The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey has urged the electorate to cooperate with electoral officers in the ongoing voter’s registration exercise in order not to undermine peace and security in the region.
He warned that the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) would not hesitate to deploy security personnel to deal with recalcitrant persons that may cause mayhem at the registration centres.
“We have put security arrangement in place and in case of any issue they will be deployed but it is safer that people cooperate with the process so that the security do not have to come in.”
“There are people who are apprehensive just at the sight of the security uniform and we do not want to put fear in people in order to allow the exercise to go on peacefully,” he stated.
Mr Ashitey was speaking with the Ghanaian Times during a tour of some registration centres in Accra yesterday to ascertain firsthand information as regards the processes.
The tour took him to areas including the Fadama Central Mosque and Victory Nursery School centres in the Okaikoi North Municipality, the Alajo Central Mosque and Harvard College centres in the Ayawaso Central Municipal Area, Dilape Maternity Home in the Adaama Electoral area in the Ayawaso West Municipality and the Riyad Preparatory School in the Mambrouk electoral area under the Ablekuma Central Municipal Assembly.
It was observed during the visit that eligible voters were largely compliant with safety protocols put in place by the Electoral Commission (EC) to prevent spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The issue of social distancing however, was virtually absent as it was difficult to space out registrants who had massed up at the centres as early as 3:00am to undergo the process.
Generally, the procedures were smooth at all centres visited except for the Victory Nursery School where the electorate complained of sluggishness due to a breakdown of the machine and the Harvard College where party agents nearly engaged in a brawl over eligibility issues.
Mr Ashitey advised the public to be “responsible” for their lives at the registration centres to avoid contracting the disease urging electoral officers not to allow persons without masks to register.
The Minister also urged all eligible persons to come out and register as part of their quota towards consolidating the country’s democratic credentials.
“I am impressed with the turnout on the first day but I hope that in the subsequent days, the numbers will improve,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Mr Ashitey used the opportunity to register for his card at the Tema Community Six registration centre in Tema.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH