The Electoral Commission has received enough Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) from government to enable it carry out the New Voter Registration Exercise according to Dr. Serebuor Quaiccoe, Director of Electoral Services at the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
This point, he emphasized on the 18th of April 2020 on Joynews television program dubbed “Newsfile”, where he indicated other plans of the EC in line with the Commission’s intention to introduce a new Voter’s Register for the up-coming December polls.
What appears to be the concern of many Ghanaians, a subject which has remained on the tables for discussions, air waves and online portals for the past few weeks, is the Global Coronavirus Pandemic, measures taken by government to curb its spread as well as WHO organisation’s recommended protocols to help stop the spread.
It is however shocking to hear Dr. Serebuor speak about government’s commitment to seeing the Electoral Commission through with the supply of PPEs to aid the EC in effort in introducing a new voter’s Register, at a time the Nation is faced with the difficulty of fighting COVID-19 Pandemic. At the same time, the government, led by President Nana Akuffo Addo have issued Executive Instruments which prescribes punishment for persons who go contrary to the President’s directives. It must be noted that the President has banned all social gatherings, including funerals, political rallies, Churches, Mosques, including the closure of all schools from Kindergarten to University. An extension of such directives have seen some market centres closed down due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
In a period when the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is in dire need of PPEs for Frontline Medical Personnel in line of duty, at the same time Immigration, Police and Military personnel assigned to enforce the President’s directives in locked down areas are crying for PPE, it amazes the citizenry to hear that, the same government who just received PPE donations from JackMA Foundation, would rather hand over majority of such PPE to an entity like the EC, to aid the Commission conduct new registration exercise.
Many CHPS Compounds, Polyclinics and Hospitals across the country are without PPEs and personnel have threatened to abandon post should the current situation persist.
To make matters worse, Dr. Serebuor admitted on the same show that, inspite of the lockdown, the EC staff have Passes which guarantees their smooth movement from their homes to the offices of the EC to go about their normal duties, raising questions about whether the EC now falls under the classification of “Essential Services” under these circumstances.
This attempt at giving priority to the activities of the EC while most Ghanaians are at home (locked down) and not allowed to go to work has angered many who are questioning the President’s commitment to the fight against the Novel Coronavirus.
Dr. Akwesi Prempeh, Executive Director of CDD Ghana, who joined the conversation via Skype, described as weak, the EC’s grounds for wanting to conduct a new Voter Registeration Exercise.