The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused the biggest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of helping non-Ghanaians to take part in the just-ended voter registration exercise, with the intent of facilitating the same aliens to take part in the 7 December 2020 polls.
At a press conference in Accra on Monday, 10 August 2020, the General Secretary of the NPP, Mr John Boadu, said: “As clearly established by the VCRAC Crabbe Committee and by the Supreme Court of Ghana during the election petition, one of the main reasons accounting for the bloated nature of the register is the names of non-Ghanaians, particularly our West African neighbours, on the register”.
“This, we contend, is the handiwork of the NDC based on their conduct in all registration exercises conducted by the EC”, Mr Boadu alleged.
And, he noted, “indeed, developments at the just-ended 2020 mass registration exercise yet again showed the NDC’s usual desperation to get foreigners on our voter register”.
He said the media is “awash with videos showing some foreigners being imported by the NDC into the country to participate in the voter registration exercise”.
Mr Boadu also accused the NDC of unleashing thugs on supporters of the governing party during the exercise,
“The NDC, in their usual fashion, continued with their acts of violence against innocent Ghanaians and on members of the NPP during the registration exercise”, he said.
“You would recall that John Mahama is on record as having told Ghanaians that when it comes to violence, no political party in the country can match the NDC.
“It is, thus, not surprising that during this mass registration, the NDC hooligans were again at their best visiting mayhem on our people”, Mr Boadu said.
The party played a video in which it said “our agent at the Tsorme Registration Centre in the Akan Constituency in the Oti Region” called Francis Kofie, was assaulted by people alleged to be members of the NDC.
While condemning the NDC’s alleged facilitation of foreigners to register, the NPP expressed amazement about the NDC’s opposition to the EC’s registration of senior high school students on their campuses.
“The NDC, you will recall, recently went to the high court to challenge the EC’s decision to provide an opportunity for SHS students to register during the mass registration exercise. Yet, they were the same people alleging that this whole voter registration is an attempt to deny eligible Ghanaians their constitutional right to vote in the December 2020 elections following the removal of the old voter ID card from the voter registration requirements.
“They claimed the EC, by this decision, was going to disenfranchise many eligible Ghanaians from registering and therefore sought the court’s intervention.
“Isn’t it interesting that the same NDC which claimed it was defending people’s constitutional right to register and vote, is today, back in court arguing that the court should intervene and stop the EC from registering eligible Ghanaian voters in our Senior High Schools.
“So, we ask: is the NDC in support of the right of eligible Ghanaians to register and vote, or they are against it? The right to vote as enshrined in Article 42 of the Constitution, does not preclude students in Senior High Schools from registering, provided they are 18 and above. Well, I just hope free SHS has nothing to do with this manifest absurdity of our NDC friends”, he pointed out.
Mr Boadu added: “And please, do not be deceived by the NDC’s argument that the registration centres at the Senior High Schools have not been gazetted hence their opposition. First of all, the EC was not created any new centres from the centres that were gazetted. The current legal regime allows the EC to use mobile registration vans and accompanying devices to register eligible voters and assign them to the closest polling station. The Commission has in fact been using this mobile registration vans across the country since the exercise began on 30th June”.
“So, what the EC proposed to do on Friday (10th July) and Saturday (11th July) subject to possible extension where necessary, was to move these mobile registration vans and the accompanying devices to the Senior High Schools to register the final year students who have turned 18 and beyond. This is because per the current executive instrument on Covid-19 restrictions, the students cannot leave campus and go to town queuing to register. Meanwhile, these eligible students have a constitutional right to register and vote, which right cannot be denied under any circumstances.
“Mind you, out of the about 700 Senior High Schools in the country, over 280 of them are already registration centres which were duly gazetted, hence will not be captured under this special arrangement. And this is what the NDC is kicking against? So, what at all is the alternative? Clearly, the alternative being proposed by the NDC was the SHS students should be disenfranchised. We are sure the students will be guided by this accordingly”, he said.
He also wondered why the flag bearer of the NDC, Mr John Mahama, who was against the compilation of a new register, has welcomed the new register.
“Happily, ladies and gentlemen, in a reported Facebook live session held on tour in Kete Krachie, the leader of the NDC, John Mahama, having initially bastardised the voter registration, has now conceded that the exercise has been successful. So, we, in the NPP expect him to apologise to the nation for the dangerous ethnic sentiments he raised, jeopardising the security of the state with unwarranted attacks.
His actions which were mirrored by the leadership of his party unduly created fear and raised political tension in the country. Certainly, Ghanaians didn’t deserve this from an immediate past President of this great country who is again seeking the mandate.
“The NPP will continue to work hard to meet the needs of Ghanaians. The times demand strong and decisive leadership on the issues that have impacted our lives. It is in pursuit of our stated goals that we have not only strengthened the economy but have also managed to provide social and economic support in terms of cost-free water and electricity as well as business-support schemes.
“The NPP vision of the way forward captured in our manifesto 2020 will hopefully be shared with Ghanaians on the 22 of August 2020. We ask you to look forward on that day to heartwarming policies detailing how, with your support, we will transform Ghana for the benefit of all.
“Your NPP government remains focused and expect a massive turnout on December 7 to consolidate the leadership and good governance offered by His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. We thank all Ghanaians sincerely for rejecting the hate-filled divisive non-policy-based rhetoric of Candidate Mahama. You demonstrated this rejection with the massive turnout for the voter registration exercise. Confirm it even more with a decisive vote against the politics of division come December 7, 2020,/”, Mr Boadu noted.