Sunday, 23 June

Stop NIA's last-minute manoeuvre to aid illegal voter registration in Pusiga – Omane Boamah

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Director of Elections and IT, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, has raised alarm over what he describes as a suspicious manoeuvring by the National Identification Authority (NIA) to facilitate illegal voter registration in Pusiga. 

The NIA, led by Ken Attafuah, has launched a special pilot programme to issue Ghana cards to "Ghanaians living along the borders of Ghana and Burkina Faso in Pusiga" during the current voter registration period.

The NIA's announcement, which encourages all Ghanaians in Pusiga who have not yet registered to do so, comes just days after National Democratic Congress (NDC) voter registration agents uncovered a fraudulent scheme.

 An Electoral Commission (EC) officer, identified as Muhazu Alhassan, was arrested for allegedly using a single Ghana card to register multiple individuals to vote in the December 7, 2024 elections.

Dr. Boamah argues that this NIA exercise, ostensibly a collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is a vile attempt to enable illegal voters to register in the final days of the voter registration process. 

He contends that the NIA aims to issue Ghana cards to individuals who were previously turned away from the Pusiga registration center, thus, allowing them to register and vote illegally.

The NDC has made it clear that they will only permit the legal registration of voters. 

Dr. Boamah has instructed NDC agents to remain vigilant and ensure that only legitimate registrations occur.

In a press conference on May 16, 2024, the NDC highlighted significant concerns about the misuse of the Ghana Card. They reported that EC registration officials, in collusion with members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), were exploiting the Ghana Card system. Specifically, Muhazu Alhassan was found using a single Ghana card to register over 20 applicants at the Pusiga registration center. 

Although Alhassan was arrested and later granted bail, the incident underscored the systemic manipulation of the electoral process.

The NDC also criticized the EC for failing to integrate its database with the NIA's to verify the ages of new voters, despite a $54 million investment in biometric registration capabilities in 2020. 

They accused the NPP of distributing Ghana cards to minors to facilitate their registration and demanded accountability from both the NIA and the EC.

Dr. Boamah and the NDC are calling for immediate action to prevent any further illegal voter registration and to uphold the integrity of the electoral process in Ghana.

Source: Classfmonline.com/Cecil Mensah