Some chiefs in the country are fuming at the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party John Boadu over his reported claim that any chief who decides to intervene in the ongoing impasse between civil society groups and some political parties against the compilation of a new register and the Electoral Commission is engaging in lawlessness.
In an interview on Accra-based Neat FM, Mr. Boadu said the statement by the National House of chiefs warning the EC not to disenfranchise any Ghanaian in the upcoming voter registration exercise amounts to siding with the opposition.
He further noted that the subsequent attacks on the EC by the chiefs for failing to honour an invitation by them smacks of lawlessness.
But the Omanhene of the Dormaa Traditional Area, Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyeman Badu II has expressed concerns over the claims of the NPP General Secretary.
He took a swipe at Mr Boadu for denigrating the image of chiefs in the country.
In an interview, the Dormaahene said the comments were in bad taste. He called on the leadership of the NPP and the president to call Mr Boadu to order.
“John Boadu leads a big party, he must be careful, as chiefs we don’t just get up and talk anyhow. We know our role and so we know what we are talking about. I have seen many regimes go and come but the Dormaa stool is still here. I witness that of Rawlings, Kufour, Prof Mills, John Mahama has come and gone and so will Nana Addo. Don’t they know they will also leave power at some point? How can John Boadu describe us lawless? We have invited but they don’t want to come and instead of people John Boadu to condemn it he’s rather insulting us. Well I know very soon they will be coming around for campaign and we will be here waiting for them.
The chiefs are accusing the EC of refusing to honour its invitation after some political parties petitioned the House over the matter.
The Vice President of the National House of Chiefs, Daasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII, in an interview with Citi FM said the posture of the commission was worrying.
“Other parties petitioned the house because of this hullabaloo. We heard from them [parties] and we said that then we need to hear from her [EC] so that we can also see how best we can be advised.”
“if you are not able to honour our invitation let someone come from any of her branches to Kumasi and inform Nananom, that she can not make it, but none of that happened. As a matter of fact, we don’t know why she [Jean Mensa] doesn’t want to see us or avail herself to the house, whatever it is, we have no idea.”
Daasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII further urged all political parties to prioritize peace and unity, before during and after the elections.
“We want every Ghanaian to comport him or herself in a good manner. If they do not want [the new register, then that is up to them]but that is the decision of the government. But I also want to ask politicians to conduct themselves well because sometimes a party will say it will not all and there will be a whole lot of things.”
Ensure that no one is disenfranchised
The National House of Chiefs in an earlier statement asked the EC to ensure that no Ghanaian is disenfranchised ahead of the 2020 General Elections.
The Chiefs in a statement bemoaned the EC’s failure to honour their invitation to dialogue, on the new voters’ register which they say is central to the escalating tension in the country.
“Central to the escalating tension is the decision of the Electoral Commission to compile a new voters register. Unfortunately, the EC failed to honour invitations to the National House of Chiefs, when our traditional leaders wanted the opportunity to promote dialogue in the interest of peace. We want to call on the EC to make peaceful conduct of this year’s general elections its primary objectives. It would require, among others, that no qualified Ghanaian is disenfranchised, and that the elections are free and fair,” the House of Chiefs said.
The call by the House of Chiefs come at a time when the Electoral Commission (EC) has issued a roadmap for the compilation of a new electoral roll.
IMANI, ASEPA petition Asantehene
Two Civil Society groups, Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) and IMANI Africa have also petitioned Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to call on the Electoral Commission to rescind its decision to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 general elections.