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No Togolese Application For Ghanaian Nationality In The Last 16 Years

At least, for the past sixteen years, the Ministry of Interior has not received a single application from any Togolese national for consideration to acquire a Ghanaian nationality, a very reliable source at the ministry has told the New Statesman.
According to the source, it will therefore come as “a big fraudulent representation” if any Togolese national should manage to present any evidence to claim that he or she became a legally recognized Ghanaian “by going through the due administrative processes” in the last 16 years.
To back its demand for a new voters’ register to be compiled for the 2016 general elections, the New Patriotic Party, led by its Vice Presidential Candidate, Mahamudu Bawumia, last week presented evidence that suggests that some nationals of Togo managed to get their names into the voters’ register that was used in the 2012 general elections.
The position of the governing National Democratic Congress on this matter, as well as that of their apologists in the media, is that these alleged Togolese whose names are on Ghana’s voters’ register could be having dual citizenship of Ghana and Togo.
But our source at the Interior Ministry says among the applications the ministry had been receiving from foreign nationals “who wanted to become Ghanaians and still retain their original nationalities, I don’t remember this ministry ever receiving any application from any Togolese, at least for the past 16 years or so.”
Meanwhile, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, founder of the Danquah Institute, argues that the issue of whether or not one has dual citizenship is even immaterial in the determination of who takes part in Ghana’s elections.
“The constitution says you must be a Ghanaian of sound mind and 18 years and above to be able to vote; so it does not matter if you are a dual citizen of 10 or 100 countries. All that matters is that before you register to vote, you must prove that you are a Ghanaian,” he told the New Statesman yesterday.
The NPP believes its call for a new voters’ register to be compiled for the 2016 general elections has been strengthened with the discovery that names of 76,286 alleged Togolese are found on the register that was used for Ghana’s 2012 general elections.
The discovery came to light after an investigative team led by Dr Bawumia had completed less than 10 per cent of work on the voters’ registers of Togo.
Dr Bawumia explained at a press conference that a valid voters’ register is essential for free and fair elections, adding: “the evidence that we are presenting…is overwhelming proof that the 2012 Voters’ register is incurably flawed and cannot be relied on for the 2016 elections.”
He added that “what is more troubling with the findings so far is that many of the pictures of the Togolese citizens on Ghana’s register were not taken in a live environment but rather scanned from existing pictures and documents.”
“We actually have an incredible situation of one polling station in Ketu South constituency (Temporary Booth Shikakope-Apekotuime) where most of the pictures on the voters register were scanned. These are evidenced by staple pin marks on the Photos in the register, which under the law should be digitally taken and therefore cannot have been stapled,” Dr Bawumia disclosed.
He could not understand how these scanned pictures got into the voters’ register compiled by the EC, adding: “This could only have been done by people with the necessary security permissions to do so.”
In the view of the NPP, “The evidence is therefore incontrovertible that Ghana’s voters’ register has been compromised. It is not a document we can rely on for free fair and transparent elections in Ghana. The case for a new voters register is therefore overwhelming.”
Dr Bawumia explained that the investigations were prompted by the persistent rumours over the years about people coming from across the border in Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire to register and vote in Ghanaian elections.
In related development, a former deputy Constituency Youth Organiser of the NDC in Hohoe, Volta Region, Harker Brempong, has alleged that the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, and other executives were the masterminds of the recruitment of Togolese nationals to vote in Ghana’s 2012 and other previous general elections.
Mr Brempong confessed on Okay Fm that Mr Nketiah, who had been at the forefront of the NDC’s resistance to the idea of compiling a new register, together with other top executives of the party, and through the connivance of the Municipal Chief Executive of Hohoe, contracted him and others to carry out the registration exercise.
“….Asiedu Nketiah, NDC hierarchy, all of them know something about it. All the party executives at the top; the former Volta regional minister, they know it,” he alleged.
Harker Brempong further alleged that 10,000 people were registered in the Hohoe constituency, with the leadership of the party doling out items like wellington boots, mattresses, as well as Gh¢100.00 per person, to induce the Togolese to register.
Source New Statesman

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