Politics

Foreigners acquire Ghana’s voter’s ID to avoid paying bribes

registrationForeigners from neighbouring countries have acquired Ghanaian voter’s identity cards in order to avoid paying bribes to border officials to cross to Ghana, Samia Nkrumah has alleged.

According to her, a number of those who registered in the just ended Limited Voter’s Registration exercise by the Electoral Commission in the Jomoro Constituency in the Western Region confirmed they were not Ghanaians.

Samia who is seeking to recapture the Jomoro parliamentary seat on the ticket of the Convention People’s Party claimed the local citizens told her scores of people who were bussed to the various centres to register were “unknown in the area”.

“We also stopped to speak to some of these obvious visitors and many confirmed that they were not from Ghana. They explained that their sole interest was to acquire Ghanaian Voter’s ID to use to avoid paying bribes when crossing the borders and to have access to other opportunities within our borders,” Samia claimed.

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Samia Nkrumah

In her latest Facebook post, the former CPP chair alleged daily figures from centres at the border town of Elubo showed the highest numbers of registrants.

NDC – NPP involvement

She said at the various communities, she we saw groups of people arriving in minibuses escorted by some political party functionaries, claiming the parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party in the constituency are complicit in the bussing of the foreigners

“The figures from the communities of residence of the NDC and NPP Parliamentary candidates, namely Nawulley and Tikobo No.1 respectively, as well as the border town of Elubo, recorded the highest numbers of registrants,” she said, but did not provide figures to support the claim.

She said the only time some of these foreigners were prevented from registering was when the residents supported the polling agents who objected to the foreign applicants.

“Literally, the only barrier to the registration of these suspected foreigners was the vigilance of the community, and the EC officers who also upheld the latter’s stance and carried out their duties as prescribed by law” she said.

EC officials Victimised

In some cases however, she claimed the community people joined forces with the NDC and NPP people to bulldoze EC officials to get the foreigners registered, noting this was particularly prevalent in the strongholds of the NPP and the NDC candidates.

“I saw how in these strongholds, it was the residents themselves who helped to silence the protests of polling agents or any other person who objected to the registration of foreigners.

“In one case, the EC officer was removed from his post and his service with the EC terminated because he was seen to be resisting orders to register foreigners,” she claimed.

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A military vehicle at one of the registration centres.                                  Photo: Facebook/Samia Nkrumah

She further alleged some army and police vehicles as well as personnel were deployed to those communities in an apparent move to quell any tension from the residents when the population suddenly shot up.

Questionable guarantors/register

The failed presidential aspirant of the CPP also questioned the propriety of some of the identity cards that were used to guarantee for some applicants, something she said affects the credibility of the exercise

“At the prompting of several of our polling agents, I saw the same set of guarantors guaranteeing for various applicants, answering questions on their behalf, and sometimes writing their particulars for them to give to the registration officers.

“On the printouts our agents showed us at the end of each of day, I saw that in some instances the same address was given by over twenty applicants.

“If all of the above could happen in front of us and in the full glare of the public, I cannot begin to imagine what could happen to the Voters’ Register in our absence and behind our backs?,” she wondered.

Consequently, she has called for an audit of the register to be generated from the exercise, saying, “These anomalies should be investigated without fail.”

She described the events that characterised the exercise as disturbing, noting it goes to suggest how appalling the standard in the practice of democracy in Ghana has become.

“We need to insist on a level-playing field for all candidates and an atmosphere of fairness and evenhandedness, free from intimidation and coercion,” she said.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|tv3network.com|Ghana

Twitter @steviekgh

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