NPP and NDC trade accusations over busing underage voter applicants at Nauso
Representatives of both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have engaged in a heated argument over the busing of alleged underage applicants to the Electoral Commission (EC) registration centre at Nuaso.
Both major political parties traded accusations of busing applicants to the registration centre, fueling concerns about the potential inclusion of underage voters in the overall voter register through the ongoing national limited voter registration exercise.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Simon Tawiah, the NDC Nuaso Coordinator, alleged that executives from the NPP have been obstructing the registration process for a number of prospective voters by deliberately raising queries about the validity of their age.
He also said the NPP officials had been trying to lure potential applicants to help them gain access to the voter identification cards without following due process.
Mr Godwin Oblandah Totroku, the Lower Manya NDC youth organiser, also said the NPP was attempting to thwart the voter registration process by consistently challenging the age of applicants.
In a sharp rebuttal, Mr William Ozor, the NPP Constituency Communications Officer for Lower Manya Krobo, denied all the allegations and rather said that, “the NDC is trying to bus in minors—those who are not 18 years old—to go through the process,” saying, “that’s why their agents [NPP] have been vigilant and checking frequently.”
He said the law frowned on applicants who were not qualified to go through the process and that “the NDC is just raising the alarm because they [the NPP] are very vigilant about the applicants who are registering.”
Mr. Gilbert Nyarko, the Research and Elections Officer of the NPP Lower Manya Krobo, also explained that the EC had agreed that 10 people should be inside the registration arena at a time while the others wait outside to avoid overcrowding.
He further accused the NDC of busing people from Asutuare, North Tongu, and Asuogyaman, asserting that, “it has been a smooth process, but the NDC is trying to cause chaos because when they bring applicants, they try to sneak the person to get access to the card without joining the cue.”
The ongoing limited voter registration exercise at the EC office in Nuaso, in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region, has witnessed a remarkable turnout on its third day.
In a visit by the Ghana News Agency, it was observed that a significant number of applicants, mostly youth, were actively engaged in the registration process.
Mr Jonathan Okai, the Lower Manya Municipal Director of the EC, indicated that the registration process started smoothly, and a total of 62 applicants were registered on the first day, followed by an increase to 81 applicants as of yesterday.
The numbers continued to rise, with a total of 88 people successfully registered by 1400 hours on Friday.
“With my competent team and the support of the police, we haven’t witnessed any violence or difficulties from any of the political figures,” he added.