-Akans.
Executive power must not be used to foment ethnic discrimination and abuse as is happening under Nana Akufo-Addo. These calculated acts of “dehumanisation, disenfranchising Ghanaians and stripping them of their citizenship” must end. They will surely never happen under a new NDC administration because we will foster a spirit of peace and unity in our nation.
As Commander-in-Chief, I will not use our military in such a partisan manner to terrorise our own people, and in matters that are purely civil and dwell in the very heart of our constitutional democracy.”
Mr. Nitiwul believes none of the issues raised by former President Mahama are not true and he is therefore challenging him (the Former President, Mahama) to provide evidence to the allegations raised about the use of military to suppress any potential Ghanaian voter from registering his or her name at the on-going registration exercise to vote in the upcoming December.
He said the former President was wrong to have sighted Banda as evidence of voter suppression and it is clear that, “Mr. John Dramani Mahama was wrongly briefed; his intelligence is suspect and has been misled on the incidents.”
The Defence minister explained that, what is happening at Banda where some group of people packed in a truck were prevented by the military was a decision taken by Regional Security Council (RESIC) and all stakeholders including the leadership and Parliamentary Candidates of both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for not allowing any party to bus people to the registration centres and whoever does so must be stopped by the deployed Security which include the military.
He stated emphatically that the military will continue to stop people who are bussed to any registration centres in the Banda constituency where all the parties involved have agreed to go strictly by an order from the RESEC.
But the Ranking Member on Defence and Interior Committee Parliament and Member of Parliament for Builsa North, Mr. James Agalga responding to the Defence minister’s reaction to Former President Mahama’s Facebook post has condemned Mr. Nitiwul’s unwarranted attack on the Former President
Mr. Agalga maintained that the deployment of the military at areas around Banda and other towns is an agenda of the NPP government to prevent some potential citizens from getting their names into the on-going voter registration exercise.
The Ranking Member added that, the Defence minister was not real in addressing the issues on the military harassment and was only justifying the presence and the activity of the military
He Said, bussing of people from one point to a registration centre is not a crime and that the Bono Regional Security Council is not a law making body by itself.
Mr Agalga explained that, the Electoral Commission (EC) failed to create registration centres close to these people living around the overseas areas and due to such circumstances, the people had to walk for about fourteen kilometers (14km) to get to a registration centre, and in this situation, the people had no option left with than to go in block in vehicle or buses to these centres to register to vote in 7th December 2020.
The Builsa North lawmaker said, due to the construction of Bui Dam, many Ghanaians living around the area were displaced from their original settlement and that, the EC should have made provision of registration centres close to these citizens for the on-going exercise to avoid the issues of bussing people to the registration centres.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH