With the second phase of the ongoing voters registration exercise completed, three Members of Parliament and two aspiring MPs of the biggest opposition party in the Eastern Region are making damning allegations against the governing party and other statutory institutions including security personnel.
The MPs including Ampem Thomas Nyarko (MP – Asuogyaman), Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi (MP – Lower Manya), Magnus Kofi Amoatey (MP, Yilo Krobo) and two parliamentary candidates including Bismark Tetteh Nyarko, (Parliamentary Candidate, Upper Manya Krobo) and Albert Tetteh Nyakotey (Parliamentary Candidate, Yilo Krobo) in a joint press conference held at Kpong on Saturday, July 11, 2020 questioned the governing New Patriotic Party’s commitment to a clean voters’ register amidst accusations of fraud, violence and intimidation of party agents and other members of the NDC.
Member of Parliament for Yilo Krobo, Magnus Kofi Amoatey who addressed the press on behalf of the MPs accused the opposition NPP in the aforementioned constituencies of, contrary to their purported calls for a clean and credible register for Ghana, engaging in fraudulent acts.
“…it is however unfortunate to state categorically and without any fear of contradiction that our opponents of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have so far not acquitted themselves creditably in the conduct of the exercise in the first two weeks of Registration,” The MPs said. “They have proven to be interested rather in the production of a voter register not fit to be called a clean and credible Register, contrary to their loud advocacy of wishing to have a clean and credible register for Ghana.”
The lawmakers claim the governing party, aside resorting to acts of intimidation and violence, is also resorting to transport persons from other constituencies including Ashaiman, Tema, Kpone, Dawa and Okere, in a bid to register them to give them an unfair advantage.
“The NPP is engaged in and is prosecuting a grand design to bus persons from other areas outside the constituencies to have them registered in the four (4) constituencies we are representing. The NPP candidates are also resorting to acts of intimidation, violence and assaulting our agents and party officials at some of the centres,” the lawmakers said.
Citing examples to buttress its claims, the MPs said cutlass wounds were inflicted on one of the party’s officials at a registration center in Upper Manya Krobo by a well-known NPP activist. It also cited another example of NPP brutality in the Asuogyaman Constituency where somebody, in the full glare of the soldiers, slapped one their party agents without any provocation.
Accusing the security services of offering tacit support for the illegality, the NDC said, “In some of the incidents we were witnesses to, it is extremely sad that the acts of violence were perpetrated in full glare of security or peace officers. The police stood helpless and in a particular case, the police aided the passage of the buses carrying the strangers to the Registration Centre.”
According to the lawmakers, the parliamentary candidates of the NPP and the MMDCEs of the four constituencies are exploiting the law specified under C.I 91, Public Elections (Registration of voters) Regulations 2016 and which they are flouting with impunity and disdain.
The NDC MPs however warned that the party is ready to rise up and defend itself if the acts of violence and intimidation against its agents and members does not stop.
They however commended the electoral officers and political party agents on the conduct of the exercise in a peaceful atmosphere at some of the centres as well as citizens for the massive participation and awareness in the exercise and urged others who are yet to register to do so as soon as the EC Registration team gets to their area.
Find below the full press statement:
PRESS BRIEFING ADDRESSED BY THE NDC MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND THE PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATES FOR ASUOGYAMAN, LOWER MANYA KROBO, UPPER MANYA KROBO AND YILO KROBO CONSTITUENCIES ON ACTIVITIES OF THE NPP IN RELATION TO THE ON-GOING VOTER REGISTRATION EXERCISE PERTAINING TO THEIR CONSTITUENCIES ON SATURDAY, 11TH JULY, 2020 AT KPONG
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media.
We the Sitting Members of Parliament for Asuogyaman, Lower Manya, Yilo Krobo together with respective Parliamentary Candidates and Constituency Chairmen of the National Democratic Congress for the four (4) Constituencies wish to welcome and thank you sincerely for accepting our invitation, at short notice, to attend this short ceremony to brief you on the prospects and challenges we are grappling with in the two-week long voter Registration exercise.
The Registration exercise started in the EC designated centres in our Constituencies on the 30th June 2020 as we all know. The exercise so far has been seemingly smooth at most of the centres except for the slow performance of some of the officials and a few of the deployed machines.
We wish to commend the Registration officials and the political party agents so far on the conduct of the exercise in a peaceful atmosphere at some of the centres. It is also important to commend the citizens for the massive participation and awareness in the exercise and we urge all others who are yet to register to do so as soon as the EC Registration team gets to their area. It is important to have your name on the voter register so you could exercise your franchise come 7th December 2020.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is however unfortunate to state categorically and without any fear of contradiction that our opponents of the New Patriotic party (NPP) have so far not acquitted themselves creditably in the conduct of the exercise in the first two weeks of Registration. They have proven to be interested rather in the production of a voter register not fit to be called a clean and credible Register, contrary to their loud advocacy of wishing to have a clean and credible register for Ghana.
