Community Left Out Of Biometric Registration

Many residents in the Atosale-Azaasi Electoral Area in the Kassena-Nankana East District, who did not get the chance to register, have expressed surprise at the conclusion of the nationwide biometric voter registration exercise over the weekend. Currently the people of area do not have a representative at the Kassena-Nankana East District Assembly because they did not vote during the District Assemblies Elections in 2010 as result of a chaos caused by misunderstanding over the change of name from Akrugu-Daboo Electoral Area to Atosale-Azaasi Electoral Area. During the first phase of the biometric registration, some angry persons from the Akurugu family in the area disrupted the work of registration officials stationed at the Akurugu-Daboo Primary school and chased them away. They took the action to register their protest against the change in the name of the Electoral Area from Akurugu-Daboo to Atosale-Azaasi. After being left out of the first phase, residents thought their names and details would be captured in the new votersí register at the Azaasi Registration Center during the second phase. That did not happen as people loyal to the same Akurugu family with support from a mob from Doba Community disrupted the exercise and forced the registration officials to flee from the Azaasi Registration Center. In the past, the Atosale-Azaasi Electoral Area was called Akurugu-Daboo Electoral Area, but petitions were sent to address the matter. The petitions said Akurugu-Daboo were family names that did not represent the communities or the people of the area. In other areas in the Upper East region, the Biometric Voter Registration took place smoothly with a few logistical problems and threats from officials to boycott the third phase. Many people in most districts and municipalities complained about the inability of the Electoral Commission to provide officials with appointment letters, allowances to charge the batteries and transportation. Many officials told DAILY GUIDE that they were promised their salaries in parts, but they were given only GHc100.00 after the second phase in the region. Those who did not get their appointment letters at the end of the exercise are wondering how they would provide prove of work if they are asked to do so. Some officials were dismissed from registration centers in the Kassena-Nankana East District but their positions were not filled during the period. Some officials in the district told the DAILY GUIDE that though their colleagues were sacked due to flimsy reasons, the District Director of the Electoral Commission, Nicholas Ofori Pewiah insisted that the names of the dismissed persons should still be written on the Form 3A everyday and submitted to him to be forwarded to the Regional Office of the Electoral Commission.