A Former Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Peter Mac Manu, has watered down arguments supporting an audit of the current voters’ register.
According to him, auditing the register will be very difficult because the Electoral Commission [EC] does not have residential addresses of voters on the register.
“Constitutionally, the law says that the EC must provide residential address, they have never provided; and so if you want to do an audit, I wonder how you can conduct an audit or an audit methodology that does not take care of residential address,” he added.
[contextly_sidebar id=”GvcVaFU2fr2E9qXRjhgxTYqe28tWgTTo”]Peter Mac Manu was speaking at a two-day forum hosted by the Electoral Commission in defense of the NPP’s call for a new voters’ register for the 2016 general elections.
The NPP claims the current register is bloated with names of foreigners and minors hence the need for a new one.
However, the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some civil society organizations, have insisted that the register should be cleaned instead of a fresh compilation.
NPP not calling for bulk deletion
Mac Manu at the forum also cited the election story of Nigeria to buttress the NPP’s call for a new register.
He said when Nigeria’s Electoral Commission Chairman, Professor Jiga, assumed office, “he put his feet down that he will not go with the existing register and started Nigeria’s first biometric registration.”
“Coming forth to his next election in 2015, he improved the system when he changed the temporary voters card, like the one we have, to permanent voters’ cards with chips embedded in the cards. By doing so, he was able to reduce the number of registered voters from 74 million to 68 million, so we can go that way,” he argued.
He again refuted claims that the NPP had called for bulk deletion of voters.
“I have never called for bulk deletion but I can tell you, the EC did duplication and came out with 72,000 people. After that, we have found more than one percent of the people on the register still in multiple duplicate registrations; so the system is bad. As for how the system could be improved, I think the EC should do that in its invitation for tender. And the tender must state the requisite AFIS [Automatic Fingerprint Inspection System ] that can clean the system”.
We don’t have Togo register
He further revealed that the NPP does not have the voters’ register of Togo though their investigations were based on the voters register of that country and Ghana.
“…I don’t have Togo’s register receipt; but if you doubt it, you can go and check. I have a register which I have shown you copies. I have used it to find faces in Ghana, and that’s all I can say. I am not bound by any law to show my source. But I’m saying the register is authentic and genuine from Togo.”
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com