KROBO YOUTH GROUP RAISES RED FLAG OVER BIOMETRIC REGISTRATION EXERCISE AT AKUSE
• Cautions EC, National Security, Police and others over security implications of the exercise
Thursday March 15, 2012: A Krobo youth group, Kloma Gbi (Voice of the Krobo State) has raised red flags over the impending Biometric Registration at Akuse, warning of the security and related implications of the conduct of the exercise in the heat of the boundary dispute surrounding the area between the Manya Krobo District (Municipality) in the Eastern Region and the Dangme West District (Now Shai Osudoku District) in the Greater Accra Region.
The group has since written to the Electoral Commissioner in a letter dated March 12, 2012 cautioning it not to hold the exercise in either of the two districts to fuel the simmering tension at Akuse and its environs. The group added that by conducting the exercise in either of the districts ahead of the Supreme Court's determination of the case, the Electoral Commission (EC) would be compromising its much needed credibility.
In 2010, a Parliamentary Sub Legislating Committee in an attempted re-demarcation exercise and acting on the Local Government (Creation of New District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units) Instrument, 2010 (LI 1983) realigned seven Electoral Areas - Zongo New Town, Akutue, Osukutu, Bungalow, Amedeka, Salon and Natriku- at Akuse, originally part of the Lower Manya Krobo District (Municipality) in the Eastern Region to Danmge West (Now Shai Osudoku) in the Greater Accra Region.
Subsequent to that, attempts were made by the EC during the 2010 District Assembly Election to rope in the candidates of the seven disputed Electoral Areas into the Assembly elections under the Dangme West District, leading to a near bloody attack and months-long closure of the EC's office in the Manya Krobo District. The election, however took place at Natriku but not the other six.
As a result, the Manya Krobo Traditional Council led by the Defender of the Krobo State, Mahefalor Nene Kwesitsu Azago I and Mr. Charles Mate-Kole secured an injunction to restrain the EC from conducting the election in the entire Manya Krobo District, rending the Assembly empty till date.
As yet, the legality of the Legislative Instrument (LI) which sought to empower the EC to align the six electoral areas to Dangme West still awaits determination in the Supreme Court, as such; none of the two factions has been declared the rightful owners of the disputed area.
The Commissioner of Kloma Gbi, Mr. Philip Tetteh Padi, said “It is for this and other reasons that we are cautioning the EC to call off the registration at Akuse in order not to virtually pitch the Chiefs and people of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area against those of the Osudoku Traditional Area, ripples of which we can't be sure of”.
Mr. Padi said because the registration cannot be held in a vacuum, the EC would have to – if it decides to go ahead- register the people of the disputed areas under one of the districts, an action that stands the chance of influencing the court's decision and sacrificing the peace and stability at Akuse and its environs, adding that “ As we gradually approach the December Presidential and Parliamentary election and pray its peaceful conduct, it is only important that we ensure a transparent and peaceful conduct of the various exercises in the lead up to the polls, including the upcoming registration exercise”.
“We are therefore advising the EC, the relevant institutions and persons to – in the interest of peace and in furtherance of our resolve as Ghanaian not to sacrifice the current state of stability in the country- to ensure that the exercise in the disputed Electoral Areas is called off until the determination of the case in the Supreme Court, lest a fertile ground is created for a renewed clash between the two factions”.