The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has condemned the reported incidents of violence during the just-ended voter registration exercise.
Delivering his 15th national address on Ghana’s fight against COVID-19, he described those incidents as “regrettable,” although claiming that they were “isolated incidents” within the largely successful exercise.
Akufo-Addo said the Police Service must deal decisively with those involved in the violence.
“By the grace of God, the work of the Electoral Commission, and the effective measures put in place by the government, these prophecies of doom did not materialize. There were, nonetheless, deeply regrettable, isolated incidents of violence, which I condemn unreservedly, and which I expect the Police to deal with without fear or favour, but the exercise was generally peaceful,” he said.
The president further mocked persons who had kicked against the plan to compile a new register.
He said some of them “who swore heaven and earth to resist the compilation of the register at the peril of their lives, ending up registering.”
“There were also those who offered delicate, personal sacrifices in the event of the register, again, ending up registering. And, there were those who claimed that, in the midst of a pandemic, the registration exercise should not be conducted, with some warning of an “explosion” in our case count and very high numbers of deaths, should the exercise go ahead,” Nana Addo added.
Nana Addo, also said he is extremely happy over the ‘orderly and safe’ conduct of the registration contrary to widespread condemnation of the exercise over claims it will lead a surge in the number of infections and deaths.
“The Electoral Commission has completed the successful compilation of a new register ahead of the conduct of the 2020 general election. On behalf of the people of Ghana, I congratulate warmly, the Chairperson of the electoral Commission, Ms. Jean Mensa, her two deputies, Dr. Eric Bossman Asare and Mr. Samuel Tetteh and the entire commission for their efficient, safe and transparent nature of the registration exercise”, he said.
CODEO demands swift investigation, prosecution of persons behind voter registration violence
On the same issue, the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to fast track investigations and prosecution of persons who perpetrated the violence.
CODEO further asked the IGP to make available findings of its investigations to the public to foster confidence in the security agencies and to serve as a deterrent to others.
It specifically mentioned incidences that happened at Banda and Dormaa West all in the Bono Region and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region.
It made the call in its preliminary report on the phases 4, 5, and 6 of the just-ended exercise.
“CODEO calls on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Ghana Police Service working with the Attorney General (AG) to act expeditiously to complete all investigations including the violent incidents in Banda which resulted in the death of one young man, as well as the incident in Awutu Senya East in the Central Region and in Dormaa West in the Bono region. Persons found culpable in various criminal breaches of the law should be prosecuted and sanctioned in accordance with the laws of Ghana.”
“CODEO urges the Police administration to share updates of these investigations with the Ghanaian public to foster confidence in the security agencies and to also server as a deterrent against future incidents of this nature. Failure to enforce the rule of law will erode confidence in the security agencies and the rule of law.”