National Democratic Congress has sent a strong caution to the governing New Patriotic Party that it will no longer sit and watch as persons with links to the opposition party are intimidated from participating in the ongoing Voters Registration Exercise by the Electoral Commission.
In what is termed as OPERATION PROTECT YOUR POLLING STATION, the party has thus made a clarion call on members to defend its interest as the integrity of the New Register compilation is threatened every day by faulty devices, thugs linked to the governing NPP, busing of aliens to various constituencies to register and the frustration of supposedly from participating in the exercise.
At a Press Conference in Damongo, the party’s regional communications officer, Abdul Malik Basintale, also enumerated challenges facing the ongoing nationwide exercise, calling on the Electoral Commission to take immediate steps to address them to avoid people from being disenfranchised.
BELOW IS THE PARTY’S FULL PRESS STATEMENT
PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE NDC-SAVANNAH REGION ON THE ONGOING VOTER REGISTRATION EXERCISE, THE FAULTY NEW MACHINES BROUGHT, BUSING OF PEOPLE AND INTIMIDATION OF INDIGENES BY THE NPP THUGS BROUGHT INTO THE SAVANNAH REGION.
13TH JULY 2020.
Ladies and Gentlemen from the Media, I welcome you to this all important press conference to share with you the NDC’s observations from the ongoing voter registration exercise at the various polling stations.
The National Democratic Congress in the Savannah region has been monitoring the ongoing voter registration exercise that commenced on Tuesday June 30, 2020 and we wish to bring our observations to the attention of the Electoral Commission, the general public and other stakeholders as we have already tolerated enough from the actions and inactions of both the electoral commission and the government.
These challenges if not addressed portends far reaching implications for our electoral process and our democracy.
We will be very brief as a larger chunk of our protests will be demonstrated in physical for all to see and bear witness to that the NDC is not and has never been a timid party.
Friends from the media before I zoom into the various constituencies in the Savannah region I am sure we already know in general the poor compliance to Covid-19 protocols at registration centers, Poor public education on registration exercise especially in the thick villages, poor public education on registration schedules among others are very common fallouts in this whole new register brouhaha amidst the huge sums of money taken by the Akufo-Addo led government for this exercise.
We will not bore you so much in repeating to you what you already know and are unanimously peeved with.
Let’s start with:
*Lack of Logistics and Poor human resource by the electoral commission.*
All Electoral commission officials across the centers in the Bole-bamboi Constituency claimed they had no paper to do end of day print out for agents. They left data in the system and agents had to rely on what they had recorded personally at the centers.
Some polling stations did not make provision for a generator and as such found it difficult to power their systems since their batteries couldn’t last any long and an example is the Gbenfu polling station in Bole and other polling stations that had power did not have a common extension cord to get electricity from a short distance.
Data entry clerk at Bnyukon polling station was extremely slow making the whole process very slow due to lack of training in the whole process.
Tinga A and B which are part of the second phase was under staffed, officers couldn’t register the number of people who turned out to register.
On Sun. 12th July,2020 in the Sawla-tuna-kalba constituency,
The EC halted the entire exercise for about three (3) hours at Goyiri no.2 community centre due to a faulty machine. Due to that a total number of just 32 were registered at the end of the day.
At Tampoe community centre, the cartridge could not print, so the exercise was halted until the officials went back to Sawla.
At Nakwabi R/C Prim school, the machine automatically switches on and off there by delaying the Registration process.
At Sawla St. Cyprian’s seminary SHS, most of the applicants went back home due to the faulty nature of their machine.
The new machines used by Phase three within Sawla constituency can be said to be entirely faulty. The process has become extremely slow creating unnecessary tensions at registration centers.
At the Daboya Mankarigu Constituency,
Some of the first 7 machines that were deployed in the first batch to the constituency experienced problems with batteries since there were no extra batteries for them to use.
The Constituency leadership of NDC had to provide an extension cord for the officials of the EC to continue. This happened in the NDC strongholds such as LA Primary school and Daboya Town Park.
