‘Our mop-up exercise not intended to suppress voter registration in Ketu South’ – NIA clarifies
The National Identification Authority (NIA) has clarified that its ongoing mop-up exercise in parts of the country including the Volta Region is not intended to suppress voter registration.
It comes after the NDC parliamentary candidate for Ketu South in the Volta Region, Dzifa Gomashie, in a social media video accused the NIA of taking over a registration centre meant for the EC’s ongoing voter registration exercise.
According to her, the NIA’s exercise which coincided with the EC’s voter registration exercise forms part of a grand scheme to slow down the EC registration exercise thereby reducing the number of voters in Ketu South.
But the NIA in a statement signed by its Head of Corporate Affairs, ACI Francis Palmdeti said the claims are untrue.
Mr. Palmdeti said the law governing NIA’s operations is the National Identity Register Act, 2008 (Act 750).
Section 13(3)(4) of it states that “The polling stations created by the Electoral Commission and used in the most recent general elections SHALL be used as “NIA” registration centres as far as practicable. (4) Despite subsection (3), the “NIA” Board may direct that specific designated registration centres be used for the purpose of this Act.
“It is therefore not strange to find NIA and EC officials in the same registration location, a situation which has occurred at a number of polling stations. In areas where EC has completed their activities, you are likely to find only NIA officials registering. In other cases where the governing Board approves, NIA sets up its own registration centres due to network accessibility,” the NIA statement said.
It added that the NIA cannot be held responsible for the EC officials’ inability to turn up at a particular registration centre.
“NIA cannot speak to the reasons why EC officials were not at the said Polling Centre, moreover, the parliamentary aspirant could have checked from the District Office of the EC why their officials were not present at the centre.”
“Some applicants are excited about NIA’s presence in the Region because they see it as an opportunity to get the Ghana Card so they avoid the EC vouching process. The much-publicized mop-up exercise is not a grand scheme to suppress voter registration in Ketu South.
Additionally, the NIA in its statement said: “It must be emphasized that Ketu South is not the only constituency where mop-up registration is currently taking place”.