It is increasingly becoming clear that, the Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, and his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, have used a fake document to mislead a section of Ghanaians into believing that nearly 80,000 Togolese nationals are deciding the leadership of this country during elections.
Ahead of today’s Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting between leaders of the political parties and the new chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Smith Osei, The Herald’s preliminary findings are that, the NPP document supporting its claim of foreign invasion of the Ghanaian voters’ register, is suspicious, fictitious and fraudulent.
The Herald’s investigations corroborated by officials of Commission Electorale Nationale Independante (CENI), the actual Voter ID cards from the Togolese electoral body, reveals that the information from the NPP Presidential Candidate and his running mate, was a desperate ruse to score cheap political points.
The Herald can report the Voters Identity Cards (ID) presented by the NPP, looks different from what was issued by CENI in 2013 and 2015. The Togolese cards, have overwhelming security features unlike that of Ghana.
Among security features on the Togolese Voters’ ID cards are the national flag of Togo, the First Name of the voter, his surname, as well as other names. It also has the voter’s occupation, the venue and the date on which the ID card was issued.
Additionally, the Togolese ID card, has the residence of the voter, sex and a unique voter ID number. Of significant importance are the signature of the officer, who issued the card and the thumbprint of the voter on the same card.
Another momentous thing The Herald discovered is that, the Togolese voter’s ID card is plastic and with a unique Barcode reader to fully secure the intelligence of the card unlike the Ghanaian voters’ cards.
The Ghanaian voter card, is an ordinary laminated paper with inscriptions such as “Electoral Commission of Ghana- Voter Card, the Polling Station Code, date of issue, Voters ID number, age, sex, name, and the date of registration.
The document put out by the NPP as coming from Togo, only shows pictures and numbers attached to them. The unique security features, such as the year of issue, barcode, occupation, residence, sex, place of issue and the signature of the President of CENI captured on the cards, were missing, thus leaving huge doubt about its authenticity.
Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, at a press conference last Tuesday in the presence of the National Chairman, Paul Afoko, and the embattled General Secretary, Kwabena Adjei Agyapong, made a case for a new voter register, saying the present one is bloated with foreigners.
The NPP document put out only names popularly used in the Volta Region like, Kumaglo Eyonam, Lanyo Afi, Nitenu Doris, Hini Aku, Agormesu Godsway , Ada Akpene and Koekou Kossi Mensah.
The rest were Kotoe Akosia , Kotoe Dagbeda, Kumaglo Eyomam , Kana Akpene , Glidja Kokou Setsoafia, Nossi Yao Francis, Atikpo Koukou Nyavo, Brima Adama, Doe Vida and Kodobisah Ernest Kofi ,the NPP claimed these were names on the Togolese register as well as that of Ghana.
Meanwhile, with the NPP claim collapsing, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, Managing Editor of New Crusading Guide on Metro TV ‘s Morning show hosted by Randy Abbey, told the world that there appear to be two documents in circulation, the one with the polling numbers and the one without it. He said, he had seen and taken custody of the document with the key security features.
According to him, the documents with the sex and polling station numbers of the voters, have been shown to him by highly-place officials of the NPP. He said, he had been shown a letter written by his trusted NPP friends to the Togolese authorities in the CENI, demanding questions about the register.
Shockingly, the vociferous Managing Editor, went ahead to ask the EC to prove the NPP wrong, negating the cardinal principle of “He who alleges must prove”.
On his part, the Director of Elections of NPP, Martin Adjei Korsah, said they deliberately withheld all the features on the ID cards, they presented during the press conference for obvious reasons.
Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), reacting to the NPP Vice Presidential candidate at a counter press conference, said the claims by the NPP that persons from neighbouring Togo and Ivory Coast are on the Ghanaian electoral register, was not only fraudulent, but also constitute a gratuitous attack on the people of the Volta and Brong Ahafo regions.
“As far as we are concerned, this claim is a continuation of the NPP’s long-standing affinity for tribal politics through which they associate people from certain ethnic and tribal extraction with wrong doing and heap unsavory commentary on them”.
According to Asiedu –Nketia, the NDC, strongly disputes the authenticity of the so-called Togolese register which the NPP based its porous arguments on, adding the NPP has a track record of concocting lies and fabricating evidence, ‘like they did at the Supreme Court; in their bid to discredit their political opponents.
He stated a close examination of the pictures presented as evidence of registration of Togolese and Ivorians by Nana Akufo-Addo, and his followers, shows a clear case of deceptive manipulation of photographs, taken at different times.
He noted the two pictures presented, bear no resemblance to each other and more importantly the pictures, NPP purports to be samples of a Togolese register, do not bear names of the supposed voter’s age and gender.
We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that, the NPP deliberately manufactured this lies to justify unfounded calls by their surrogates for the compilation of a new register.
We find it curious that, days after the NPP in a bizarre press statement claimed that some persons were going round collecting voter Identity Cards of unsuspecting Ghanaians with promise of giving the card holders loans and jobs, he added
He said, another instance of the NPP’s ridiculous inherent claim was that, Ghana’s electoral register was compiled in 2012, while that of Togo was compiled in 2015.
And on that basis, three years after elections has been held in Ghana, voters whose nationality the NPP was questioning on the basis of a fictitious 2015 Togolese register, influenced the outcome of elections in that country.
He said the NDC was convinced that the five point claims of the NPP namely, Voter population as a percentage of the national population, the validity of voter registration with National Health Insurance cards, minors on the register and aliens on the register are false.
“Even if we were to assume that there was merit in these claims, provisions exist in our electoral laws to address issues of unqualified persons, who are found on the voter’s register. These do not include the compilation of a new register”.
According to him, regulations 16 and 17 of the Constitutional Instrument (CI) 72, make provision for challenging the qualification of applicants during the registration and objection after the registration of voters and the NPP failed to avail themselves to these provisions.
He questioned the sincerity of the NPP in ensuring credible register for the 2016 elections, but to create a ruse to raise political tensions to mask the disunity that has afflicted the largest opposition party over months.
This baseless accusation is reckless and has the potential to undermine relations between Ghana and her neighbours.
“It also seeks to exploit the well-known historical and familial ties that exist between persons living on either side of our borders for partisan and sectarian gain,” Mr Asiedu –Nketia alerts