The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused the opposition National Democratic Congress in Juaboso in the Western region of bussing minors to register for a referendum.
Director of Elections Evans Nimako posted pictures of a pick-up with registration number GX 696-16 with a number of young people on board, one of them in school uniform.
“They are just bussing them in turns and I feel that it is not right”, he complained on Joy News’ Newsnight programme Thursday.
The Electoral Commission has begun a limited voters registration exercise ahead of a referendum for the creation of six new regions including the western north region, where Juaboso is located.
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The exercise is expected to last 10 days. The NPP Director of Elections said NPP agents at the EC office are challenging their eligibility and would ask for a review of the process with the view of removing suspected minors.
NDC MP for Juaboso, Kwabena Mintah Akandor has dismissed the claims and accused the Director of “creating tension”.
He said he contributed vehicles to bus those interested in registering to vote because chiefs, opinion leaders and MPs across the divide have all pledged to “do anything and everything to support the creation of the new region”.
He said some prospective voters living as far as 10 miles away from the EC District office where the limited registration exercise is being organised.
He was, therefore, playing his part by providing transportation to the registration centre.
“It is simple”, he said and explained it is the responsibility of agents at the EC office to check the eligibility of those bussed to the centre, not him.
A referendum is expected in December 2018 which could lead to the creation of six new regions in addition to the existing 10 regions.
In the Western region, some chiefs have pushed for the creation of the Western North region to be carved out using nine districts.
The referendum is a recommendation of the Justice Alan Brobbey Commission of Enquiry set up in November to hear petitions in areas demanding a re-demarcation of the regions.
Advocates for the creation of new regions believe it will accelerate development.
Spokesperson for the Western North region, Rtd. Lt. Col. Anthony Aduhene said during the commission’s hearing in April 2018, the “creation of the region will trigger, at least, a construction of a regional hospital where good healthcare delivery will be easily accessible”.
He argued that “the only general hospital (in the region) is in Sekondi but it serves only the people in Western South”.