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7,000 Elligible Gonja Voters Threaten Demo If EC Fail To Register Them

2012-09-28 22:04:03
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About 7,000 eligible voters in three communities in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region have threatened to embark on a massive demonstration if the Electoral Commission (EC) does not take immediate steps to register them.

According to the East Gonja Civil Society Association (EGOCSA) based in Salaga, residents of Kulti, Kpambu and Kigbatito in the East Gonja District were not captured during the biometric registration exercise in March this year.

At a press conference in Salaga yesterday, the Executive Secretary of the EGOCSA, Mr Abdul-Aziz Jawula, said members of the association would embark on a massive demonstration if, after one week, officials of the EC did not respond favourably to their request.

According to him, the three communities were not covered in the first registration exercise that took place from March 24 to May 5, this year.

He said although some of the residents were later registered during the subsequent mop-up exercise on June 9 and 10, the majority could not be covered before the close of the exercise.

“For now, about 10 hamlets at Kigbatito alone have not been covered. Members of the association and the chiefs and people of the traditional area find this unacceptable and, therefore, there is the urgent need for the government, and for that matter the EC, to take the necessary steps to get these people duly registered,” Mr Jawula said.

He alleged that subsequent meetings between his outfit and officials of the EC in the district had not yielded any results, adding that its latest meeting with the EC was at the Kpembewura’s Palace last Tuesday, with officials of the National Commission on Civil Education (NCCE) being present.

“Yet nothing concrete came out of it, except for the EC officials to say that they had reported the anomaly to their commissioners in Accra,” he indicated.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic later in an interview, the East Gonja District Director of the EC, Mr David Acheampong, said although some people were not registered in one of the communities, the figures had been exaggerated.

According to him, all eligible voters in the three communities could not be captured in the first exercise because of faulty machines.

He, however, indicated that during the mop-up, voters in two of the communities were all registered.

“In the case of Kigbatito, which is beyond Yeji, those who were not captured in the first exercise could not register during the mop-up because the kits arrived late on the second day of the two-day exercise. Sending the kits there at that time of the day would have been an exercise in futility because of the distance,” he stated.

He said 508 people were, however, captured in the Kigbatito community during the first exercise.

In 2008, the number of eligible voters in that community was 628. That figure improved to over 700 during the registration exercise in 2010.

Mr Acheampong said 50,009 eligible voters were captured in the East Gonja District during the entire period of the registration exercise this year.

“From these figures, it is clear that the claim by the group that 7,000 people were not registered is certainly not true. Even though I agree that some people might not have been captured because of our inability to carry out the mop-up exercise, the figure is certainly not up to 7,000,” he said.

He, however, made it clear that the peculiar situation of the people of Kigbatito had been reported to the head office of the EC.


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