There has been a deliberate late arrival of Electoral commission officials to centers and an example was 3 days ago at Nyantan in the yapei-kusawgu constituency, as at 11am the EC officials were yet to arrive at the center.
In the Salaga North constituency for example. Registration officials live in Tamale and have to travel everyday for about 2 hours before getting to some polling stations making them extremely late to the various centers and as such reduces the number of persons who register in a day.
More than 90% of persons recruited by the electoral commission in the Savannah region are NPP persons and have no skills in basic registration procedures. They keep goofing and are very slow in typing affecting once again the number of persons who register in a day.
EC staff at E/A Primary Mandari have to stop work every hour to wait for their machines to cool down before they start work.
They complained that their machines had made the registration very slow.
As at 4:18pm, they had only 56 people registered meaning they couldn’t meet the daily target of 100 or more people.
At Nyantan in the Yapei-Kusawgu constituency, EC officials didn’t report to work yesterday at all and for whatever reasons we don’t know.
*On the matter of Rejecting Fulani’s*
There was an ugly scene at Butei in the Yapei-Kusawgu constituency where members of the New Patriotic Party were preventing residents of the Fulani extraction from registering in the ongoing voter registration exercise.
We are very much surprised that members of the NPP will partake in such an illegal tribalistic discrimination when they have a whole second lady, Samira Bawumia, the wife of the vice president being a Fulani and votes here in Ghana.
These Fulani’s had their parents born here in Ghana before 1957, were born here themselves, some married to Ghanaians and as such have every legal right to be registered to vote as they are Ghanaians so far as the laws of the land are concerned.
We in the NDC will continue to protect them, we will protect the law that gives them legitimacy as we condemn such acts in totality.
*On matters of the phase 3 registration*
There has been a deliberate dispatch of new registration machines into the Savannah region that are 10 times slower than what was used in the past.
Whereas at the beginning of the entire registration process we were able to get above 120 persons in a day registering, you can hardly get more than 60 people registering in a day all because of the slow pace of the machines brought into the Savannah region.
In other areas the machines keep overheating and have to be turned off in order for them to cool down so they continue the process.
A Polling station like Gou in the daboya-mankarigu constituency suffered a lot of setbacks whiles registering yesterday.
In the end, less than 40 people got registered instead of the usual 100 and above registrations daily.
At the close of the day in Yapei Madinaline registration Center in the Yapei-Kusawgu constituency, We recorded 87 people. Yapei presby A1 recorded 100 and Alipe recorded 83.
The technicians who have been using the machines are still the same workers, yet whiles they use to register about 160 and beyond, due to the new machines brought, the numbers keep reducing every day due to the extra slow speed of the machine.
We can go on and on in mentioning constituencies with same challenges and all these appear to be our strong holds.
We suspect a deliberate sabotage of Former President Mahama’s backyard, an attempt to disenfranchise our people and as such took away our fairly normal machines for Very very slow ones.
The issue of busing and Security intimidation
In Daboya and at polling station (L/A primary school Daboya) on day 3 of the second phase, one of our agents by name Ewuntomah Luman was beaten mercilessly when he challenged some persons bused by the NPP and brought to register. He was attacked by one of the NPP thugs in Daboya popularly known as “Red Bawa, dirty boys”.
These thugs go about the constituency with pepper spray, electric police shockers and other arms of human destruction just to deter NDC supporters from registering to vote for H.E John Mahama and Mp Hon. Shaibu Obei.
*Let us zoom into the Damongo constituency.*
There has been rampant busing of people from all around the regions into the Damongo constituency.
Recently a full bus of people from the Kintampo North constituency was stopped on the way by indigenes of the region and upon questioning it was revealed that they were being brought by the NPP to register in the damongo constituency, Vote for Akufo-Addo and the parliamentary candidate Samuel Abu Jinapor.
The bus was taken to the police station and asked to return to wherever it came from.
