The Omanhene of Drobo Traditional Area, Okokyeredom Sakyi Ako II says it is not enough to stop the compilation of new voters' register on the basis of COVID-19 pandemic.
"In spite of the disease, we still go about our normal duties, we go to the market and our work places so why can't the Electoral Commission also work as it should?", the Omanhene wondered.
He was speaking at his Krupiase palace at Drobo on Tuesday June 16, 2020 during a courtesy call on him by the Bono Regional Chairman of the NPP, Kwame Baffoe a.k.a Abronye D.C.
Chairman Abronye is touring the Bono Region to drum home the need for all Ghanaians to support and co-operate with the EC to compile a new voters’ register.
The Drobomanhene said it would be wrong for anyone to hide behind the COVID-19 pandemic to kick against the compilation of a new voters register.
He also wondered why some people are not in favour of the use of Ghana card and birth certificate as the primary identification documents, saying that it the acceptable practice internationally.
Okokyeredom Sakyi Ako II cautioned politicians not to aid the registration of minors and non-Ghanaians during the exercise.
Massive support for new register
Meanwhile, traditional rulers in the Bono Region have welcomed moves by the Electoral Commission to compile a new voters’ register because in their considered view, that is the surest way of ensuring a widely acceptable and credible electoral roll ahead of this year's general elections.
They have therefore pledged their commitment at ensuring that their subjects and the entire people in the region come out in their numbers to register when the EC begins the registration exercise on Tuesday June 30, 2020.
The Acting President of the Sampa Traditional Area, Nana Kwadwo Magsah said the chiefs and people of the area are extremely happy about the decision to undertake a voters’ registration exercise because "there is ample evidence that the current register contains a lot of foreigners."
"We, the chiefs of Sampa Traditional Area gladly welcome the decision to compile a new voters’ register and will do our best to educate our people to register to enable them to vote in elections. If your name is not captured, you don't have the right to vote."
No chief can stop people from registering
The Omanhene of Dwenim and the Acting President of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs, Nana Bofo Bene IV, was emphatic that no chief in the region or any other part of the country has the right to prevent his subjects or anyone from taking part in the registration exercise, which he described as a civic responsibility.
"Much as chiefs exercise some authority over their subjects, they cannot however prevent them from carrying out their constitutional right", he pointed out.
The Omanhene emphasized that chiefs must be seen as agents of peace and development, and must therefore throw their weight behind the EC to execute its mandate as enshrined in the country's constitution.
Other chiefs who expressed their support for the new register are the Abakomahene of Seketia, Nana Oteng Domfeh; the Mayerahene, Nana Twene Adu Asare II, who is also the Twafourhene of Suma Traditional Council as well as Nana Tutu Asare II, the chief of Jinijini in the Berekum West District.
The Deputy Bono Regional Minister and MP for Jaman North, Siaka Stevens, underscored the critical role of the upcoming registration exercise vis-a-vis voting, saying the two go hand-in-hand with planning and development.
Chairman Abronye noted that it is undeniable fact that the current voters' register contains millions of foreign nationals and that the best way out is to replace it with a new one.
He said all qualified Ghanaians will be captured during the re-registration exercise and called on all well-meaning Ghanaians to support the EC to carry out its mandate.