Voters Reg.: Insults, guns, knives being exploited by politicians to mar the exercise – Opuni-Frimpong

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A preliminary report by the Alliance for Christian Advocacy Africa has cited political actors within the Ghanaian space, mostly as, perpetrators of violence and tension in the ongoing voters registration through their continuous manipulation of the process.

The group, comprising about 100 pastors from various denominations, have been accredited by the Electoral Commission (EC) to monitor the registration process in selected centres nationwide.

Ahead of their final findings at the end of the exercise, Chief Executive Officer for the group, Rev. Kwabena Opuni Frimpong revealed that observations made so far reveal growing tensions at certain centres in the aforementioned regions.

These happenings he says, largely stem from interferences by political actors in the two major parties; the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), in the process.

Though the Electoral Commission is satisfactorily meting out its duties, according to Rev. Opuni-Frimpong, some incidents of violence being incited by these political perpetrators, is threatening the peaceful and smooth running of the registration process.

“The challenge is the violent conduct of some of the political party agents and that has marred the beauty of the registration process. We are having complaints about busing of people to register and that has been a major source of tension and conflict. There is interference of the process by some members of Parliament, Ministers of State and party officials. Instead of filling the complaints forms as directed by the EC, they are choosing those they will register and those they will not. Others even go to the extent of blocking entry routes by not allowing people to alight from vehicles and buses, because they have been bussed by others. The violence at the centres includes; insults, beating and destruction of properties, use of guns and knives, machetes,” he indicated.

Expressing great concern about the goings-on and citing the unfortunate death of a 28-year-old man in Banda, he called for immediate action by the police and law enforcement agencies. This, according to him, will avert an exacerbation of the situation and subsequent translation into the upcoming general elections.

“There is the unfortunate record of the death of a 28-year-old man in Banda and you ask yourself if just registration we lose a life, you ask yourself what will happen when we get to December for the main elections…. The police and EC must investigate accusations and counter accusations of bussing of people to the registration centers…. If we don’t respond to it, we are nurturing a challenge that will grow its face,” he further added.

Rev. Opuni-Frimpong also cautioned that the youth to refrain from serving as puppets who will be exploited by politicians for their selfish interests.

“Our young people should claim their genuine political space in the electoral process and refuse to be used as mere tools of violence by indecent politicians,” he said.

The Alliance For Christian Advocacy Africa has been accredited by the Electoral Commission to monitor the ongoing voters registration in 6 regions. These include; Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, Bono, Ashanti and Northern regions. With 100 pastors from different nominations, some 520 polling stations have been monitored as at July 19, 2020 in 75 constituencies.

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