The National Democratic Congress has rebutted claims by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, that the governing party has access to the database of the Electoral Commission.
Nana Addo is reported to have stated that the process used by the NDC in the just ended biometric registration exercise shows that the party has been given access to the voters register database.
Nana Addo said this in an interview on Tamale-based radio station, Radio Justice, during his two-day ‘Rise and Build Tour’ of the Northern Region.
“The NDC is taking an alleged biometric registration of its members but when the NDC member goes to the point of registration, all he is asked to give are his voter ID details. He comes back in two weeks time and he has a biometric register which contains all his biometric data.
“Where are they getting that from? It is obvious they have access to the Electoral Commission and to the register,” he continued.
He said if the NDC can have access to the EC’s database, then that is a very dangerous matter; adding, “We don’t have that access, it means that the register can be manipulated”.
But the NDC in a statement issued on Tuesday said Nana Addo’s claims are not only misleading but a threat to the country’s democracy.
The party says it is ready to offer the NPP some education on how the biometric registration was done without access to the EC’s database as they have alleged.
Below is the NDC’s full statement
RE: NDC HAS ACCESS TO EC DATABASE – AKUFO-ADDO
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has noted with deep concern allegations making the rounds that it has access to the Electoral Commission’s database. What started as wild malicious allegation by some NPP apparatchiks has gained so much grounds within their party to the extent that the flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has joined the fray to support the baseless accusation.
Recently Nana Addo purportedly stated the malicious lies in an interview on a Tamale-based radio station, Radio Justice during his tour in the Northern Region. In the said interview which was reported by many media houses including GhanaWeb, Nana Addo concluded that unless the NDC had access to the EC’s database, it could not request Voters ID number from our potential members and generate membership card.
Interestingly, that is coming from a political party that claims to have cross-matched facial portraits with other databases. This is rather unfortunate since we expect Nana Addo to know better. At least he should have cross-checked his facts well before throwing such allegations which have the potential of disturbing our democratic dispensation out there.
Although our first reaction was to treat the allegation with the greatest of contempt it deserves, it has become necessary for posterity sake to set the records straight:
1. Electoral Commission (EC) has made available to ALL political parties the entire Voter Registration in Portable Document Format (PDF).
2. The party’s technical team developed an application to extract the data contained in the PDF documents given to all political parties.
3. The technical team developed an application to select party members from the general electoral roll extracted using their EC PIN Number. After this selection a party PIN Number is generated for all members.
4. The party again developed a form (both paper and electronic) to collect additional fields not contained in the EC’s PDF documents given to political parties. The EC PIN Number is also collected to assist in merging data.
5. The party continuously collect other data of interest to add and build a party database accordingly.
6. A party card is printed for members with the following fields:
Front: – Name, Region, Constituency, Branch (Polling Station) and ID Number (generated and issued by party).
Back: – Branch Name (Polling Station Name), the inscription “This card is the property of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). If found please return to the nearest NDC office” and General Secretary’s signature.
Also at the back of the card is a 2D Bar Code (PDF 417 format) with the following fields: Membership Number, Name, Branch Number, Branch Name, Age, Sex, Religion and Constituency, all encoded in PDF 417 format.
The party is prepared to make available a technical team to educate the NPP by demonstrating the process to them since they are creating the impression that they are unfamiliar with the process.
The party wants to state unequivocally that one needs an electronic version of a database with these fields and a portrait (in a very good resolution) to be able to do biometric facial recognition as claimed by the NPP recently.
The NDC wants to enquire from the NPP how they could do a facial recognition crossmatch between EC register and the “Togolese Voters Register” if they were truly unfamiliar with this process. If this was true then only one of two conclusions can be drawn:
a) They (NPP) are telling Ghanaians that they rather have access to the EC electronic register or
b) Their claim that they have crossmatched portraits from the Ghanaian EC Database and the “Togolese Voters Register” is FALSE.
It is unfortunate to say the least that such unguarded statements that have the potential of plunging the nation into confusion is coming from someone seeking the highest office of the land. We advise our political opponents to be circumspect and responsible in their statements especially as the 2016 elections approach.