Story: News Desk
Following reports that its officers stationed at Mepe in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region to support victims of the Akosombo Dam spillage had withdrawn from the area, the Ghana Armed Forces has issued a statement denying the claims.
Some media reports had suggested that soldiers deployed to the area to carry out humanitarian relief operations in support of victims of the flooding, had abandoned their duty post.
The reports were also corroborated by the Member of Parliament for the area, Samuel okudzeto Ablakwa, who was in the area at the time to also support the relief efforts.
The MP in a post on X, formerly Twitter, questioned if the people of the area were second class citizens to be treated in that manner.
But the Ghana Armed Forces in a statement issued on Sunday, October 22, and signed by its Director General in charge of Public Relations, M.A Larbi Naval Captain said the information in circulation was in “inaccurate.”
“The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) wishes to debunk some media reports and series of social media posts especially on Twitter (X), claiming that military personnel deployed to Mepe in Volta Region for Humanitarian Relief Operations following the spillage of the Akosombo Dam, have been withdrawn. GAF wishes to categorically state that the information in circulation is inaccurate and that the personnel have not been given any ‘orders from above’ to withdraw from Mepe or any other community affected by the spillage contrary to the social media posts” portions of the statement read.
According to GAF, the operations are only being carried out by its officers in phases, for which reason the team had to redirect attention to other communities such as Battor because the situation at Mepe had been brought under “considerable control.”
It must be emphasised that the Humanitarian Relief Operations (Operation Boafo), being conducted by the Ghana Navy’s Riverine Command and the 48 Engineer Regiment of the Army is being executed in phases.”
It said it remains committed to ensuring urgent, equitable and appropriate response, in support of all persons and communities affected by the spillage in collaboration with all stakeholders.
“GAF, therefore, wishes to assure the general public that as recently reported in the media of the thousands of persons rescued and marked efforts being made to support victims, it will not relent in the quest to ensure urgent, equitable and appropriate response and support to all persons and communities affected by the spillage in conjunction with all stakeholders.”
Shortly after his initial post on social media, the MP for North Tongu made another post claiming he had received information that the initial order from above had been reversed and that the soldiers had returned to their duty post.
“I am able to confirm that the military did indeed return following the reversal of that devious order from “above.”
“Let’s be clear, the over 12,000 displaced beloved constituents of mine have done nothing wrong to deserve their current VRA-induced predicament — all we ask for is empathy and justice.”
The flooding caused by the spillage from the Akosombo and Kpong hydro dams has forced many communities in the North, South, and Central Tongu districts of the Volta region to evacuate, leaving them with no choice but to live in makeshift structures in the meantime.
Reports from the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) indicate that more than 26,000 individuals have been displaced by these floods.
For many, it has resulted in the loss of homes, possessions, and livelihoods.