Former president of the republic and leader of the National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama, has lashed out at the ruling New Patriotic Party government over what he describes as clandestine machinations to subvert the will of voters in the December 7 general elections.
The former president, who addressed an emergency conference of pressman at the party’s Adabraka Headquarters on Thursday June 25, 2020 in response to the Supreme Court’s verdict directing the EC to compile a new voters register; accused the government of deliberately engaging in machinations ostensibly aimed at rigging the upcoming elections.
“The NPP has, since its assumption of power in 2017, consistently put in place measures, which seek to systematically disenfranchise eligible citizens. Such measures include restricting the identification mechanism for voter registration to documents which are not accessible to millions of eligible voters. We have been very clear in our minds that the decision to compile a new voters register was in pursuit of this long-held agenda, hence our efforts to stop the wholesale attempt to exclude vast sections of our population from the process to determine who leads them,” the former president said.
Mr. Mahama says the situation is especially worrying in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that should have ideally been deterrent enough.
“It was obvious from the outset of this struggle that inclusive democracy was not going to have a hearing, even against the resounding call by the National House of Chiefs, religious leaders, CSOs and the various trade and professional groups. A caring, compassionate and responsible government would not push us to this brink at a time of a major pandemic like COVID-19 that is causing so much anguish among the citizenry,” he bemoaned, adding “the NPP and the EC are very much aware that the exclusion of the existing voter ID will significantly slow down the process of registration and create the real risk of people massing up outside the voting centers. But this is what happens when politics is put before the people.”
These developments, according to John Mahama, ‘represent the handiwork of a desperate incumbent that, on account of its very poor performance in government, sees its political survival only through the prism of manipulation of the electoral process to exclude a section of Ghanaians who they suspect may not renew their mandate at the polls,’ and that “no politically engineered register can save this failed government from the inevitable defeat that awaits them in the next 165 days.”
He has thus urged all eligible voters to endeavor to register in their numbers as they would invariably be discharging their civic duty by doing so, and to strictly observe all anti-COVID safety protocols as they do so.
“We must always be willing to hold leaders accountable for bad decisions that impose difficulties on citizens and this is one clear opportunity to do so. Do not let the several hours you may spend at the registration centre get you to surrender your right to vote. See this as a civic duty and your contribution to the effort to preserve the right to vote,” he said.
“This is not just an NDC fight, it is a fight to rescue the very soul of our beloved country from the hands of those who seek to impose their will unjustly on the people. I call on all Ghanaians who yearn to see a change in the governance of this country to rise up and be counted for where there is a will, there is a way,” he added.