President Nana Akufo Addo
President Akufo-Addo has broken his silence on the recent agitations in the Volta Region by separatists seeking to secede from Ghana.
The secessionists known as the Western Togoland Restoration Front have orchestrated two separate incidents in the region recently, resulting in the death of at least one individual and damage to property.
Responding to the disturbances, the President has affirmed his trust in the country’s security forces and has assured that the matter is being handled with the utmost urgency.
“Institutions are in place, the security agencies are doing their work, they’ve started already and we’ll see results.
What’s happening in the Volta Region is just by a handful of people. These secessionists. We will deal with them. I have no doubt about it,” the President said in an interview on Wednesday.
The group’s activities have been greeted with widespread condemnation from many quarters including the National House of Chiefs, and political parties among others.
However, some members of the public have criticised what they say is the conspicuous silence of the President on the development calling for a public pronouncement on the nation’s strategy to handle the menace.
Speaking on Kumasi-based Hello FM, Mr Akufo-Addo said he has hesitated in commenting on the matter in order to ensure that the country doesn’t panic in the face of the riots.
“If I panic, the country panics…There is no value for the country if I start making hysterical statements,” he said.
“That’s not the purpose of leadership. I am supposed to assure people that our country will work.”
The President believes, public statements by him on the situation in the North Tongu district will not resolve the problem, especially as he trusts the nation’s security apparatus to clamp down on the activities of the separatists.
He explained: “When the right measures are put in place, you can, not so much as sleep and be complacent, but at least you can be steady and face what is coming. I trust the security agencies, I trust the Armed Forces, I trust the Police, I trust their leadership, the intelligence agencies, I know they are all working very very hard to make sure that this matter is dealt with as quickly as possible.”
He added that “the security agencies are doing their work. They have started already and we will see results.”
On September 28, a group of armed men was reported to have attacked the State Transport Corporation (STC) in Ho, the Volta Regional capital.
The security guard on duty is said to have been held at gunpoint as they set one of the buses on fire and damaged another.
President Akufo-Addo argued that the modus operandi of the secessionist group is currently being investigated by the security agencies to ensure that the ‘element of surprise’ that has so far worked in their favour is eliminated.
“The element of surprise is there at the beginning for terrorist groups. But after some time when the system is working, you will no longer be surprised. So they have dome this one or twice. The third…fourth or fifth time will not be that easy.”