The national chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Freddie Blay, has called on Ghanaians to ignore what he calls the “hate for votes” campaign being championed by the former president John Dramani Mahama 126 days to the 7 December general election.
Addressing a press conference at the Alisa Hotel in Accra today, 4 August 2020, Chairman Blay declared that the claims by the NDC flagbearer that legitimate Ghanaian voters in the Volta Region are being disenfranchised by the Electoral Commission and the Akufo-Addo government are patently false.
“As at the end of phase five of the registration exercise after 30 days,” Blay said, “816,069 people had registered in the Volta Region alone, as against the 2019 regional voter register of 999,368. Indeed, on a national average, registration in Volta Region, particularly in Ketu South, has been among the highest in the country.
“As against the 2019 register, Greater Accra has performed the best across all regions of the country, followed by Upper West, Northern, Central, Savannah [John Mahama’s own region], followed by Bono, Bono East, Western, Volta before Eastern.
“Where is the discrimination? Are the people of Savannah facing discrimination? What about the Northern Region? Are the Krobos and Ewes in Eastern Region, specifically the Abuakwa areas, complaining about discrimination? Have they not lived there for decades and is that not where Akufo-Addo comes from? Please, let us not allow John Mahama to fool us with his hate-for-votes agenda,” Chairman Blay said.
The flagbearer of the NDC, John Mahama, has accused the government of using the military to suppress votes in NDC strongholds.
John Mahama recently spoke up against what he described as the “discriminatory” use of military personnel by President Akufo-Addo to disenfranchise Ghanaians in Banda in the Bono Region.
“The road President Akufo-Addo is taking our beautiful country through, using the military and party thugs to stop people from exercising their right to register and vote in the upcoming December elections, is dangerous and unacceptable,” Mahama is reported to have said.
“There have been many reports and video evidence, like the one in this post, of the president’s deployment and discriminatory use of soldiers to target our brothers and sisters in the Volta Region and wherever there are settlements of Voltarians and non-Akans.”
Deployment of military
On the deployment of military officers along Ghana’s borders, Chairman Blay said they were deployed months ago to patrol the border areas for a variety of security-related reasons.
“The numbers were even greater along our northern borders than the south-east. There were no complaints.
“John Mahama is using this reckless ploy to try to motivate the NDC’s grass roots and cower the security agents from doing their legitimate job so that the NDC can employ foul means to populate the register.
“We should not confuse the genuine efforts to police the borders throughout the country to mean that the NPP is against anyone. Elections in Ghana are for Ghanaians,” Blay said.
In his statement on behalf of the NPP, Chairman Blay made a passionate appeal to the media to exercise discretion in their reporting on issues which relate to ethnicity and tribalism. The former MP said that some of the content posted on social media by politicians to present their opponents in a bad light is meant to mislead mainstream media, and, by extension, the general public.
“We want to remind Ghanaians once again that the NDC is trying to misuse social media to distort reality and stir up confusion where there should be none. We call on you the media to ‘shine your eyes’ and be extremely careful in picking up videos from social media and so-called ‘news’ from dubious news websites deliberately set up to manipulate you and the people.
“Stop picking up one-sided stories and narratives and magnifying them. Don’t fall for their bait. As professionals, you ought to know that one-sided videos from sources of dubious or purely partisan origin can leave you with egg on your face.
“We believe in your sense of professionalism and encourage you to double and triple-check these videos for the actual backstories,” Blay said.
Click on the link below to listen to Chairman Freddie Blay.
Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio