The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has cautioned Ghana to guard against further spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the ongoing voters registration exercise.
In a statement issued by his office yesterday, Dr Chambas called for immediate enforcement of the safety protocols to protect the citizenry against contracting the virus.
“Considering that this exercise will be taking place in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, I entreat all Ghanaians to continue taking appropriate measures towards ensuring that the process is carried out with the utmost respect for health and safety protocols in order to protect those willing to register from any possible contagion,” he said.
The UN Special Representative, who observed the consensus built by political parties around the registration exercise, following a Supreme Court ruling, called for collective efforts to support its peaceful conduct.
“We call on all stakeholders to work in a concerted manner in creating an enabling environment for this exercise to be peaceful, credible, inclusive, respectful of human rights and the rule of law,” he urged.
Dr Chambas reiterated the commitment of the United Nations, including the United Nations Country Team in Ghana, in close collaboration with partners such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU), to continue supporting Ghana through its electoral processes.
“The United Nations entreats Ghanaians to continue their exemplary path of democratic consolidation and development through peaceful, inclusive, transparent and credible electoral processes,” he added.
Ahead of the December 7 polls, the Electoral Commission (EC) has begun 38-days voters’ registration exercise in a bid to compile a new electoral roll.
Kicking off on Monday, the exercise which is in five phases, to cover some 33,367 polling stations put into 6,788 clusters across the country, is fraught with non-compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols.
Media reports indicate that social distancing and mask wearing protocols were largely flouted by several Ghanaians who queued at the various registration centres to register.
Despite presence of some security personnel at registration centres, the controlling of crowd in line with the protocols remains problematic.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called for the arrest of persons who failed to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols in an earlier held New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Primaries.
The GMA condemned the lack of observation of the protocols, saying such attitudes as exhibited did not help in the fight against the spread of the disease.
The GMA, in a press statement issued, also asked that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Identification Authority (NIA) be held accountable for the breach in safety guidelines in the ongoing distribution of the Ghana Card.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH