PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY (NPP), BONO REGIONAL SECRETARIAT READ BY KWAME BAFFOE ABRONYE, BONO REGIONAL CHAIRMAN
DATE: 14th June 2020.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, good afternoon! We have invited you here this afternoon to respond to certain claims pertaining to the voter register made by the NDC led by Asiedu Nketia during their visit to the Bono region over the week.
Moving straight to the point, during Asiedu Nketia’s tour in the region to sensitize the traditional rulers about the need to kick against the compilation of a new voters register, he stated a number of reasons of which I will categorically respond to same seriatim in my preceding paragraphs.
NDC HIDING BEHIND THE SHADOWS OF A BLOATED AND DEFECTIVE REGISTER TO ENABLE THEM RIG THE 2020 ELECTIONS SO THAT THEY CAN COME BACK TO POWER AND CONTINUE TO SWINDLE AND LOOT THE STATE.
The NDC party is the most corrupt political party in the history of Ghana, there is no doubt about that, and Ghanaians should not give them a chance to rule Ghana again. All what the NDC as a political party thinks about is how to develop tactics and plans that they can use to steal from the ordinary Ghanaian taxpayers’ pocket.
Currently, former National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Keta who was a member of the board of trustees of Venture Capital Mr. Richard Larsey Agbemefia, former CEO of Venture Captial Mr. Daniel Duku and four other NDC appointees have been charged for stealing GH¢42.8 million from the state. In that matter, Mr. Daniel Duku who was appointed by Former President Mahama as CEO for Venture Capital has offered to refund GH¢15 million of the looted amount to the state. It is important to note that, these monies were meant for providing financial support to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) through eligible venture capital financing companies ended up in the pockets of appointees of John Mahama.
Few days ago, John Mahama led the NDC to celebrate their 28th anniversary. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate them. The NPP will also be celebrating hers soon. It is prudent to posit that, these two political parties are both 28 years however, none of NPP’s former appointees has ever been prosecuted and convicted on grounds of corruption or wilfully causing financial loss however, several former NDC appointees including former Cocobod boss Stephen Opuni, Former SSNIT boss Enerst Thompson and former MASLOC Boss Madam Sedinam Tamakloe are currently facing criminal prosecution whereas several others including appointees of John Mahama at the National communications Authority, GYEEDA, Victor Solomey, Ibrahim Adams, Dan Abodapi and Kwame Peprah have been prosecuted and jailed by the court on grounds of corruption and causing financial loss to the State. Anytime the NDC is yearning for power, it is not borne out of national interest but for political and personal interest.
This brief history clearly reveals the track record between the two political parties. The NDC has always had the track record of stealing and looting from state coffers since 1979 till date. The NDC party, even in opposition is still exhibiting incompetence in its dealings and its leaders lack integrity, ideas and vision.
THE CASE OF THE NDC AGAINST THE COMPILATION OF THE NEW VOTERS REGISTER.
The NDC General Secretary Johnson Aseidu Nketia throughout his tour noted certain reasons for which the NDC is against the compilation of a new voter register. Their reasons include among others;
1. The exclusion of the Ghanaian birth certificate and the existing voter Identity Card.
2.Inclusion of the Ghana Card as a requirement for registering and acquiring a voter’s ID which according to the NDC will disenfranchise many people.
3. Covid 19 as an excuse
SEPARATING FACTS FROM FICTION (THE CASE OF THE NPP).
It is important to acknowledge that, it is not within the domain of the regional secretariat of the party to speak for NIA and the Electoral commission however, it is within the domain and realm of the regional secretariat of the party to clear all ambiguities and misconceptions peddled by the NDC during their visit to the region.
Setting the records straight, NDC must understand the fact that, the NPP as a government in power who has been able to put over 1.3 million children in school through Free SHS and a government that has employed over 100,000 graduates and more does not need an election to be rigged in its Favour. A government that puts the interest of the ordinary Ghanaian first, whether it is in protecting the money of millions of depositors, or absolving the cost of electricity and water of 30 million Ghanaians, to ease the sufferings of the people when there is a crisis, such a government does not need an election to be rigged in its favour.
The extraordinary good works of His Excellency President Akuffo Addo and the government will vindicate the party at the December polls for that matter it is absolute absurdity for an individual or political party to think that, the government or party needs election to be rigged in its favour.
I shall now proceed to respond and expose the NDC on their baseless reasons for agitating against the compilation of a new voters register which is non-negotiable.
• THE EXCLUSION OF THE GHANAIAN BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND THE EXISTING VOTER IDENTITY CARD.