Ladies and gentlemen the bus drove straight to a Polling station, dropped the people and they were registered in full presence of thesame security personnel and electoral commission which was challenged with it’s forms. Upon confrontations, a scuffle broke out and some got injured in the process.
The busing of strangers into the constituency has become a daily norm yet the security services are unable to intervene as a result of so called “Power from above”.
On the 30th of June, 2020, at kurabaso polling station, Our constituency Communication officer and members, kiyoyo, Zambache and kalacuta were attacked by one Nsorwura who is the leader of the NPP invisible forces here in damongo.
On 1st, July one Atabia who is the secretary of the invisible forces assaulted one Waliu, a brother to the MP for Damongo, Hon Mutawakilu Galus.
That same Thursday, the same Atabia and his team assaulted one Abraham who is a journalist of pad fm and suppressed the freedom of the media in capturing exactly what has been going on here in Damongo.
Some invincible forces brought from Accra and acting as national security persons have been intimidating our agents especially at the Busunu zone including an ambush of our constituency chairman, trouble at tailope, a sabbath of Damongo.
These thugs, criminals and social misfits have been Moving with four new pick ups suspected to be filled with weapons of destruction all in support of the NPP candidate, Lawyer Samuel Abu Jinapor.
Just last week, additional Four warriors and known gang leaders were brought from tamale, paid and asked to attack anybody they see against the NPP in Damongo.
It has been revealed that all these thugs meet at a special location which is under investigation at Abingakura to share monies given to them and then plan towards the next days attacks on NDC persons and media persons suspected to be against them.
Why has Damongo suddenly become a place of fear?
Why will the people of the Damongo constituency suddenly have to sleep with one eye opened?
Why will Registration zones become so fearful that indigenes cannot go out to register?
Why has the ambition of Akufo-Addo and Samuel Abu Jinapor become a do and die affair to the extent of using self created security to intimidate people who have deep love for H.E John Mahama and Hon. Mutawakilu?
What happened to the peaceful political atmosphere of damongo in the past?
Why will Akufo-Addo allow for such tensions to be created in Damongo to the extent that, our overlord the Yagbon-wura will have to get involved in resolving matters of political parties?
Ladies and gentlemen, though we sympathize with the police and legitimate security services on their power taken from them, we encourage them to take their autonomy into high esteem and not to allow themselves be used by the already losing Akufo-Addo led government. This government has already exhibited gross failure and super incompetence and nothing at all can save them from the anger, hunger and frustrations of the Ghanaian people deliberately caused by President Akufo-Addo.
We wish to state that, we are no longer going to allow for such intimidating acts in the Damongo constituency and beyond.
We are hence going to exhibit the full realms of the boot for boot analogy as declared by our party the NDC.
We will face the NPP all round and nothing, absolutely nothing can stop us from safeguarding the interest and will of the good people of the Savannah region.
We are sending a strong caution to the NPP to be mindful of their actions and not to take our tolerance for granted.
The NDC is not a timid party and will not allow our long standing peace and stability in the Savannah region to be downplayed.
We will protect the land and citizenry with all our might and strength.
We hereby declare an Operation “Protect Your Polling Station” and direct that all NDC members in the Savannah region take charge of their localities and stop all intruders from registering as it is an exercise against the law.
We are sending a strong caution to persons who will allow themselves to be bused or sent here to register for the purposes of voting for Akufo-Addo and their parliamentary candidates to save their lives by rejecting such offers as it is a danger trap deliberately set for them to fall in and they will meet us half way their journey into the region.
We will face them, We will face them and within the remits of the law we will ensure they are sent back probably not the same to wherever they came from.
Ladies and gentlemen this is an agenda for the good of Damongo, an agenda for the Savannah region and an agenda for God and country.
The people of the Damongo constituency must be allowed to register and decide whoever they want to lead them.
The Action starts Now!!! Aluta Continua
We thank you all for coming.
Region Communication Officer