“This is why Ketu South has fewer people living in the Constituency but records huge numbers during elections” – Kweku Ortsin

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Some politicians get worried about the huge numbers that Ketu South records during elections. For such politicians, their worry stems from the fact that when they step in the Ketu South Constituency, they hardly see the huge numbers that are recorded in the constituency during national elections.

While some of these politicians may know the truth but still pretend for political expediency, others may be genuinely ignorant or confused about the situation. But what is worse is the innocent people these politicians may manage to convince that there’s something fishy about the huge numbers recorded in Ketu South during elections.

Well, for all those who may be genuinely ignorant or confused about the whole situation, Kweku Ortsin is here to the rescue with a good explanation in this write-up.

It is a good read. Enjoy.

“I may not hail from the Volta Region, specifically the Ketu South area, but I think I know a thing or two worth sharing about this part of Ghana which supposedly gets populated ‘mysteriously’ during general elections.

I have heard some ethnocentric politicians repeatedly assert that when they visit Ketu South they don’t see “human beings” but when it gets to election time the area suddenly churns out mouth-gaping figures.

Well, to start with, I have been to Aflao a couple of times on ECOWAS-related programmes or events and there is an observation I have made about Ghana’s border with Togo. Are we aware that Togo is probably  one of the few countries in the world whose capital city is a border region? Let me explain: in most countries around the world capital cities are located far away from the bordering regions, probably for security reasons. But, in the case of Togo, the moment you cross over from Aflao you enter Kodjoviakope which is right in Lome.

Because of this situation Lome over the years has been a major urban attraction for people in the Ketu South area. They go there to trade; they go there for entertainment, they go there for education; and several others.There was a time I visited the Asigame market in Lome and I was pleasantly surprised some of the market women could speak Ga and Twi. I later found out that they were mostly Ghanaian traders who had relocated to Lome because of their trade.

Do you remember that when you were in school your French teacher told you he or she studied French in Togo? Well, many of them were not necessarily Togolese. They were Ghanaians from the Ketu South area who studied in Togo. As a matter of fact, if you go to Aflao today, virtually every family has one member who has schooled or is schooling across the border. For some of them, when they complete their studies, they secure employment in Lome and they take up resistance there to avoid crossing the border everyday.

So, what is my point? My point is that there is a high incidence of rural – urban drift of people in the Ketu South area towards Lome instead of Ho or Accra. This is the exact opposite of what happens in Ghana where people migrate to their regional capitals or the national capital. And this partly explains why Ho is sparsely populated and not as congested as other regional capitals in the coastal or middle belt areas.

When you visit the Ketu South area and you do not see as many people as you would have expected, do not be surprised. Many of them, especially the youth, would have migrated to Lome in search of greener pastures. Of course, while there, some of them get assimilated into the Togolese society and they pick up Togolese citizenship which is akin to what many Ghanaians do when they move to Europe or the United States. And they do so bearing in mind that Ghanaian citizenship laws wholly recognise dual citizenship.

These Ghanaians who migrate to Togo to eke out a living are the same people who return home to register and vote during elections. It is quite unfortunate that, for the first time, because of political expediency, some politicians have now decided to brew unnecessary tension in the country by preventing these Ghanaians from coming home to participate in elections.

We need to understand the socio-conomic dynamics of the Ketu South area and stop the needless ethnic profiling and heavy militarization of the ongoing voter registration process. We have come too far in this 4th Republic to suddenly give the military excuses to meddle in election matters. It could have consequences. It could have repercussions. We need to be careful.”

– Kweku Ortsin

By a ghanahotissues.com writer

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