The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has refuted claims by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) that it was the brains behind the violence and the illegal registration of foreign nationals in the voter registration exercise.
At a press conference in Accra yesterday, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, denied being the mastermind of the alleged registration of 60 Ivorian nationals who were said to have been bused to Banda Kabrono in the Bono Region.
He said it was rather the NDC that intercepted and prevented the Ivorians from escaping back to the Cote d’Iviore after they registered.
Supporting his claims with videos which he said were of the Ivorians who were apprehended by an NDC group, he accused the NPP officials in the region of facilitating the participation of the foreigners in the voter registration exercise.
“Following a tip-off, the NDC youth in Drobo, an NDC stronghold close to the border, with the assistance of comrades from Sampa, intercepted the foreign-registered vehicle by physically blocking the road leading to Cote d’Ivoire. At this point, the NDC invited the media to the scene and made it impossible for the immigration officials not to act,” Mr. Asiedu Nketiah alleged.
Mr. Asiedu Nketiah alleged that on August 6, a Kia truck with an Ivorian registration number plate conveyed 66 people believed to be Ivorian nationals to the Kabrono registration centre to take part in the registration exercise.
He said upon a tip off, the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Banda Constituency, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim, lodged an official complaint with Ghana Police Service and the Immigration service since the borders were supposed to have been closed.
“The district police commander advised that the NDC agents should comply with the law by challenging the Ivorians but added that they did not have the capacity to impound the foreign vehicle and its occupants. Forty-seven of them were identified and challenged by the NDC party agent.
“Unfortunately, the EC official, under pressure from the NPP and security commanders present, decided to disobey their own rules concerning the challenge process and released the completed voter ID cards to the people challenged, making their subsequent appearance at the review committee unnecessary,” he alleged.
He claimed for fear of being attacked by the youth, the vehicle with the occupants passed the night at Kabrono but following a tip off, the NDC youth in Dorbo intercepted the vehicle.
“At this point, the NDC invited the media to the scene and made it impossible for the immigration officials not to act. The media captured some Ivorians with their carte d’identitè and the voter ID cards and they confessed having been brought in by one Yao to register and get a payment of GH¢300 each,” Mr. Asiedu Nketiah alleged.
Mr. Asiedu Nketiah alleged that the said Yao was a member of the NPP and, therefore, the claim by the NPP that he (Asiedu Nketiah) was the mastermind behind the illegal registration was nothing but a smear campaign to tarnish his reputation.
The NDC scribe stated that the just-ended voter registration was the most violent in the history of Ghana’s fourth Republic because it witnessed cases of murder and several incidents of brutalities.
He said the “simple exercise of compiling a voter roll witnessed at least two cases of murder, including that of a young teacher at Banda and the other at Nkrankwanta in the Dormaa West Constituency in the Bono Region.