The Builsa North Constituency Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has expressed concern over the silence of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the on-going limited voter registration exercise across the country.
Mr James Achaab noted that most citizens, especially those in the rural communities, were not aware of the on-going exercise and that the NCCE, mandated to educate the Ghanaian citizenry on their civic rights and responsibilities, had been inactive in that role.
“Most of the people are not aware of the limited voter registration exercise. There used to be adverts, radio announcements by the NCCE, and they used to engage opinion leaders, especially the chiefs, to inform their people about such exercises. This time around, there is nothing like that,” he said.
Mr Achaab said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sandema, the Builsa North Municipal capital of the Upper East Region, following challenges with the on-going limited voter registration exercise in the constituency.
“We the politicians have taken it upon ourselves to go round and inform the people about the exercise. As we speak, I am just returning from Wiaga just to get the people informed that the exercise is on-going.”
“When I got to the registration centre, the network was down. These are our concerns as a Party, and I wonder if indeed the Electoral Commission (EC) really wants eligible applicants to register.”
“The EC should decentralise the exercise and NCCE should get involved and publicise it.”
Mr Achaab said other political parties had raised issues with the exercise but the EC was adamant in addressing those concerns.
“People from Chuchuliga, Namonsa struggled and came on a tricycle but could not register. About 16 of them returned. They may not come back. Who will bear the cost for them to come back?”
“…I have not seen citizens struggle to acquire a voter’s identity card like it’s happening presently. I remember the time of Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan when everything went on smoothly.”
Mr Achaab said the NDC was solid and would do everything possible to ensure that eligible applicants were duly registered to exercise their franchise in the 2024 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
“If the NCCE has failed on its mandate, we will take it upon ourselves as a party to inform citizens, especially in the rural communities, about the exercise. That is what we will do as a party to get eligible applicants to the centre to register,” he said.
Mr Achaab advised applicants not to despair despite the challenges but do everything possible to get registered and pledged the party’s support to help them to register to ensure they were not disenfranchised.
The limited voter registration exercise began on Tuesday, September 12 and is expected to end on Monday, October 2, 2023 for persons who had attained 18 years and above since the last registration exercise, and for those who could not register in 2020.