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General News of Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Source: 3 News

Voters register: NIA’s response doesn’t make sense – Ofosu Ampofo

The National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, said the recent response by the National Identification Authority (NIA) to his concerns of a rigging ploy “doesn’t make sense to me”.

He said there are huge discrepancies in the number of registrants in strongholds of his party and those of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Mr Ofosu Ampofo alleged recently at a press conference that the NIA is colluding with the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) to rig the December 7 polls for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

But the Authority dismissed the allegations, challenging the largest opposition party in the country to report same to the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) of the Ghana Police Service as it amounts to crime.

“NIA does not operate on the basis of political strongholds,” the Authority stated as part of its response.

“NIA’s operations planning is based on population statistics of each region obtained from Ghana Statistical Service. The duration of the mass registration exercise in a particular region is therefore scheduled based on the number of residents in the region as well as the number of applications that can be completed in a day. The registration process is open to all residents with the exception being persons who are not Ghanaian citizens. There has therefore been no deliberate effort to prevent applicants in any region to register.”

But assuming the ‘temperature seat’ on 100 Degrees on Onua TV on Monday, May 18, Mr Ofosu Ampofo said the response “is not necessary because it doesn’t make sense to me”.

“[The NIA Executive Director] is a university professor, you go and register in a place where the population is 466,000, you couldn’t register half of them [and] you were able to go to another region, where the population is about 2.8 million, you registered more than that and had almost 300,000 in addition.

“Does it make sense to you?” he asked the host, Bright Kwesi Asempa.

“It doesn’t make sense at all. It has even infuriated many,” he disclosed.

According to him, the NIA and the EC did not initially make it clear to Ghanaians that the Ghana Card would be used for the compiling of a new register.

Besides, Mr Ofosu Ampofo noted, the NIA could only register a little over half of the registrable population in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions while they exceeded their target by almost 300,000 in the Ashanti Region.

“[So those in the north] will ask you, why their population is the least and you came and you couldn’t even register half of them and you registered the Ashanti Region almost 3 million and then you turn out to tell us, when voting the NIA card will be the main card for registration to qualify somebody as a voter and you think that the people will be happy?

“That is why we are saying that they have ganged up to rig the elections.”

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