NDC demands complete overhaul of security protocols at EC to safeguard electoral devices

  Tue, 16 Apr 2024
Elections NDC demands complete overhaul of security protocols at EC to safeguard electoral devices

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called for a comprehensive overhaul of the security protocols within the Electoral Commission (EC) to safeguard vital electoral materials ahead of the 2024 polls.

The Party’s call follows the alleged theft of some critical electoral devices such as Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits and Biometric Voter Devices (BVDs) at the EC.

The Commission, has subsequently, denied those claims, explaining that the missing items were laptops.

Addressing a news conference dubbed the “Moment of Truth” series, in Accra on Monday, Mr Fifi Kwetey, General Secretary of the NDC, called for swift and thorough overhaul of the Commission’s security protocols to curtail future breaches.

He said the missing devices were of great concern to the Party as they had the potential to bring electoral process into disrepute.

Mr Kwetey explained that the BVR kits and BVDs together with the laptops, formed a robust framework designed to protect the electoral process and uphold its credibility.

As a result, Mr Kwetey said, when such devices were compromised or stolen, it posed a severe threat not only to the elections but the entire democracy of the country.

“That is why the theft of these kits from under the watchful eyes of the EC’s surveillance cannot be taken lightly and must be addressed with the utmost seriousness and urgency,” he stressed.

He also rejected the EC’s explanation that the missing laptops, as standalone devices, could not be used to access critical information from the Commission.

He explained that the missing laptops represented a significant breach in the security protocols of the Commission, which could be exploited during the actual elections.

“We must ask ourselves, and demand answers from the EC about the potential for these devices to be used in crafting nefarious means to manipulate voter data or to clone voter registration. Is this not a recipe for electoral disaster that could question the very legitimacy of our governance?”

Again, he said, the incidents cast doubt over the credibility and trustworthiness of the EC, and questioned the Commission’s decision to withhold such vital information from its stakeholders.

He demanded that the EC explained its inaction, saying “the stakes are too high for such negligence.”

The General Secretary called for an immediate independent probe into the missing materials to bring finality to the situation and restore the sanctity and credibility to the country's electoral process.

The investigation, he said, must be carried out by an independent body, supported by international observers, to ensure neutrality and thoroughness.

“The outcome must provide a detailed report that not only comprehensively identifies those actually responsible but also outlines significant corrective measures to prevent such beaches in the future,” he said.

He added that the Party would “accept nothing less than a full restoration of total security for all EC logistical equipment for the upcoming elections, a thorough investigation and complete accountability,” to ensure the free, fair and transparent elections.

Additionally, the General Secretary called for an extensive independent audit of the Commission’s inventory, including all BVR and BVD equipment to ascertain the integrity of these materials and processes.

He warned that failure by the Commission to swiftly and decisively act on the matter could lead to an electoral process fraught with mistrust and questions of legitimacy.

“The NDC, alongside the citizens of Ghana, will accept nothing less than full transparency, immediate action, and concrete solutions to this egregious breach of electoral security,” he said.

“The time for action is now; the future of Ghana’s democracy is in the balance, and we will settle for nothing less than stringent safeguards that ensure every Ghanaian’s vote is counted and protected,” Mr Kwetey added.

Mr Kwetey expressed the NDC’s commitment to secure the country’s electoral process and safeguard its democracy.