The hitherto peaceful ongoing voter registration exercise for the aged, pregnant women and the disabled for the people of the Juaboso Constituency in the Western North Region witnessed an ugly scene last Friday when NPP agents at the centre raised alarm over the presence of perceived foreigners there.
According to our information, about 17 people, believed to be of Moshie and Gruma extraction, and who were said to be transported there from La Cote d’Ivoire by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), had well registered at the centre cited at the Education Office.
Our information further has it that the group trooped there on that fateful day to collect their voters’ cards.
It was at this junction that NPP agents 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 was further indicated that the group was invited before the panel sitting on challenge against their eligibility as Ghanaians.
Consequently, the confusion erupted with a split between panel members, as one part opined that the cards of the suspects be withheld.
One part, led by Police Officer on the panel, Mr Anim held that their cards be given 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 and lasting into late hours in 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 the foreign applicants.
When the District Electoral Officer, Fatima Kanton was contacted, she said 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”.
However, when the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Madam Martha Manu Kwayie was contacted, she confirmed the incident, 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 who had rejected to the issuance of cards to some residents whose places of abode were challenged at Benchema barrier some weeks earlier.
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 the four phases of the exercise.
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 parliamentary candidate for Juaboso pointed out that the numbers registered at border towns this time round had been cut by half because of the vigilance mounted there by security and NPP party agents. Mrs Kwayie maintained that with this situation, the NDC wants a way out, hence transporting these suspicious characters from the hinterland for registration.
She even 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.
Safety protocols observed
Mrs Kwayie stated that all this notwithstanding, COVID-19 protocols are strictly adhered to as PPE 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, store keepers, drivers and other recognized institutions and the general public Furthermore, the Assembly has ambassadors who go preaching COVID-19 messages all over, beside 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.
“We should all therefore adhere to the protocols of the pandemic, as COVID-19 is real!” she admonished.
Madama Kwayie hinted that so far 20 samples had been taken and only 3 have tested positive and are receiving treatment.