The Greater Accra Regional Secretariat of the NDC has accused the electoral Commission of deliberately creating artificial challenges in the registration process to disenfranchise eligible Ghanaians.
From the first day of the first phase of the registration exercise, many centres recorded deficiency in the supply of Biometric Verification Devices(BVDs) in most parts of the Registration Centres in the Greater Accra region.
In a Press Release issued by the Regional Communications Officer, Jerry Johnson, said the deficiencies experienced on Sunday were the EC’s engineered plans of disenfranchising the people.
“Isn’t it intriguing that a Commission that gave bill of health to it’s pilot process and audaciously boasted that it had procured enough new machines is today complaining about faulty machines? Beyond the highfalutin alibi of faulty machines, there are widespread of instances complaints of the machines running slow. Whatever that means, only Jean Mensah and Bossman Asare can explain. But we can tell you, without any scintilla of doubt, that the machines are not running slow. It is the leadership of the EC that has instructed some data entry clerks to deliberately adopt a lackluster attitude in entering the details of people. These things are happening in known NDC strongholds. A comparative analysis of data from NPP strongholds and NDC strongholds support this assertion,” the statement contended.
The third phase of the EC’s registration exercise commenced on Sunday amid widespread complaints of delay at most centres.
But the EC has assured the public that it will make up for the lost time at some of the registration centres that encountered the network challenges.
Below is the full statement
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS-GREATER ACCRA REGIONAL SECRETARIAT
12th July, 2020
THE GREATER ACCRA REGIONAL SECRETARIAT OF THE NDC IS ALARMED BY THE LACK OF REGISTRATION MATERIALS IN SOME CENTRES IN THE GREATER ACCRA REGION.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press! We wish to welcome you to this short but very important conference. We further commend you for the swift response to our invitation, even though at short notice. The purpose of this invitation is to express our reservation and to inform you and for that matter, the people of Ghana about some serious defects brought to our attention during the first and the second phases of the Registration Exercise currently being conducted by the Electoral Commission(EC)
Report gathered by the Secretariat during the first and second phases of the registration exercise indicates that, there has been a gross deficiency in the supply of Biometric Verification Devices (BVDs) in most of the Registration Centers in the Greater Accra region. It was also confirmed that most of the Registration Centres did not receive those Devices, making it impossible to verify prospective Registrants who turned up at the Centres to register.
This aberration is such a serious procedural gap that cannot be glossed over by any political organization as it opens a crack for illegitimate persons who have not registered to get away with impersonation on the election day.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is sad to report that the Electoral Commission, without any justification, has elected to abandon its core mandate and has rather scaled up efforts to inexorably disenfranchise Ghanaians who are upbeat and eager to register and kick out Jean Mensah and Bossman Asare’s preferred NPP government. Put differently, while the EC put up spirited defence in the media and at the Supreme Court that the only means to deliver a credible election is to compile a new register, the Commission is running away from registering people. The Commission, for very strange reasons, that should be engaged in public announcement to encourage people to register, is rather shying away from persons who have voluntarily joined queues at registration centres to stamp their constitutional right. It is a laughable spectacle of the bone chasing the dog and not the other way round.
From all indications, we are convinced that the Commission is overwhelmed by how Ghanaians are defying all odds to get registered. The Jean Mensah and Bossman Asare-led EC together with it’s bedmate, the NPP, thought Ghanaians will not show interest in the exercise, and that would have given them the opportunity to mobilize only their supporters to register to cheaply hand them a second term. Unfortunately for them, Ghanaians know that the only legal and legitimate means to save this country from Akufo Addo and NPP’s maladministration is to register and exercise their franchise on December. This explains the enthusiasm and long queues we are witnessing at the registration centres.
Mesmerized by this, and sensing that Ghanaians will dislodge their preferred government, the Jean Mensah and Bossman Asare-led Commission has decided to create artificial challenges in the registration process to frustrate, and at the end, deny well-meaning Ghanaians the opportunity to register. Isn’t it intriguing that a Commission that gave bill of health to it’s pilot process and audaciously boasted that it had procured enough new machines is today complaining about faulty machines? Beyond the highfalutin alibi of faulty machines, there are widespread of instances complaints of the machines running slow. Whatever that means, only Jean Mensah and Bossman Asare can explain. But we can tell you, without any scintilla of doubt, that the machines are not running slow. It is the leadership of the EC that has instructed some data entry clerks to deliberately adopt a lackluster attitude in entering the details of people. These things are happening in known NDC strongholds. A comparative analysis of data from NPP strongholds and NDC strongholds support this assertion.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jean Mensah and Bossman Asare are not the first Commissioners to head our EC and they will not be the last. We have experienced the leadership of past Commissioners and how they have, particularly collaborated with Political Parties to ensure smooth running of the Commission. In the case of Jean Mensah and Bossman Asare, they have become Arabian Queens to the extent that their whims are the laws and regulations governing the affairs of the Commission. They believe that the NDC has no stake in our democratic process so they take decisions without recourse to us even when we will feel the brunt of tu decision. Before the start of the registration on June 30, the EC gave each Party movement plan. By movement plan, we mean the various phases for the registration. When the registration started, the Jean Mensah could sit in her cozy office and change the movement plan without recourse to us. The EC, admittedly has power to change its movement plan, but it cannot do that without information us. Unfortunately, that is what the EC has been doing since the exercise started. No amount of friendly engagement has found favor with Jean Mensah and Bossman Asare to amend their ways.
