The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has explained reasons for saying President Akufo-Addo’s ban on all public gatherings was a ploy to rig the December 7 elections.
After President Akufo-Addo on March 15 announced a ban on all public gatherings and closure of schools in the country as measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, Asiedu Nketia described those directives as a ploy to rig the 2020 elections.
According to the outspoken politician, the president’s directive banning public gatherings had nothing to do with the outbreak of coronavirus in the country but rather part of moves to manipulate the electoral process.
“This whole announcement of emergency here, emergency there, stopping this gathering, stopping that gathering, in my view, on the surface, it will appear to the world that the president is acting to deal with COVID-19 and so on. But the real intention is not to deal with COVID-19 at all, the real intention is to find space to put the pieces of the rigging equipment together. So that by the time anybody could say jack the election has been compromised,” he alleged.
The General Secretary after making this comment came under severe attacks from a section of the populace who believed his comment was way out of line since the country is battling coronavirus.
But Asiedu Nketia explaining the rationale behind his statement in an interview monitored by ABC News said his earlier comment was borne out of the ongoing registration exercise by the National Identification Authority despite a ban on public gathering.
According to him, the NIA’s decision to defy the President’s order looked suspicious because he and other NDC party members couldn’t comprehend why the mass registration exercise of Ghana Card was ongoing, whilst some people were arrested for flouting the directive.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen show, Asiedu Nketia said “After the President’s directive to ban all public gatherings, churches, and other institutions closed. Some pastors were even arrested for continuing with church services but the NIA still continued with the registration exercise after the directives. Even some pastors met with Akufo-Addo asking why NIA is still working while churches and other institutions are closed, but the President said he hasn’t heard NIA is continuing with the registration exercise.”
“So we (NDC) became confused after hearing what the President said because NIA is under the President and the registration was ongoing in his region too, so we were surprised he said that. NDC, then decided to take action to verify if indeed the President had a hand in the registration exercise or not. We took the matter to court that we want an injunction on NIA’s exercise in fulfillment of the President’s directive. We got the injunction and it was placed. What made us realize the government had a hand was that the Attorney General went to court for an appeal to let NIA carry on with its work. The court granted NIA to continue with its work.”
“So if the President knew there are directives, for which some people got arrested for not complying and he still wants to carry on with the registration despite the ban, then he had plans of rigging the election,” he said in the interview justifying his actions.
He continued that “I came out to make some pronouncements that I think the coronavirus is not the only reason President Akufo-Addo placed the ban on public gatherings but also because his other eye is on the elections, where he plans to deceive Ghanaians by focusing only on the pandemic. So I said if it’s true the President’s focus is on fighting COVID-19, why is an institution like NIA defying the directives while others are arrested. So I said he had no good intentions and believes his plan is to rig the election.”
The NDC General Secretary said after making the comment he received insults from Ghanaians and even from some close friends of his who rebuked him for making such a statement.
But after things started to unfold, he feels he has been vindicated because people now agree with him that the President’s aim is to rig the elections because of the current impasse with the Electoral Commission.
“After my comment, I received calls from people with so many insults. Now that things are gradually unfolding, Ghanaians agree with me. Now I’m receiving calls from people that you were right,” he revealed.