Police in the Volta Region says they have received reports that some chiefs are organizing motor riders to disrupt Thursday’s referendum to be held on the creation of new regions.
The creation of the Oti region seems to be the most controversial yet. While people are being encouraged to vote, there have also been reports of intimidation by some chiefs in the region.
The police said they will deal ruthlessly with any group of people who attempt to disrupt the polls.
Speaking in an interview, Volta Regional Police Commander DCOP Francis Doku said “we are receiving reports that some chiefs are organising motorbike riders to come and create mayhem.
“My advice to those riders is that they must rescind their decision because when they come and they create any mayhem, they will meet us squarely. We are prepared for them; anybody who will put any impediment in the way of the referendum will not have it easy,” he added.
DCOP Doku warned everyone to abide by the rules and not do anything untoward to interrupt the process.
“We are not going to take any chances at all because a lot of work has gone into this to where we are now – both material and financial – and we will not allow that to go waste. Besides that, we have the constitutional responsibility to protect the constitution and that is basically what we are setting out to do.
“We will not allow anyone to put the whole process in disarray and create confusion and panic,” he said.
Meanwhile, campaigners for both YES and No in the region are rounding up their efforts to rally voters to their side.
As the YES campaigners are rallying support for the creation of the Oti region, those who do not agree and will be voting NO want the courts to stop the referendum.
Secretary to the coalition of Volta Youth, Kwame Agama is aware that an injunction filed in the court cannot be heard before Thursday but wants “Civil Society Organisations to come in and add their voice to what is happening.”
He urged all NO supporters to come out in their numbers and “vote an emphatic NO.”
In the Brong Ahafo region where if successful, two more regions Ahafo and Bono East will be created after the referendum, Ohemeng Tawiah reports that about 7,000 voters living in communities along the banks of the Sene River.
But, district Chief Executive for the Sene West Assembly, John Nyarbah said plans have been put in place to deploy private boats and canoes to transport voters.
“We are renting somebody’s boat so that at dawn tomorrow, the voters will be transported to the various polling stations and convey them back after the polls,” Mr Nyarbah said.
The referendum will take place in 47 districts in six regions in the country.