It is the case of the NDC that, persons with the old voter’s ID must be eligible to register for the new voter ID card.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, it is important to appreciate that, Electoral commission is not allowing the existing voter identification cards to be used in the upcoming voter registration exercise because;
1. “The existing voter register which was compiled in 2012 pursuant to CI 72 and revised since by limited registration exercises has been held by the Supreme Court in the case of Abu Ramadan (No:2) & Another Vrs Electoral Commission as not being reasonably credible. By implication, the cards issued pursuant to it are also not reasonably credible.
2. In respect of the cards issued pursuant to CI 12, the electoral commission has found that those voter identification cards were issued without any form of identification at all and its ineligibilities, breaches and excesses were imported into the 2012 register pursuant to CI 72 in breach of Article 42 and displacing the credibility of the CI 12 cards”.
3. The National Identity Register Act (2008) Section 8(1) of Act 750 (as amended) has effectively excluded the existing voter identification card as a form of identification for the purposes of proving citizenship which is the first and foremost qualification required of an individual applying to be registered as a voter. 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.
Flowing from the above, it can be stated categorically that, the current register is bloated. General secretary for NDC Asiedu Nketia while speaking on JoyNews on 7th May, 2016 noted clearly that, “all political parties, including his, must accept responsibility for the bloated voters’ register, and stop blaming the Electoral Commission.” Find attached the link to Asiedu Nketia’s statement. https://mobile.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Don-t-blame-EC-for-register-issues-Asiedu-Nketia-436747. This is an admission clearly made by the largest opposition party that indeed that, the voter register as at 2016 was bloated and that, it ought to be changed completely to rectify all outstanding defects and errors.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, It is important to appreciate that, a bloated Voters’ register, on its own does not produce a fraudulent election result, it is however, the ability of criminal elements to weaponize the voters’ register by transferring the fake names or phantom registrants to actual votes, that makes for a stolen election.
In this regard, Madam Charlotte Osei, former EC boss in her response to her impeachment petition noted under paragraph 8 of her further particulars that, “Mr Amadu Sulley (Dep EC in charge of Operation) persistently instructed officials to carry out illegal vote transfers on the Voter Management System in clear breach of the law and operational policies of the Commission.” Find attached the link to Charlotte Osei’s full response. https://www.myjoyonline.com/news/full-text-charlotte-osei-fires-back-with-27-point-response-to-impeachment-petition/
Friends of the media, as you have all heard, it is alleged that Amadu Suley is now the advisor to the NDC on election matters.
It is important to note that, The NPP knew before the 2016 election that the Voters’ register was over-bloated. The party made representations to international donors to assist in replacing the over-bloated register.
Through analytical reviews, the NPP was able to convince the international donors that there was a prima facie case for a new Voters’ register to replace the bloated register, but the international donors requested substantive evidence to support the claim.
Since substantive evidence could only be obtained through a Comma Separated Value (CSV) version of the voters’ register which the EC repeatedly and persistently refused to produce, it was therefore impossible to substantiate the allegations made through the analytical reviews. Thus, the efforts to get a new Voters’ register failed in 2016.
Again, if the electoral commission, is to accept the existing voter ID cards as proof of citizenship, there is the likelihood that non-Ghanaians who had previously managed to enter Ghana’s electoral roll using the NHIS cards, could use that to legitimize their voting status as Ghanaians.
So even though, the electoral commission said it deleted about 56,000 names of those who used the NHIS cards to register, there are still some names in there because in the defence of the Electoral Commission in the matter of Abu Ramadan (No:2) the E.C. noted that, millions of citizens used the NHIS card to acquire the voters ID card.
It is important to note that, 56,000 cannot be equated to millions of Ghanaians as alluded by the Electoral Commission in their defence.
Ladies and gentlemen, even though the Supreme Court in the case of Abu Ramadan (No:2) ruled on 5th May, 2016 that the current voter register is not accurate and credible and further granted the following reliefs as could be gleaned from page 32 and 33 respectively of the judgment as follows;
A. That upon a true and proper interpretation of article 45 (a) of the constitution, the mandate of the electoral commission to compile the register of voters implies a duty to compile a reasonably accurate and credible register.
B. A declaration that the current register of voters which contains the names of persons who have not established qualification to be registered is not reasonably accurate or credible.
C. A declaration that the current register of voters which contains the names of persons who are deceased is not reasonably accurate or credible.
This decision by the Supreme Court clearly implied that, the Electoral commission in her own wisdom should have compiled a new voters register for the 2016 general elections.
