By Clara Quainoo (GIJ Intern)
The National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, has accused the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) of desperately trying to undermine the simple, civil and peaceful exercise of voter registration.
He said, the NDC is tirelessly trying to turn the exercise into one of ethnocentrism through “outright fabrications, needless exaggerations and old-fashioned fear-mongering and propaganda tactics.”
Addressing a Press Conference in Accra yesterday, Freddie Blay noted that the Electoral Commission (EC), the arbiter with the sole authority to determine elections has had to prove its mettle over and over again when it was challenged by its decision to have a brand new voter register for the conduct of the 2020 General Elections.
“Against the EC argument that the equipment holding the existing register was obsolete and the data unreliable, the NDC mounted an incredibly virulent yearlong campaign of demonstrations, press conferences, and boycotts of IPAC. They threatened brimstone and fire. Thankfully, these NDC protest-preneurs and their so-called militant allies in their red berets soon discovered that they couldn’t fool Ghanaians to follow them in these pointless marches, which had in fact turned into a nice cottage industry for the organizers. Even the majority of their own NDC members refused to follow them as, thanks to Akufo-Addo, they had jobs to go to,” he said.
He averred that the NDC later went to the Supreme Court and on June 25, the Court ruled unanimously against the NDC.
“When their claims of being in a comfortable lead fell flat, they raised the spectre of corona virus and swore that the registration exercise would fail. One member even publicly offered to be castrated as living sacrifice for the party if the exercise succeeded.”
Freddie Blay pointed out that the NDC, having failed at every turn, have decided to introduce and pursue an agenda of what they claim to be ethnic disenfranchisement as their last card.
“We are calling on the people of the Volta Region and indeed on all Ghanaians to stand up against being used as political pawns in this dangerous political game by a desperate John Mahama. Mahama showed very little concern for the people of the Volta Region when he had the opportunity as president to impact on the lives of the people. John Mahama cannot be trusted and we say so by his own record and not just his dangerous words.”
He said, ever since the NDC flagbearer visited the Volta Region, starting with Aflao in Ketu South on Saturday, 11th July, 2020(a trip which took him to Akatsi South, Ketu North, South Tongu and Ho), the NDC suddenly changed course to spread falsehood that the Akufo-Addo government was pushing an anti-Ewe agenda to disenfranchise people from the Volta Region.
He said: “In his latest hate-for-votes campaign, John Mahama accused the military falsely of disallowing “our brothers and sisters in the Volta Region and wherever there are settlements of Voltarians and non-Akans” to register to vote. This is a big and dangerous lie.”
The former president, he said, has also accused President Akufo-Addo of ethnic discrimination when, the President was in the Northern and Savannah Regions to ensure that 1.2 million people there have access to water, including John Mahama’s own maternal hometown.
“John Mahama has no message because Akufo-Addo is working hard to solve the real-life problems that confront the Ghanaian people.”
According to him, the military were deployed months ago to patrol all our borders for a variety of security-related reasons and that the numbers were even greater along the northern borders than the south-east.
The GNPC Board chairman said, “There were no complaints. John Mahama is using this reckless ploy to try to motivate the NDC’s grassroots, cower the security agents from doing their legitimate job so that the NDC can employ foul means to populate the register. We should not confuse the genuine efforts to police the borders throughout the country to mean that the NPP is against anyone. Elections in Ghana are for Ghanaians. Yet, as we speak, a number of Togolese and Nigerians have either been convicted or have their cases pending at the Keta circuit court charged with registering for a voter ID card.”
He however stressed that Candidate Mahama has a corner somewhere deep inside his heart that remains free of ethnocentric bigotry.
“If you listen carefully, you will hear the voices of the men and women who died that we would live; the men and women whose toil, whose legacy, whose spirits, whose souls we honour today the Fourth of August. Please heed their voices. Honour them by finding yourself a proper message; a message that binds and builds,” he admonished.