Politics

Full text: Speech by NDC’s National Chairman on limited voter registration

The National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah addressed a press conference on May 9, 2024 in relation to the 2024 limited voter registration exercise being undertaken by the Electoral Commission.

Please read full statement below:

PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (NDC) ON THE ONGOING LIMITED VOTER REGISTRATION EXERCISE.

Welcome to this all-important Press Conference.

EC Stopping the NDC from recording Serial Numbers of BVR Kits

Ladies and gentlemen, not long ago, you may recall that some Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits kept under CCTV surveillance were stolen from the headquarters of the Electoral Commission of Ghana.

Pursuant to this theft case, the NDC posed thirty-five (35) questions to the EC.

However, the Jean Mensa-led EC has blatantly refused to answer the 35 questions the NDC asked at last IPAC meeting. We subsequently communicated the questions to the EC but no answers have been provided. Therefore, the EC cannot expect the NDC to believe and behave as if all is well.

We have also petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to constitute and independent bipartisan investigation into the matter of stolen biometric equipment of the Electoral Commission of Ghana.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The NDC has always been suspicious that the stolen kits would be used to illegally register some people in order to add them to the voters’ register; to enable them vote on December 07, 2024.

If hardware can be stolen UNDER CCTV SUREVEILLNACE, why not activation code?

Faced with this imminent threat of a compromised voter register, we adopted a precautionary measure going into the ongoing limited voter registration exercise.

The NDC tasked its registration agents across the country to record the serial numbers of all BVR kits that will be deployed by the EC.

Among others, the essence of recording the serial numbers of the BVR kits will help us trace, identify and match every registration data emanating from a specific district or electoral Area. The serial numbers will also help us track all authorized personnel (EC’s officials) who operate the BVR kits in an electoral area. This will forestall any clandestine registration aimed at contaminating the voters register.

We are determined to ringfence the threat and risk to the 2024 elections by documenting the serial numbers of each BVR kit that will be used in this registration exercise.

Our agents also have our firm instructions that if BVR kits malfunction and are replaced during registration, they should duly record the serial numbers of the new BVR kits and the date and time of use.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are utterly surprised that this precautionary measure taken by the NDC is being resisted by the Electoral Commission.

Why is the EC resisting and stopping NDC registration agents from recording the serial numbers of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits?

The big question is, what does the EC have to hide? What is their fear over the mere recording of the serial numbers of these BVR kits knowing very well some have been stolen under their watch?

Is there something they are hiding from the public? Will our precautionary measure not prevent the criminals who stole the BVR kits from using them to illegally register people?

If the EC has nothing to hide, they should just allow willing political parties to record the serial numbers of BVR kits during this limited voter registration exercise.

Members of the press, on Election Day, serial numbers of Biometric verification devices (BVDs) are recorded on the Statement of polls (pinksheets). Agents of political parties have access to the serial numbers of BVDs. So, why stop the recording of serial numbers of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits?

We wish to serve notice and notice is hereby served that NDC registration agents across the country will resist the EC’s clandestine attempts aimed at diminishing transparency in the voter registration exercise.

Let me emphasise that our agents must activate the party’s super hi-tech application systems to transmit all serial numbers of BVR kits in their districts and electoral areas to the National Elections and IT Directorate of the party, with or without the approval of the EC.

We shall not falter!

We shall not relent!

We shall not tire!

Ladies and gentlemen, we do not expect the Electoral Commission of Ghana to act as the conduit through which Akufo-Addo will implement his avowed determination not to hand-over power to the visionary, experienced and trustworthy John Dramani Mahama.

NPP must choose peaceful transfer of power from NPP to NDC in their own interest.

The 2024 elections will not be business as usual.

The EC must sit up! The EC must answer the 35 questions posed by the NDC on the stolen biometric equipment.

The EC has no option but to allow our agents to record the serial numbers of the BVR kits deployed for this registration exercise if they have nothing to hide.

Improved transparency is beneficial to all stakeholders but above all, it enhances the credibility of the EC.

Finally, let me use this opportunity to repeat our call to all CSOs, Chiefs, Opinion Leaders, Faith based Organisation to join us to demand more transparency and fairness which is a necessary pre-condition for peaceful elections.

We thank you for coming.

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