Registration for referendum underway

Mrs Jean Mensah, EC boss

Mrs Jean Mensah, EC boss

The limited voter registration exercise at the Chereponi District in the Northern Region is under heavy security following the chief of the community’s protest against the inclusion of the district into the proposed North East Region.

 

At the start of the exercise, the Chief of Chereponi, Kofi Malba Jaminja, warned the residents not to participate in the exercise as they were not prepared to be included in the proposed region.

 

Information available to the Ghanaian Times on Monday indicated that the chief on Sunday sacked the Electoral Commission officials who were assigned to the area to register qualified persons.

 

However, on Monday, the Chereponi District Security Committee (DISEC) deployed security personnel to the district to provide protection for officials and those ready to be registered to do so.

 

The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Chereponi, Tahiru Abdul-Razak, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times explained that the DISEC was providing security for the registration exercise to go on smoothly.

 

He said DISEC was interested in ensuring that the officials were protected to carry out their legitimate duties without any hindrance, and assured stakeholders that “DISEC will ensure trouble free exercise throughout the stipulated period.”

 

The Northern Regional Director of Electoral Commission, Benjamin Bonabio, said the registration was going on smoothly in all the designated centres, stating that all the necessary materials and tools needed for the exercise had been dispatched to the districts.

 

According to the Regional Director of Electoral Commission, there had not any reports of challenges from any of the centres in the region except Chereponi.

 

The registration for the referendum over the creation of a new region out of the Volta Region took off smoothly without rush in Nkwanta South on Sunday, according to report reaching Ho from the municipality, Reports Alberto Mario Noretti.

As at 10.50 am on Sunday, a total of 69 people had registered at the sole registration centre opposite the municipal assembly.

The electoral officer, Alfred Amedeker, who spoke to the Ghanaian Times on phone, said that 61 people had registered on Sunday.

“Today we have so far registered eight people,” he told the Ghanaian Times just before 11 am.

The electoral officer said that no untoward incident was recorded at the centre at the time.

His story was corroborated by Mr Joseph Kumi, NDC Communications Director of the Municipality, and Mr Kofi Owusu Gyimae, NPP Municipal Administrative Director.

They both described the exercise as peaceful and orderly.

From Sunyani, Daniel Dzirasah reports that the on-going limited voter registration exercise by the Electoral Commission in the Brong Ahafo Region has not been encouraging, quoting Frank Nunoo, Deputy Regional Director of the Electoral Commission.

He said the registration exercise which begun on Sunday in 17 districts in the proposed Ahafo and Bono-East regions respectively recorded low turn outs despite periodic  public announcements by the EC in the designated areas.

At the close of the day, 95 people registered in the Asutifi North District in the Ahafo area, whiles 114 people registered in the Techiman District in the Bono-East area.

The Deputy Regional EC boss noted that although the registration exercise “is early days yet” the Commission was making sure that enough publicity was carried out to ensure a successful exercise

He said before the exercise on Sunday, the EC information van was very active in the designated areas just to ensure that enough information was passed onto the public to enable a successful exercise.

Mr Nunoo said all materials and equipment had been deployed to the affected areas, and that everything was going on smoothly, “just that a few issues had to do with internet access.”

He said the EC was operating in six district offices in the Ahafo area and 11 districts in the Bono-East.

He expressed the hope that as the exercise went on, more people would take the opportunity to be registered.

The exercise ends on September 25.

FROM YAKUBU ABDUL-MAJEED, TAMALE

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