The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is intensifying its smear campaign against President Akufo-Addo and the Electoral Commission (EC) after being rattled by the approval of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (C.I.126) by Parliament.
The new constitutional instrument (C.I.) gives a legal framework for the EC to compile a new register of voters in preparation for the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, and it excludes the use of a driver’s license and the existing voter identity card as a requirement for the registration.
Leaders of the NDC, who have vehemently opposed the compilation of a new register, are now using the proscription of the existing voter identity card to smear the President and the entire registration exercise.
Their flag-bearer, ex-President John Mahama, has threatened that should the EC go ahead to compile a new register, the NDC will not accept the results of the general election because he claims the exercise will be full of flaws.
Led by the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the NDC top members are crisscrossing the country and galvanizing traditional rulers to rise against the compilation of the new register since he said it was an anti-alien agenda of President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Addressing the chiefs and people of Mo in the Kintampo Municipality, Mr. Nketia reportedly said the exclusion of the existing voter card as proof of nationality was necessitated by the personal dislike for foreigners by the President.
Without any proof, he said the family of President Akufo-Addo had an enormous dislike for foreigners and that was why his father, former Prime Minister Edward Akufo-Addo passed the Aliens Compliance Order in 1969.
The NDC chief scribe recently asked the youth in the northern part of the country to prevent the EC from carrying out the new voters’ registration exercise, while in the company of the National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, who usually speaks more for the NDC than his own party.
Since it became clear that the EC would go ahead to compile a new voters’ register, the NDC elements had been going behind the scenes to incite some of their youth to physically attack EC registration officials when the project commences on June 30.
They want to create a state of insecurity just to compel the EC to abandon the registration exercise, according to the NPP.
Last week, the Women’s Organizer of the NPP, Kate Gyamfua, said she personally witnessed a meeting of the NDC top guns with some young people in the Savannah Region during which they incited the youth to physically prevent the EC from carrying out its mandate amid insults.
“I had wanted to go and tell them what they were doing will destroy the country, but my people told me it was not safe. They were inciting the youth against the EC and the government,” she claimed.
The Bono NPP Regional Chairman, Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as Abronye DC, confirmed that the NDC led by Mr. Nketia had been touring the regions to incite their supporters to rise up against the state.
He said claims by the NDC that President Akufo-Addo has a dislike for foreigners were not only false but also a smeared campaign bordering on “display of lunatics.”
According to him, much as the NPP considers the NDC claims as unfounded public insinuation, it is important to “set the records straight.”
“This statement by Asiedu Nketia is a clear admission that the current register contains names of foreigners, which is in clear breach of Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution.
“My simple but important question here is: does the voter register belong to only Ghanaians eligible to vote or all foreigners resident in Ghana?” he quizzed and continued that the statement by the NDC General Secretary was “non-Ghanaian attitude.”
According to Abronye DC, the NDC has developed a three-point agenda, namely the exclusion of the birth certificate and the existing voter identity card, the issue of inclusion of the Ghana card as a requirement for registering and acquiring a voters’ ID and the Covid-19 pandemic to derail the registration process.
“It is my considered opinion that to accept any form of identification, including the existing voter identification cards, which is not provided for under Section 8(1) Act 750 (as amended) as a means of proving identification for the compilation of the new register, will be in contravention to the statute,” he said.