Stakeholders’ Forum On Politics Of Exclusion Held In Ho

A stakeholders’s forum has been held in the Volta Regional capital, Ho, to dialogue on politics of exclusion in Ghana.

The forum which was organized by Community Focus Foundation Ghana (CFF-GHANA), a public interest CSO, working to promote participatory governance and electoral integrity in Ghana and beyond, brought together CSOs, traditional leaders, the clergy, members of the various security services, representatives from the various political parties and other stakeholders under the theme “Politics of exclusion, a threat to Ghana’s democratic order”.

Some participants at the forum

In attendance were the Volta Regional Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council, Dr. David E. Y Normanyo, Volta Regional NDC Chairman, Hon. Mawutor Agbavitor, and Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Ho Municipal Assembly, Hon. Divine Bosson.

Speaking at the forum, the Executive Director for ASEPA, Mr. Mensah Thompson said the Volta Region has been very instrumental in the development of Ghana’s democracy.
Mr. Thompson lamented that irrespective of this, the region has suffered the most form of marginalization in the country. According to him, there has been calculated attempts to disenfranchise or exclude the people of the Volta Region from participating in Ghana’s democratic process. He cited some instances prior to the 2020 general election which he described as “a classical case of the marginalization agenda of the Volta Region.”

Mr. Mensah Thompson addressing the forum

Mr. Mensah Thompson also accused the National Identification Authority(NIA) of doing a shoddy deployment of biometric registration equipment to Volta Region as compared to other regions such as Ashanti region. He said the proposed CI by the Electoral Commission that makes the Ghana Card the sole requirement for voter registration is a clear indication of government’s voter suppression agenda in some regions considered as strongholds of the opposition National Democratic Congress.

The Volta Regional Chairman of the NDC, Hon. Mawutor Agbavitor, in his statement said the deliberate sending of military personnel to intimidate voter registration exercises in the Volta Region raises serious concerns about the suppression of democratic participation which is the bedrock of Ghana’s democracy. He said such actions undermine the principle of free and fair elections.

He also bemoaned the neglect and abandoning of projects in the Volta Region. According to Mr. Agbavitor, promised initiatives aimed at improving the lives of the region’s inhabitants have been left incomplete or ignored, creating a sense of frustration and disillusionment among the people.

The success of the event was nearly marred when the Ho MCE, Hon. Divine Bosson took his turn to address the gathering.
The MCE alleged that the meeting was “an NDC workshop in non political colours”. He ordered all members of the New Patriotic Party(NPP) to leave the venue.
The outburst of Hon. Bosson left tempers flaring as many expressed their displeasure over his behaviour.
They they believed the conduct of the MCE is a gross disrespect to the dignitaries that were present.
It took the swift intervention of the organizers to put the forum back to order.

The Executive Director for CFF-Ghana, Mr. Richard Kasu commended the participants for the massive turnout.
Mr. Kasu said CFF-Ghana and its partners will continue to use every available medium to drum home their campaign of participatory democracy.
The forum was organized in partnership with ASEPA, Democratic Credentials Network Ghana (DCN-Ghana) and Volta Institute of Development Studies (VIDS).

Story: Dada James ||

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