A senior Vice President of policy think tank IMANI Africa Kofi Bentil has expressed worry about multiple registrations in the ongoing voter’s registration exercise, which has been confirmed by the Electoral Commission.
IMANI Africa is even more worried about the whopping $100m the Commission claims to have spent in acquiring new Biometric Verification Devices, BVDs in regardless of several flaggings and suspicions about the entire ongoing new voter registration exercise which has been fraught with attempts to disenfranchise Ghanaians.
IMANI Africa Vice President’s alert follows EC’s public notice of a deduplication exercise to delete names of persons involved in multiple registration. Director of Electoral Services will not say if the persons involved will be prosecuted but emphasized in an interview with the Daily Graphic that such persons, who may have do so out of ignorance, will not have their names would not be included in the final voters register, meaning such persons would not be able to vote on December 7.
But Kofi Bentil insists EC has been heavily exposed.
“With $50m any average IT consultant can implement a real time biometric registration system across Ghana. With $100m EC says it was batching? And still can’t eliminate dupes automatically? Tell it to the Marines!”
As the Vice President of IMANI Africa put it, an efficient biometric system will clean itself up by automatically rejecting the same fingerprints for a second registration and there would be no duplicates.
In a post on Facebook, Mr Bentil who smells something fishy wrote: “EC says it has found duplicates in the registration and is about to clean them up??? “That is a story you tell to people who don’t know how biometric systems work!!! “A properly functioning biometric system will clean itself up !! There won’t be duplicates!!!
He emphasized: “Something is funny!! Remember we spent over $100 million on this? And it can’t function like a simple database registration system???” He argued on social media.”.. “It’s like trying to set up an email with a name already taken. It won’t happen because the system won’t let you proceed.”
The development comes in the wake of suspicions that the Commission is using the old Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits, an assertion, EC has vehemently denied twice, since the piloting of the exercise.
IMANI Africa, which has earlier flagged EC’s operations insisting that it is using over 40% of the old Biometric Voter Registration kits, has already challenged EC to asset audit. Two weeks ago, the Policy Think Tank, in response to the Electoral Commission’s claims that it’s not using old Biometric Voters Registration Kits for compiling new names in the voters’ register, described the EC’s statement claiming it purchased 8,500 brand new BVRS, as lies.
Another Senior IMANI Fellow, Bright Simons accused the EC of massive cover up after they were shocked to the marrow by scouts exposing use of devices they claim were obsolete.
Bright Simons further explained on twitter: “1. The point about a QR code having been pasted and kit numbers being “new” is a laugh! Anybody can stick a QR code on anything. 2. The 8500 machines in use claim is contradicted by there being 6788 clusters. 3. Seeing is believing: https://brightsimons.com/2020/07/10/the-sins-of-ghanas-ec/… 4. ASSET AUDIT NOW! 5. This is an institution that the Aud-Gen says has never passed an asset audit. 6. This institution lied about never having bought new BVRs since 2011. Documents in Parliament showed 2000 BVRS bought in 2018. Where are they? 7. Devices used in June 2019 are on camera in use last week!”
EYES ON EC DEDUPLICATION EXERCISE
The EC whose activities is being closely monitored by the Interparty Resistance Against the New Voters Register, IPRAN, is suspected to be operating in favour of government and NPP officials actively involved in attempts to disenfranchise some Ghanaians based on their ethnicity.
Besides heavy deployment to border towns particularly in the Ketu South area of the Volta region, there are allegations of settlements belonging to Ewes and other minority ethnic groups being destroyed in parts of Ashanti, Bono East, Tema in Greater Accra and the Central region, while in some areas, men dressed as military officers are openly stopping Ghanaians from participating in the registration exercise.
The latest controversy that has gone viral was the Ketu South Municipal Chief Executive, Eliot Edem Agbenorwu, who embarrassed himself during an interview with Citi FM’s Umaru Sanda, when he tried to defend claims that some Togolese had come to Ghana to register to vote.
Pressed further, the MCE said there were several of such claims and one suspect, who he personally confronted absconded even in the presence of Police, soldiers and national security operatives
Sanda asked him how it was possible for the man to escape, why the police, soldiers, national security and BNI officers who were with the MCE and the regional minister on the tour of the polling centres did not arrest this man but allowed him to run away.
The MCE’s answer was that he (the MCE) and the regional minister did not meet this man themselves. He said their boys were those who encountered him and later reported to him. “And by the time they were giving this report to us, the person had already fled into the bush and entered into Togo.”
“But you just said you spoke Ewe to him yourself?” Sanda reminded him.
The MCE claimed he spoke to the man 100 metres away.
“You must have been shouting then?” said Sanda.
The MCE and the NPP should just leave the people of Ketu South and the Volta Region alone. It is a shame to keep on lying and maligning a group of people just because they don’t vote for your party. Leave them alone. They have not committed any crime.