Embattled businessman, Alfred Woyome, has said military deployment to border towns in the Volta Region and other parts of the country was a bad call by the government.
According to him, some of the soldiers were illegally entering the home of the border town residents and intimidating them.
“I am also suggesting to the people that they should form community watchdogs because some of these people may be operating without a lawful order. So that they arrest anyone of them who is entering their house, whether they have weapons or not. They should arrest them and put them in the nearest police station and call in the media,” he said.
He added: “Leave these people alone. Let them go to their farms, let them eat. They are living in fear. What is this?”
Although the government has said the deployment is to check illegal entry of non-citizens into Ghana through non-approved routes amid the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Woyome disagrees.
He told Class FM that the deployment is a veiled statement by President Nana Akufo-Addo that seeks to question the legitimacy of Ghanaians living along the border towns.
“If you are saying these people are not legitimate, then your Presidency is not legitimate, then the Parliamentarians are also illegitimate,” he said.
The deployment of the security personnel in March grabbed headlines and remains a controversial decision by the government following condemnation by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and other civil society groups.
The NDC said the deployment to the Volta Region, its heartland, is a tactic to intimidate its supporters from getting registered for the next election.
The Minority in Parliament last week also claimed at a press conference that the security personnel deployed to border towns in the Volta Region were entering homes of residents to ascertain the citizenship of some individuals.
Speaking to Class FM about this claim, Mr Woyome said the best way to deal with the soldiers entering homes of persons illegally was for the residents to arrest them.
On March 30 and April 20 this year, the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul said military personnel were also deployed together with the police as part of ‘Operation Calm Life’ to ensure increased security during and after the lockdown in some parts of the country.
A further deployment was done on June 18 and 19 to all border towns to support existing teams to close all unapproved routes to deal with illegal entry, the Minister added.
In the Upper East Region, he said, 207 were deployed to eight various locations, 102 were deployed to four areas in the North East region, 110 were posted to five locations in the Northern Region while 95 personnel were deployed to nine areas in the Volta Region.
At Upper West, 69 soldiers were deployed to three different locations, 21 soldiers were posted to Damango and Bole in the Savannah Region while 44 and 13 soldiers were deployed to Bono and Western regions respectively, Mr Nitiwul stated.
He noted that the Ministry was in the process of deploying some other personnel to Gyaman North and Dormaa, both in the Bono region.
He said marine security has also been tightened through increased patrols to prevent illegal entries.
He also promised that the Ministry would investigate allegations that some military personnel were intimidating residents in the area of deployments.