The Director of Elections of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Northern Region, Alhaji Mohammed Aminu Adam (aka Abio), has given high marks to the Electoral Commission (EC) on the ongoing voter registration exercise in the region.
THE CUSTODIAN gathered that about 19,000 eligible voters were registered on the first day of the exercise in the region with the number increasing to over 20,000 on Wednesday.
Accordingly, Alhaji Abio said he was satisfied with the progress made so far.
“If I am to assess them (EC) I will give 80 percent because all polling stations were opened for registration and people turnout in their numbers to register.
However, Alhaji Abio said it is too early to pass judgment on the overall performance of the EC in the voter registration exercise across the region.
According to him, the EC registration officials and data entry clerks in the beginning may not have been too familiar in handling the equipment and the processes of filling the application forms.
In view of this, he noted definitely there would be some reasonable delays in the registration process.
Expressing some reservations, Alhaji Abio said a number of the registration machines were not functioning as he expected because by midday, the batteries in some of the machines had run down.
He was however satisfied that even though the exercise did not start early as scheduled on Wednesday due to a downpour in the area, the situation improved.
The NDC former Regional Youth Organizer said anomalies have been detected on some voter ID cards issued so far in Tamale.
He cautioned the registration officials to be mindful about the personal information of applicants they capture into the database.
“There are two ID cards in circulation where one in Gumbini here Tamale a registrant’s date of birth has moved to the year 1702, and this means that the person was born before the pyramids of Egypt was build and so we need to be careful in entering people’s data.
Meanwhile, the EC has since corrected the date of birth with the name Abukari Osumanu and a new Voter ID card issued to the applicant.
Alhaji Abio noted that “In some other instance, a male was entered as female and all this due diligence needs to be done because these people will not be allowed to vote if time doesn’t allow the EC to do exhibition of the register for the people to correct these errors; they need to be guided”.
New registration plan
The country’s election management body has announced new plans for execution of the registration exercise.
The second badge of phase one, which was scheduled from August 3, will now commence earlier than the previous date.
Alhaji Mohammed Abio also disclosed that badge two of phase one will commence on July 11 immediately after the end of badge one of phase one.
Meanwhile, the registration process is currently done at 202 centres in the northern region for the first phase of the exercise.
There a total number of 1,944 registration centres are put together in the region with 395 clusters.