Amos Blessing Amorse writes..
Expectedly, desperate linchpins of the New Patriotic Party have uncaged their teleguided idling social media robots to churn out ignorant justifications in persuit of their inexorable resolve to compile a new voters register. Day in day out, their supposed reason for a new register exposes their real intention for calling for a new register. Aside the fact that their plan is targeted at Voltarians and Northerners for which reason some of the things they circulate bear either ewe or Northern names, their rational for a new register so far is logically pathetic and politically malnourished.
The reasons they have cited so far have been deflated by representatives of the opposition parties and some civil society groups, therefore there will be no need to recount them. What I however intend to do with this short piece is to respond to the picture below. I’ve seen a number of them being circulated. This is not the first time NPP assigns are circulating these things. When Dr Bawumia made his first unsuccessful attempt to push for a new register ahead of the 2016 elections, he came up with this ignorant claim that he used a facial recognition software to identify Togolese on our register. They are recycling the same ignorant things in 2020.
First and foremost, it is inaccurate to suggest that a registered voter in Togo, cannot be a registered voter in Ghana. This issue is rooted in law and has direct links to issues of citizenship which is regulated by law. A registered voter in Togo is qualified to register and vote in Ghana for two reasons.
1. The law on dual citizens does not deny dual citizens voting right. Indeed, a recent judgment by the apex court in Ghana on the implementation of ROPAL has further expanded and consolidated the rights of dual citizens to vote in Ghana. A registered voter in Togo, who is also a citizen of Ghana by naturalization is qualified to register and vote in Ghana. For example, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, who I’m told is also a citizen of UK (I stand to be corrected) has voted in all elections in Ghana without anybody raising issues on the basis of dual citizenship. Fadi Dabbousi, a Lebanese who has acquired Ghanaian nationality, is a registered voter in Ghana and has voted for the NPP in all elections. If his name appears on his home country’s voter roll, that will not stop him from voting in Ghana.
2. The laws on citizenship, precisely the Constitution of Ghana and the Citizenship Act permit ‘foreign’ nationals whose great grandmother or great grandfather etc were Ghanaians to call himself/herself a citizen of Ghanaian. So if Kodjovi, a Togolese, can trace his root to Ghana and point to a lineage where his great grandfather or great grandmother was a member, then Kodjovi is qualified to register and vote in Ghana.
A party that prides itself of organising Year of Return cannot pretend to be ignorant of the rights of persons who return to Ghana and trace their roots. If all those who took advantage of the Year of Return can trace their roots to Ghana, then they are Ghanaians and qualified to enjoy every right all of us enjoy including voting. Given the proxity of Ghana and Togo, Ghana and Vote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Burkina Faso, and the relationship between Ghana and Nigeria, Ghana and Benin etc due to inter-marriages, it would not be illegal if the EC ends up registering half of their populations who establish their roots in Ghana. If Samira Bawumia, a Fulani from either Mali or any of the known Fulani country, is qualified to vote for NPP because she trace her root to Ghana, nothing stops a Burkinabee who can successfully establish his/her lineage in Ghana from doing same.
There is no justification for a new register and that idea must be shleved. No justification will stand the test of time. A register with supposed foreign nationals that fetched NPP victory in 2016 cannot bad for 2020 elections. Those we are tagging as Togolese, have we bothered to check if they are Ghanaians who find their names on Togolese register? Enough of the melodrama.
By Amos Blessing Amorse
Deputy Greater Accra Regional Youth Organizer -NDC
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