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Collins Dauda Under Arrest …Over Voter Registration Violence

Former Minister for Water Resources Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda, the incumbent Member of Parliament for Asutifi South is under arrest for his alleged involvement in violent disturbances at one of the voter registration centers in the Ahafo Region, the Ghana Police Service has confirmed in an official statement.

“One person sustained injury and is currently receiving treatment at the hospital.  Police are in pursuit of other suspects in connection with the incident”, the official statement said.

Other reports, not confirmed beyond doubt said the said disturbance involved the use of machetes and guns.

The Ghana Police Service has urged the public to act responsibly as the registration continues and condemned acts of violence in areas such as Cape Coast and Adugyama.

In a similar development, two individuals have been injured in clashes between rival parties amidst tensions at a voter registration center in Adu Gyama, Ashanti region.

According to an eyewitness, two ladies were allegedly brought to the center for registration by an agent of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The conflict erupted when some political party agents and some residents who were present at the center declined their registration, claiming they were not residents of the area.

Despite an initial attempt to resolve the issue peacefully, armed individuals intervened, sparking a violent confrontation resulting in injuries.

The armed group forcefully entered the center, brandishing clubs, machetes, and other weapons, in an attempt to pressure the EC officials into permitting the registration of the students.

However, political party agents and other residents opposed their efforts, resulting in a physical altercation that caused injuries to two individuals’ necks and arms.

The injured parties are currently receiving medical treatment at St. Mankraso Hospital, while the Electoral Commission (EC) works to address the situation and ensure the safety of all involved.

This incident has prompted concerns about the security and integrity of the voter registration process, especially as the EC prepares to commence a nationwide voter registration exercise.

The ongoing votersregistration exercise, began on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, with the aim of enrolling approximately 623,000 new voters across the country.

According to Madam Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the EC, the exercise will run for 21 days until May 27, 2024, at 268 district offices nationwide. The 21-day exercise 7:00 AM and concluded at 6:00 PM each day throughout the scheduled duration.

Additionally, mobile registration teams will be deployed to 785 polling stations and 25 public universities to reach voters in remote areas.

Addressing the press, Madam Mensa assured the public that all necessary logistical arrangements had been made to ensure a smooth registration process.

She emphasized the importance of the exercise in facilitating democratic participation, particularly for those who were unable to register during the previous cycle in September 2023.

The EC has trained and deployed over 3,000 electoral officers to oversee the ongoing registration process, including mobile teams tasked with reaching voters in hard-to-access areas.

Movement plans for these teams have been published on the EC’s website and shared with political parties to facilitate monitoring and access.

However, concerns remain about the potential for further conflicts during the registration period, especially in areas where tensions are high.

The recent violence at the registration center in Adu Gyama underscores the need for robust security measures and effective conflict resolution mechanisms to safeguard the electoral process.

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