The Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa in the Ashanti Region, Kobina Tahir Hammond has denied widespread reports that he described people from the Volta region as not Ghanaians.
According to him, such reports are a deliberate twist to the comments he made and should be ignored by the public.
Mr Hammond in an interview last week suggested that the deployment of military personnel to the Volta region particularly Ketu-South is to prevent persons believed to be Togolese from registering as voters in the country.
“The Togolese and the Voltarians – when I talk about Voltarians, the Volta Region – remember the history … basically the same tribe, so, they walk into [Ghana] but they are not Ghanaians.”
“When they walk in there, they can do whatever they [want], so, I guess that is the reason for that [military influx].”
“You remember 2008, the second round; we had so much – 100,000 or so votes leading Prof Mills at the time of the second round. In the next round, one constituency, Ketu South, cleared all the [votes] we had. Where did they come from?” he quizzed.
Those comments generated huge backlash from a section of the populace with the opposition NDC describing them as tribalistic.
But in a statement copied to ABC News, the lawmaker said his comments were taken out of context by the Minority and the NDC as a whole.
“This is a deliberate, malicious, shameless twist of my responses with the sole purpose of causing me extraordinary political and social disaffection with Ghanaians from the Volta region.”
“It is clear beyond argument that in my responses in the interview, at no point in the four minutes’ segment did I suggest let alone state that Ghanaians from the Volta Region were not Ghanaians,” he noted.
Explaining further, the statement also added that in that earlier interview, Mr Hammond only alluded to the historical fact that the people of the Volta Region and Togo have the same ethnic background and were related.
“I also stated that for this historical reason, the two intermingle across the eastern border. I then stated that even though they have the common background which I have stated for which reason the Togolese cross the border into Ghana and back regularly, they were not Ghanaians and accordingly could not register to vote in Ghanaian elections,” he said.
“This segment of the interview was only about four minutes in which I took pains to explain, after a series of questions from the media present, that all my references to non-Ghanaians referred to people from Togo.”
Mr Hammond said he has referred the mischievous twist of his comments to the National Media Commission for redress.
“I call on the general public to disregard the twists to my responses and also to disregard the suggestions that my responses amount to the facts behind the state’s action.”