Voter registration: NDC, irrate Kpetoe residents storm police station to demand release of ‘foreigners’
Residents stormed the Police station
A 70-year-old retired army officer, Christian Agbeviade together with some 14 aged residents from Ziope and Honuga, farming communities in the Agortime-Ziope District of the Volta region have been intercepted on their way to register for the voter identification card by some executives of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by the Regional Chairman, Kafui Woanya upon suspicion that they are foreigners.
The persons were detained upon reaching Kpetoe township, the district capital and were sent to the Agortime-Ziope District Police Command where they spent more 10 hours under police custody before their release after a massive protest by residents and the intervention by some executives of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the region.
According to the retired military man who is visually impaired, he could not see the persons who arrested them but heard that they have been charged for not being Ghanaians and that they were been conveyed from Togo into the country to register for the voter card.
He said, despite showing his passport as prove of his Ghanaian citizenship the Police would not listen to his plea.
“They claimed I’m a Togolese, and I said I can’t be a Togolese, with a Ghanaian passport how can I be a Togolese? How can I be a Togolese at the same time a Ghanaian? I’ve worked with the Ghana Armed Forces, can they employ an alien in the Ghana Armed Forces? These are some of my explanations to them so I don’t know why they still don’t want to believe what I’m saying, I have a living document to prove to that effect,” he told Class News after he was released from the Police custody at 8:34 pm on Sunday.
The Volta NDC Secretary, James Gunu, speaking to the media after the incident which nearly resulted in a scuffle between the police and the angry residents said the persons were only going according to the directives by the EC and it is a shock to have seen the NPP changing the narratives.
“The fact of the matter is that the Electoral Commission made us understand that, at the district registration offices, lactating mothers, persons with disability, the aged and the vulnerable in a society they are supposed to be registered at the district offices…so, these people boarded a car from Ziope, NPP people saw them and said they are not Ghanaians. NPP should not give frivolous definition to who a Ghanaian is. That also notwithstanding, if they have any course to believe that somebody is not a Ghanaian, the law is that you go and fill a challenge form, you don’t prevent the people physically as they’re doing and when we came here we have realised clearly that, the rule of law has been thrown to the dogs, now what we have is the rule of politics,” the NDC regional Chairman lamented.
The MP for the area, Charles Agbeve, disclosed that he bused the accused persons who are his relatives from the village to the district office to get registered. He described the development as unfair adding that the situation will not intimidate the NDC but will rather encourage the constituents to come out in their numbers to register.
“In today’s Ghana, any group of people on a bus in the volta region are Togolese… you intimidate, harass and bring them to the Police station and keep them for this long time, I don’t think it is fair, I don’t think it is reasonable, in my opinion, it is not rational, and this decision they (NPP) have taken will not intimidate us, we are not perturbed, it has energized and gingered us and the people will come out in their numbers and register, ” Mr Agbeve noted.
MP for Ho West, Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah speaking to the media at the Police station said the Volta region is the NDC’s stronghold, hence, any attempt by the NPP to bring uneasiness in the region will not be tolerated. He advised constituents to come out in their numbers to get registered.
Meanwhile, the accused persons, six males and eight females have been granted bail.
One of the accused, a 56-year-old driver, Gatsi Xorlali, alleged that he was physically assaulted.
The Police said investigations will commence today, Monday, 6 July 2020.