Leaked audio tape: I still stand by my comments – Afriyie Ankrah
The Director of Elections for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has strongly defended some remarks he made in a leaked audiotape on the proposed new voters’ register.
Mr Afriyie Ankrah in the said audiotape is heard urging members of his party to reject the Electoral Commission’s (EC) proposal to compile a new voters’ register ahead of the 2020 polls.
In the tape which has since gone viral, he also advised the leadership of the NDC to spend about GH₵1 million on a campaign to resist the move.
According to him, the party could invest about “GH₵200,000, GH₵500,000 and GH₵1 million and fight this register, bring Accra to a standstill for once, occupy the EC head office. And we can do it. We have done it before, these are things we’ve been doing even as ordinary students; we brought the Ministry of Finance to a standstill.”
These comments have sparked a barrage of criticism and comments from a section of the public.
But in an interview on Accra based Citi FM, Mr Ankrah said he sees nothing wrong with his utterances.
He justified the remarks arguing that the EC’s proposal was a waste of resources.
“This is not a leaked tape. I recorded myself and sent it to party members. I was speaking to my people and telling them that we have to resist it [the new voters’ register].
“It was an open discussion on an open platform. It was a voice note on WhatsApp and so no one recorded it. I did it myself. Whether it was intended or not, it is in the public domain.
“The important thing is that there is nothing there that is wrong, I stand by every word that I said. You only regret if what you said was bad or there was something in it. But, in this case, we are going to come out publicly and activate these things so what is the big deal about it, because we will occupy the streets of Ghana to demonstrate against the new register.”
Reacting to comment about occupying the EC office, Mr Ankrah said that statement was not to be taken literally.
Ghana’s election management body has presented a budget of GH¢444,846,663 to Parliament for approval to enable them to compile a new voter’s register.
The EC believes the new register will be more credible and efficient than the existing one.
According to the commission, there is a need to replace the outmoded biometric devices.
But the NDC has vehemently kicked against the proposal for a new voter’s register.
General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said the new register “defies logic and must be fiercely resisted as we in the NDC intend to do”.
“We are not complaining. In fact, we are saying that, let us use the same register so that given the state of the shenanigans that were played by the NPP in 2016… we will see whether they can win again.”