The NPP is engaged in and is prosecuting a grand design to bus persons from other areas outside the Constituencies to have them registered in the four (4) constituencies we are representing. The NPP candidates are also resorting to acts of intimidation, violence and assaulting our agents and party officials at some of the Centres.
In some of the incidents we were witnesses to, it is extremely sad that the acts of violence were perpetrated in full glare of security or peace officers. The police stood helpless and in a particular case, the police aided the passage of the buses carrying the strangers to the Registration Centre.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the media, the conduct of the Registration exercise is covered by law and it limits the Registration of voters at a particular electoral area to Ghanaians who are Eighteen (18) years or above and of sound mind and resident or ordinarily resident in an electoral area. This is the law as clearly specified under C.I 91, Public Elections (Registration of voters) Regulations 2016.
Regulation 32 of C.I 91 defines “ordinary resident” as a person who within four (4) years prior to the holding of the election, that person has lived in the electoral area for an aggregate period of not less than twelve (12) months.
This is the Provision of the law that the NPP acting through its Parliamentary candidates with the active support of their respective MMDCE’S in our Constituencies are flouting with such impunity and disdain.
Almost every day of the two-week registration exercise , our officials were called to go ward off busloads of strangers being brought into a centre from either Ashaiman, Tema, Kpone, Dawa, Okere, or places outside the Constituencies. Just yesterday, we had to rush to Akertebuor and Atua to ward off persons brought in from Koforidua, Ashaiman and Tema to be registered in two of our Constituencies.
Anytime our agents and officials tried to protest about the presence of the bus loads of transported persons, they were subjected to intimidation and assault from our opponents. At one of the Upper Manya Registration centres, cutlass wounds were inflicted on one of our party officials by a well-known NPP activist in that Constituency.
In the Asupgyaman Constituency, a person ran in full glare of the soldiers to slap our party Agent without the slightest provocation. In all these cases of assault, our members made complaints to the Police and as usual were only issued with Medical forms to go and obtain medical report. Unfortunately, no action had so far been taken to show the extent of investigations conducted nor indications of any Prosecution.
Under the circumstances, ladies and gentlemen, the only conclusion we could come to was that the law enforcement agencies would turn a blind eye when it came to enforcement of the law against NPP known activists and officials leaving the NDC victims of assault helpless. This is not the application of the law of equality under the constitution.
Our officials at the Registration centres have filed several challenge forms to challenge the Registration of persons not qualified to be registered under the law at the affected centres.
We need to emphasize that there is widespread agitation from the rank and file of our membership expressing their frustration and helplessness at the hands of our NPP opponents. Our members in several communities have indicated to us that they can no longer tolerate the bussing of unknown persons to their communities to register and influence their choice of leaders in the December elections. It is for this reason that we have come together to brief the Media and to say that the citizens living in our respective constituencies are peace loving and would not want to be seen nor heard in the Media for the wrong reasons.
We serve notice that we at all times wish to co-exist peacefully with our neighbours, during this registration exercise, the election process and thereafter. Let nobody be misled into believing that our constituents are cowards. They are absolutely capable of rising up to protect the peace and tranquility they enjoy as well as defending the integrity of their polling centres and their choice of leadership.
Just as the NPP and indeed all Ghanaians do not wish to see non-qualified voters come to determine our choice of leaders, we also will not entertain nor accept non-residents of our Constituencies to go to determine who represents us in Parliament.
Let those who are being “bussed” to our Constituencies by our NPP opponents realize that they will be welcomed if only they are qualified under the law to be registered in our Constituencies, otherwise they are advised to stay far away from any registration centre in Asuogyaman, Lower Manya, Upper Manya and Yilo Krobo Constituencies.
We urge the Police and Security Officers to protect all of us and not only a section of the populace.
We also urge Election Observers and Civil Society Organisations as well as chiefs and elders of all our communities to intervene and ensure that Ghana produces a very credible and clean register in accordance with law.
We again thank you for your attention.
AMPEM THOMAS NYARKO (MP- ASUOGYAMAN) 0549551668
EBENEZER OKLETEY TERLABI (MP-LOWER MANYA) 0540101988
BISMARK TETTEH (PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE, UPPER MANYA KROBO) 0244126672
MAGNUS KOFI AMOATEY (MP, YILO KROBO) 0244968839
ALBERT TETTEH NYAKOTEY (PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE, YILO KROBO) 0540106710
For Enquiries pls call 0246153867 Emmanuel Akumatey Okrah (Constituency Communications Officer-Yilo Krobo)
Source: Michael Oberteye, Contributor