By Frederick E. Aggrey .
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament has accused the government of deliberately disenfranchising citizens of the Volta region to enhance its electoral fortunes. According to them, the government is embarking on deliberate and calculated actions aimed at ensuring that few people from the Volta region could vote in the upcoming 2020 elections.
“The Akufo Addo government, seeing that it has performed abysmally in power, has hatched a grand scheme to prevent as many people as possible in the Volta region, where the mass votes of the NDC come from obtaining main documents needed for the Ghana Card, even as they still resist sound advice to include the Voter ID.”
The Minority Spokesperson on foreign affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who spoke on behalf of the Minority at a news conference in Accra yesterday, also cited the arbitrary transfer of some top employees of the regional Birth and Death registry and the additional directive that all Birth and Death registration should cease with immediate effect, as a typical example of the plot.
He explained that, the government is using the National Identification Authority (NIA) to ensure the realisation of this well hatched agenda.
According to him, many people in the Volta Region cannot have access to birth certificates or Ghanaian Passports, which also means that they would not be able to register for the Ghana Card.
He said the request of the NIA for the digital address system as a pre-requisite for registration is also a near impossibility for citizens of the region, considering access to the internet and other facilities.
All these, he said, the government is well aware of and knows that they would end up disenfranchising numerous citizens of the region.
He indicated that the people of the Volta region have always been treated to dehumanizing and marginalising situations, though they continue to be receptive.
He explained that, government’s action of allowing the NIA to compile data of Ghanaian nationals for eventual electoral purposes instead of the Electoral Commission amounts to usurpation of the Commission’s functions and mandate.
He stated that, per Article 45 (a) of the Constitutionmandates the Electoral Commission to compile names of citizens for the purpose of voting.
He added that any institution given same mandate by the government, including the NIA amounts to a breach of that provision.
Article 45 of Ghana’s Constitution states that, “The Electoral Commission shall have the following functions: (a) to compile the register of voters and revise it at such periods as may be determined by law”.
He added that, they would consequently seek constitutional interpretation of the action of the government at the Supreme Court on related matter, in order to protect the sanctity of Ghana’s Constitution.