Adansi-Asokwa MP, K.T. Hammond says reports claiming he said persons from the Volta Region are not Ghanaians are false and should be ignored by the public.
In a statement copied to Adomonline.com, the MP who has been sternly ctriticised for comments many have described as tribalistic said his remarks were twisted by the media and members of the opposition NDC.
“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 4 minutes’ segment did I suggest let alone state that Ghanaians from the Volta Region were not Ghanaians,” the statement said.
He added that the interview he granted to some media personnel who report from Parliament spanned about 20 minutes, relating to matters concerning the recent Supreme Court judgement on the new voters register and the deployment of the military to certain parts of the country, including the Volta Region.
He explained further that during the course of the interview, he commented on the presence of the military in the Volta and “hazarded a guess and said, their presence may be due to the pending electoral registration exercise and to ensure the sanctity of its outcome by preventing non Ghanaians and those not constitutionally qualified to register and vote from infiltrating through the porous border.”
According to him, during the discourse, he stated 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.
“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 says despite his explanations, the actual import of his comments were misrepresented.
He said he has taken steps to report all the media houses associated with what he describes as “mischief” 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.”
Below is the full statement