The National Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi says about 17 people in the Oti Region have been arrested by National Security officials because they could speak French fluently.
Addressing the media at a press conference organized by his party to address alleged ethnic discrimination and tribal bigotry in the ongoing voters’ registration exercise, the NDC communicator stated that state security apparatus and NPP militias were going around threatening and molesting Ewes and Northerners.
According to him, due to such illegal activities by the ruling party, a large section of Ghanaians have been disenfranchised in the ongoing Voters’ Registration Exercise.
Recounting one of such incidents at the presser, Sammy Gyamfi said 17 people from Kpena in the Nkwanta South of the Oti Region were arrested by National Security Officials because they could speak French.
He said, “They [National Security officials] went to a village called Kpena in the Nkwanta South of the Oti Region, arrested about 17 people who were in a queue waiting for their turn to register and in the process the so-called National Security operatives without any provocation fired warning shots at the registration centre thereby disrupting the entire registration exercise at the centre.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, what was the crime of these people who were arrested and molested? Their crime was that they speak French.”
According to Sammy Gyamfi, the National Security officials had gone round greeting and starting conversations with people in the queue using the French language, after which they rounded up those who could speak French claiming they were non-Ghanaians.
“And so these so called National Security Operatives greeted them ‘Bonjour’ and asked them a few questions in the French language and they responded.
“Once they were able to respond in the French language, they concluded that they’re Togolese and not Ghanaians and so in Akufo-Addo’s Ghana today, citizenship is proved by the foreign languages you are able to speak,” Sammy Gyamfi narrated.
Considering President Akufo-Addo being fluent in the French language, Sammy Gyamfi then questioned the nationality of the President.
According to him, for someone who could speak French fluently, it was unfounded for him to be sanctioning the kind of brutality being witnessed at registration centres across the country against people who belonged to a different ethnic group or spoke a foreign language fluently.
“One wonders whether President Akufo-Addo himself is a Togolese because we know that he’s bilingual. He speaks French very well and for him to be supervising and sanctioning this level of violence against an innocent ethnic group and you still have Ministers of State and Party officials organizing press conferences defending these shameful acts,” he said, August 4.