The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused the Electoral Commission (EC) of reneging on assurances that COVID-19 safety protocols would be observed during the ongoing voter registration.
According to the NDC’s Director of Elections, the wearing of face masks is being strictly enforced upon entry at registration centres but social distancing and washing of hands are not being observed.
At a press briefing today in Accra, Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah said it was mind-boggling how in the face of a deadly pandemic the EC will expose Ghanaians to the risk of COVID-19 infections.
He also accused President Akufo-Addo and EC Chairperson Jean Mensah for being responsible “for the further spread of the coronavirus through the ongoing mass registration exercise”.
He said: “The Electoral Commission upon all the assurances that they will ensure the observance of COVID-19 safety protocols has lost total control over the process. From the beginning of the exercise, we have witnessed COMPLETE disregard for COVID-19 safety protocols. While we observed that the wearing of face masks is being strictly enforced upon entry at the registration centre, social distancing and washing of hands are not being observed.
“It remains mind-boggling how in the face of a deadly pandemic where Ghana’s case count keeps skyrocketing by the day, President Akufo Addo and the Jean Mensah led Electoral Commission will recklessly expose Ghanaians to the risk of COVID-19 infections. It is said that even some EC officials did not have adequate protective equipment.
“Unfortunately, the EC appears to be blaming the general public for non-adherence to the safety protocols in its public statements on the ongoing registration process”.
Pervasive violent attacks
The party also urged the Police to protect its agents and investigate what it says are pervasive violent attacks at registration centres.
Mr Afriyie Ankrah said: “As reported widely in the print and electronic media, our agent by name Ebenezer Tetteh sustained severe injuries on the head after being hit with a concrete block at the registration centre at Kasoa by an NPP member.
“There were also gunshots at the same polling station. Our youth organizer in Kasoa was also attacked early in the morning of the same day by thugs in military uniforms who were on a rampage intimidating prospective registrants to prevent them from registering. This raises serious security concerns since it has the potential of preventing people from coming out to register in their numbers. There were also reported gunshots at the Kotobabi registration centre where 6 men on motorbikes discharged weapons.
“We call on the police to thoroughly investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes”.
Read the entire statement below;