The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has cautioned the National Identification Authority (NIA) and the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) against hasty decisions that will create suspicion and mistrust.
Whereas the NIA is currently embarking on a mass registration of Ghanaians in selected areas of the Greater Accra Region for the ‘Ghana Card’, the EC would in some few days start a limited voter registration exercise at its offices towards the upcoming district level elections.
Mr Abraham Koomson, Secretary General of the GFL in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said issues surrounding the Ghana card registration and the upcoming limited voter registration must be properly handled as their “Bad judgement” could have unfavourable consequences on the credibility of the two exercises.
Mr Koomson said it is worrying hearing news on malpractices such as the alleged registration of foreigners as Ghanaians by some NIA officials after receiving paltry sums and illegally setting up registration offices in the night at unauthorized places.
He added that NIA must initiate punitive sanctions against its officials named in such activities to deter others from doing so.
He further urged the NIA to relook at the deadline for the registration stating “the registration exercise is for national identification”.
He advised that since majority of Ghanaians might not be able to meet the primary requirements for registration, the NIA must organize a mop-up exercise after the mass registration to ensure that no citizens would be left out of the project.
He appealed to the NIA to also consider increasing the registration centres as well as extend the registration period as people had complained about delays in the process due to poor connectivity.
On the voters’ registration, he pleaded with the EC to make the registration easily accessible to eligible voters by opening the centres in the electoral area as it has been done over the years.
Mr Koomson said it is in the interest of the EC and the NIA not to create suspicions of conspiracy to manipulate the system for a possible election rigging in 2020.
He added that “If civil society becomes suspicious of conspiracy of the institutions to manipulate the system and rig the elections, certainly there will be resistance and revolt”.