• INCLUSION OF THE GHANA CARD AS A REQUIREMENT FOR REGISTERING AND ACQUIRING A VOTERS ID WHICH ACCORDING TO THE NDC WILL DISENFRANCHISE MANY PEOPLE.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, as per the birth and death Act, not only Ghanaians May have access to birth certificates. The Birth and Death Act 301 makes provision for the compulsory registration of births and deaths in all parts of the country and is applicable to the entire population of Ghana, irrespective of race, or country of origin. This means that, not only Ghanaians have access to a birth certificate, but non-Ghanaians born in Ghana may also register their births and inherently acquire a birth certificate.
Friends of the media, in 2012 while the NDC was in power, they passed the National Identity Register Regulation LI 2111 which provided that, the Ghana Card will be the only identity card required in any transaction where identity must be established or proved.
So why the sudden U – Turn by the NDC?
NDC also makes the argument that, the NIA intentionally did not register persons in its stronghold. This allegation is only not false but a clear display of incompetence by the NDC.
Before the NIA registration commenced, the General Secretary of the NDC in a press statement directed all NDC members not to partake in the NIA registration exercise. Find attached the link to Asiedu Nketia’s comment. https://mobile.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/NDC-directs-all-members-to-boycott-Ghana-Card-registration-671296
For this reason, the NPP and the NIA cannot be blamed for the incompetence and non-Ghanaian attitude of the NDC. Such accusations by the NDC is nothing but unfathomable and baseless.
ALIENS COMPLIANCE ORDER (1969).
The NDC since 2012 to present day has maintained that, His Excellency President Akuffo Addo has enormous dislike for foreigners because his father passed the Aliens Compliance Order (1969). This claim is not only false but a clear display of lunatics.
Ladies and gentlemen, the General Secretary of the NDC Asiedu Nketia while speaking to the chiefs and people of the Mo Community in the Kintampo Municipality noted that, the attempt to compile a new voter register is an attempt to deny all foreign nationals from voting in the upcoming general elections and this according to him has been necessitated because of the personal dislikes President Akufo Addo has for foreigners. 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?
For the General Secretary of the NDC to say that, the compilation of a new voter’s register is an attempt by President Akufo Addo to sack foreigners from the country because the requirements put in place by the electoral commission for the upcoming registration exercise will not give they the foreigners the opportunity to register. Such a statement by the NDC General Secretary is a non-Ghanaian attitude and I therefore call upon all Civil Society Organisations to condemn such remarks because it has the tendency of plunging the country in chaos if it is the view of the NDC that, foreigners must be allowed to vote in this country.
THE ARGUMENT OF COVID 19
During the lockdown, it could be recalled that, Asiedu Nketia stated that, the lockdown was a mechanism employed by the NPP to rig the 2020 elections. https://mobile.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Coronavirus-Ban-on-public-gathering-a-plot-to-rig-2020-elections-Asiedu-Nketia-claims-898969
However, after the lockdown restrictions were lifted the National Communication officer Of the NDC Sammy Gyamfi mentioned that, the easing of restrictions was a means to allow the E.C. rig the 2020 elections for NPP. https://www.myjoyonline.com/news/national/easing-lockdown-was-only-to-pave-way-for-compilation-of-new-voters-register-sammy-gyamfi/
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, you will agree with me that, after the restrictions were eased all of you here, including agencies such as GRA, NCCE, CHRAJ, GHPHA, etc have resumed normal working activities so what then stops the Electoral Commission from also performing its constitutional mandate?
As I have already indicated the NPP as a political party does not need the electoral commission to rig the 2020 elections in its favour. We will be rewarded by virtue of our hard work.
NDC is bent on maintaining the current defective register because the party itself is grounded on electoral illegalities and a beneficiary of same.
The case of the NPP is that the current voter register is not fit for purpose i.e 2020 general elections and that, the NDC must stop their useless and baseless fight because the NPP will everyday reject a defective register and the Electoral commission will also not be stopped from performing its constitutional function.
To conclude with, I would like to state that, the war drums being sounded by Former president Mahama and his NDC cohorts is nothing but sign of defeat. They feel the dwarf wind and the clouds of defeat all around them and therefore the unnecessary attacks on the Electoral commission.
Finally, I would like to clear the misconception by the NDC that, a person without either a passport or Ghana card cannot register and subsequently vote is palpably false because so far as the person is identified and known in that electoral area as a citizen, any qualified applicant can vouch for him/her to register.