…As NPP Agents Raise Red Flags over Foreigners
The hitherto peaceful Voters Registration exercise for the aged, pregnant women and the disabled in the Juaboso Constituency of the Western North Region witnessed an ugly scene on Friday, July 19, 2020, when agents of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the centre raised alarm over the presence of perceived foreigners.
According to information gathered by ghananewsonline.com.gh newshounds, about 17 people, believed to be of Moshie and Gruma extraction, and believed to have been transported there from La Cote d’Ivoire by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), had registered at the centre situated at the Education Office.
We further gathered that the group trooped there on that fateful day to collect their voters’ cards. It was at this junction that the NPP agent challenged them over their nationality. This is because they did not understand Sefwi; the local language, let alone English or any other Ghanaian language.
It is further alleged that the group was invited before the panel sitting on the challenging issues and, there, the confusion rose with a split between the panel members, as one part opined that the cards of the suspects be withheld. The other part, led by Police Officer on the panel named Anim, held that their cards be given to them; as a result of which nine of them were given their cards. This, according to our information led to chaos at the place lasting for hours into the late hours of the night.
According to our information, NPP agents had gathered that the NDC had plans to bring on about 36 others from La Cote d’Ivoire. As such, they had to keep vigil till late in the night, as a result of which there was no show for them (suspects).
When the District Electoral Commissioner, Fatima Kanton, was contacted, she said that the incident happened after work that day, so she was not privy to that information and that it was not for her to identify who is, or not a Ghanaian. Madam Kanton was quick to point out that “He who alleges must prove”.
But when the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Madam Martha Manu Kwayie was contacted, she confirmed the incident during the voters registration excercise, describing it as very nasty. She expressed worry at the stance of the police officer on the panel on the issue, saying that this same officer had rejected the issuance of cards to some residents whose residencies were challenged at Benchema barrier some weeks earlier.
Registration Had Been Smooth
Madam Kwayie, popularly referred to as “Obaatan Pa” by her constituents indicated that but for this incident and a previous one at Benchama Barrier some time back, the exercise had been very smooth and successful.
She mentioned that over 2,000 voters had been registered so far in phase 1–4 programmes. According to her, she was at a loss as to how the alleged persons were able to find their way to Ghana when all borders had been closed. Obaatan Pa was quick to point out that they might have come through unapproved routes.
The DCE, who also doubles as the NPP parliamentary candidate for Juaboso pointed out that the numbers registered at border towns this time around had been cut by halves because of the vigilance mounted thereby security and NPP party agents. She maintained that with this situation, the NDC wants a way out, hence transporting these suspicious characters hinterland for registration.
She indicated that some of these foreigners had been given NPP cards thereby giving them semblance of recognition to register “All the same vigilance is high from now till voting day!” she exclaimed.
Hon. Martha Kwayie stated that all this notwithstanding, COVID-19 protocols are strictly adhered to as PPEs are given to deserving institutions and personalities. Obaatan Pa stated that 20,000 nose masks had already been shared and 6,650 others are currently being shared. Also, over 16,000 hand sanitizers have been distributed, with the beneficiaries being health workers, market women, storekeepers, drivers and other recognized institutions and the general public Also, the Assembly has ambassadors who go preaching COVID-19 messages all over, besides regular radio programmes to educate the people.
She commended health workers for working so hard to facilitate her work on COVID-19 Education and programmes. Obaatan Pa urged all to have confidence in government and co-operate with it and the Assembly in their bid to fight the COVID-19 pandemic even in these times of nationwide voters registration
“We should all, therefore, adhere to the protocols of the pandemic, as COVID-19 is real!” she admonished. Madam Kwayie hinted that so far 20 samples had been taken and only 3 have proved positive and are receiving treatment.
By S. O. Ankamah, Juaboso, WNR