The Coalition for the Defence of Equal Citizenship (CODEC) has planned to embark on a peaceful march in Accra on October 28, to draw attention to the fact that every Ghanaian vote and voice must count.
The march would be organized by the Coalition in collaboration with the Young Democrats and other allied civil society groups: the Socialist Forum of Ghana, United Cadres Front, Inside Ghana, Peace Forum, Diplomatic Forum, and Brigades of Young Democrats.
A statement issued by CODEC to the GNA and signed by Mr Samuel Atukwei Quaye, the General Coordinator; Mr Edudzi Kudzo Tamakloe, the Spokesperson and Mr Ali Dawud, the Operations Coordinator, said the exercise is necessary because they are resolved and determined to defend the 1992 Republican constitution, which enjoins all citizens under Article 17 (2) which states: “A person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.”
“We are committed to the equality of all Ghanaians and the preservation of personal liberties and the right to vote no matter which region one hails from”, the statement said.
The statement cited that the constitution defines a person qualified to vote and entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda, as a citizen of Ghana who is 18 years or above and of sound mind.
CODEC said it is outraged by what it describes as the fallacy circulating around the current debate on the voters register.
“It is important to state that under our constitution, once a person has one grandparent, who is a Ghanaian, that person is qualified to be a citizen, and can therefore register to vote”.
The statement further stressed that the constitution allows for dual citizenship with very limited and specific restrictions relative to the holding of certain public offices.
Therefore, according to the Coalition, the claim that there are persons on the Ghanaian voters register, who potentially match with that on the alleged Togolese register is patently speculative and cannot be the basis for the overhaul of the entire Ghanaian register.
It further stated that the Ghanaian voters register compiled in 2012 is the most credible compared to all previous registers from 1992, with the unique finger print impression of the Ghanaian.
“It is erroneous therefore to use a facial recognition application to discredit a register that has the unique finger print of the registrants”.
The statement also observed that there is no guarantee that compiling a new register will effectively and completely eradicate the incidence of minors on the register among others, hence the need to embark on the march, to prevent the waste of time, resources and effort.