Residents of Benatabe Electoral Area in Tatale in the Northern has asked the Electoral Commission to remove from office its director in the district or they will prevent the commission from conducting any further electoral exercise, including the upcoming district assembly elections in the area.
The residents accused the director, identified only as Francis, of “now deep in bed with some political parties” and as such they have lost confidence in his decisions.
The anger of the people, according to them, was caused by the refusal of the director to create a new electoral area for them and the gross disrespect he has shown to the chiefs and people of the small town.
The caution was among a list of grievances against the district officer which they presented through a charged news conference Thursday, November, 2018, at the market centre.
Assemblyman for the area, Muntari Mohammed addressed the conference. several people attended the conference brandishing written placards and wearing red banners. Many local chiefs were also present to show support and endorsement.
The Assemblyman said the Benatabe area has met all the criteria the commission laid out for the creation of new electoral area but the district director for “political reasons” refused to carry out the exercise despite their several appeals.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the Benatabe Electoral Area has three polin stations; Benatabe A = 755, Benatabe B = 657, R/C = 681. This makes it a voter population of 2,093 according to the electoral commissions 2016 voter register. Benatabe has a large land size, starting from the Roman Catholic Church to El Shaddai international school opposite Tatale EP SHS, which makes it almost impossible to visit all the communities before the time expires”, the Assemblyman said.
“With the above factors, every reasonable and rational being will more agree with us that, Benatabe deserves more than just one electoral area which has not even bee created. The commission created six additional electoral areas to the already existing 19, making it twenty five in the districts, which we laud, but none of the assembly members were consulted on the creation. We are drawing attention of the media and the electoral commission that, we have been cheated. The EC is playing political game with the people, which can degenerate into conflict in the very near future”.
The residents said they were speaking because several petitions about the regional office about the conducts of the district officer have not received favourable responses. They appealed to the Electoral Commissioner, Madam Jean Mensah to address their concern before the district assembly elections in March next year else they will boycott subsequent activities of the commission.
“We are, therefore, sending a strong word of caution to the EC that, if the demarcation or creation is not done before the next district assembly elections, the good people of Benatabe will not partake in the impending district assembly elections, and no ballot box or EC materials should be brought to the electoral area for any registration or whatsoever, since the EC is now deep in bed with some of the political parties to deny us the right to vote and be voted for”.
The district officer is yet to comment on the accusations.