The National Identification Authority (NIA) has asked the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to report the state agency to the police if the party has any evidence to back its election rigging allegations made against the Authority on Thursday, 14 May 2020.
The National Democratic Congress, at a press conference, raised fears that the decision of the Electoral Commission to compile a new register of voters using passports and the NIA’s Ghana card as proof of eligibility may give undue advantage to the governing New Patriotic Party and President Nana Akufo-Addo and also help the incumbent to rig the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2020.
According to the biggest opposition party, over 10 million Ghanaians are unable to retrieve their Ghana cards from the NIA several months after they were registered, a situation which the Chairman of the party, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, said will make it impossible for them to be captured on the new electoral roll.
“The President, seeing defeat staring glaringly at him, is, in conjunction with the Jean Mensa-led EC, and the Ken Attafuah-led NIA, desperately scheming to rig the 2020 elections and hold on to power at all cost”, Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said, adding: “Not even the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in which require that we pull together for our collective survival as a nation, are enough to deter the actors of this plot from their ungodly act”.
“In essence”, he noted, “you’d realise that at the end of the day, several people will be frustrated, they’ll not get the opportunity. And if you look at the figures, you’d realise that the percentages increase in the NDC strongholds and it is a very worrying sign that it is a deliberate attempt to suppress votes and ensure that as many people as possible are unable to make themselves available”.
In Mr Ampofo’s view, allowing the EC to compile a new register within the time constraints brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, could mean disaster.
“Again, considering the time limitation imposed on the nation by COVID-19, this is not only practicable but simply defies commonsense and will surely disenfranchise a lot of eligible voters if the EC is allowed to proceed on this rather dangerous and perilous path”.
At a counter-press conference on Friday, 15 May 2020, the Executive Director of the NIA, Prof Ken Attefuah, said it was a “disturbing allegation that the NIA, in concert with the Electoral Commission, embarked on an election-rigging agenda in order to benefit the New Patriotic Party, and most disturbingly, to disenfranchise a significant portion of the Ghanaian populace from their rights to exercise their franchise”.
“I want to assure the good people of this country that the NIA is not involved in any such criminal design or enterprise with the EC, with the government of Ghana or any with any person or entity whatsoever described. There is, in short, no such conspiracy, and, perhaps, any person or institution alleging such a criminal conspiracy has a duty to report same to the police”.
According to him, “The exclusion of the voter ID card, was both legal and legitimate, having been passed by the Parliament of this republic and on sound grounds. Indeed, the amendment of Section 8 of Act 750 to exclude the voter ID card, driver’s licence, baptismal certificate and weighing card as eligible documents for acquiring a Ghana card, was wholly supported by the entire plenary of the parliament of this republic. Indeed, there was not a whimper of opposition or protest from any member of parliament – both government and opposition – when the matter went to the floor of parliament for deliberation. The NIA has not embarked upon anything improper, illegal or illegitimate”.