There are plethora of challenges we have painfully catalogued when the exercise started, but we have tried our best to play along to avoid a situation where a picture would be painted as though the NDC is fighting tooth and nail to find fault with the exercise. The EC has done so far is to tie our hands at our back, throw us into a boxing ring to fight and when we complain that there is no level playing field, the EC then turns round to call us bad boxers only taking delight in complaints. We took a decision not to point out the flaws in the process but rather stay on and assist Ghanaians to register. What has however broken the camel’s back, for which reason we have invited you here on Sunday when you should be relaxing and preparing for work tomorrow, is the jaw-dropping widespread availability of EC officials and machines at designated centres for the third phase of the exercise which was supposed to start this morning.
Despite the impediments being put in the way by the EC to frustrate people, Ghanaians went to registration centres this morning to queue with hopes of securing voters’ID cards only to have waited and waited without EC officials and their machines arriving at the centres. Ominously, some went to the registration centres as early as 1:00 am but had to be in queue without any EC official turning up. For want of time, we will share with some of the registration centres that this sordid spectacles happened.
In another report filed in the office this morning, the Electoral Commission through its officers was found to have failed to meet the starting time of the exercise as provided by law. The exercise which was supposed to start concurrently at 7am at all the Centres across the country, was found to have started at 1:00pm at some Centres with the effect that many prospective Registrants turned away after waiting for hours without being attended to.
For the purposes of evidence adduced, some of the Registration Centres that experienced late start of the exercise are as follows:
At Ada Constituency, eight out of the 18 centres, specifically, Kasseh JHS; 1,2,3,4:, Kasseh Clinic 1 & 2, Kasseh Rural Bank Square and Church of the Lord church, Kasseh, were expected to start registration this morning at 07:00am but as at 1:30am, none of these centres had started registration. The EC officials said the delay was due to non availability of activation codes for the BVRs. They claim the codes had to come from the EC headquarters. We are unable to tell who at the EC headquarters is keeping the supposed codes and not willing to release them.
In Shai-Osudoku Osudoku, as at 1:15pm, ten out 22 did not started registration. Examples is DA Primary School, Dedenya Doryumu Polling Station. Constituencies like Amasaman, Odododiodioo, Ayawaso East, Weija Gbawe, Madina, Adentan, Ayawaso West Wuogon, Ledzokuku, Tema West(ICGC, klagon, Good Shephered), Tema Central, Krowor(ICGC polling station), Ablekuma West, Ablekuma Central (Emma’s Preparatory School) and others
It is instructive to note that most of these aforementioned Registration Centres did not start as at the time of filing this report and we have in our possession pictorial and video evidence of these Centres which we shall be showing to the media in our second phase of this encounter.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not but a gross dereliction of duty on the part of the Electoral Commission and for that matter, the Commissioner must take full responsibility for this shortcomings.
The challenges being experienced clearly exposes the unpreparedness of the EC to embark on such a massive project of registering almost 18 million prospective Voters in Ghana as advocated by Civil Society. It also corroborates our argument and further vindicates the position of the NDC.
Having expatiated on this early-days monumental failure, we wish to reiterate our resolve to support the process to ensure a credible register for a free and fair elections. It is therefore important for the EC to rectify the challenges before any supicion is raised of deliberate act of suppression of votes in NDC strongholds, including the Greater Accra region.
Finally, we wish to reiterate the point made by our flagbearer, H.E. John Dramani Mahama earlier this year that, the NDC will not accept the results of a flawed elections. It is therefore important for the EC to steer away the process from this gross procedural bankruptcy and further restore the credibility of the ongoing Registration for a peaceful elections on the 7th December 2020. As part of our commitment to bettering the process, we demand that the EC writes off today’s activities and start the phase on registration tomorrow, July 13, 2020
Hon. Jerry Johnson
(Regional Communications Officer)