The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has stated that the recent clamour regarding the compilation of a new voters register is a ‘much I do about nothing’ syndrome.
“It is an unending cycle of debate perpetuated by the NPP and NDC for political gains at the detriment of the tax payer.
“Compilation of a new voters register has never and will never solve the problem of a bloated register,” PPP National Secretary, Murtala Mohammed, said in a press statement.
The panacea to this raging issue of the bloated register is for the Electoral Commission, the party maintained, is to use the National Identification Authority’s data in place of the voters register.
“In the wake of the financial challenges in Ghana, we cannot spend additional money on the compilation of a new register when the State has already voted money into the NIA to produce for us a credible database.
“The law that establishes the NIA points to the synchronization of all statutory cards like the DVLA, Passport, SSNIT card and the Electoral Commission ID,” the party further argued.
It said any attempt to undertake similar exercise and for similar purpose of identification amounts to willfully causing financial loss to the state.
“We cannot sit and watch State institutions operate in silos while draining our national resources with impunity.
“We have consistently compiled new voters register since 1992, yet the problem persists. We cannot continue to proffer same solution to a problem that gets worse after every attempt at solving it,”the statement added.
The PPP leadership is convinced that compilation of a new voters register outside the NIA will sanitize the current bloated voter register, saying it would rather exacerbate the situation.
“We are flabagastered about the slow pace of the implementation of the NIA. We demand an account of what has been done so far and why the State has developed a turtle-like-speed in resolving identification matters for both citizens and non citizens.
“Is it an issue of inadequate funding? Or it is the inability of the present leadership to get the work done? If it is inadequate funding, then the funds to be spent on the new registration should be given to the NIA; if it is leadership problem at the NIA, then changes ought to be made,” it said.
The Progressive People’s Party, Faith-based Organizations, the CDD, CODEO, IDEG and the Supreme Court of Ghana have advocated for the synchronization of these state biometric identification cards to save cost, bring about uniformity in the affairs of the state and have a lasting solution to the perennial political chicanery that has characterized issues regarding the voters register.
The party leadership called on the government and Parliament to ensure that the NIA receives all the necessary funding to make it functional.
“We further call on all well-meaning Ghanaians, and the media particularly, to direct Government to ensure that there is collaboration between the NIA and the EC in using data collated by the National Identification Authority to replace the voters register,” the party said.
The PPP leadership rejected the NDC’s position on keeping the existing voting register because it is a recipe for disaster.
The NDC has said it will accept a new voters’ register compilation if the commission provides a tangible reason to underscore the need for new register.
“All political parties which believe in free and fair election should rather seek for a lasting solution to this issue by demanding for the usage of the Ghana Card in election 2020 and beyond.
“We need to make progress. We have too many important issues to deal with,” the PPP leadership stressed.
The issue of new voters register, it added, is nothing but a political tool deployed by both parties to create tension and chaos in this country for political gains.