Muslims across Ghana are pushing for a review of the April 2020 time period for the commencement of the registration exercise for the new biometric voter’s register.
Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) has set April 18, 2020, as the date for the compilation of the new voter’s register amid calls to get the move suspended.
A Deputy Chairperson of the EC in-charge of Operations, Samuel Tettey said the exercise is expected to be completed by May 30, 2020 after which an exhibition exercise will be conducted from August 15-28, 2020.
Would-be voters are expected to queue at their various electoral areas to participate in the exercise.
But the Federation of Muslim Councils–Ghana said in a statement that the exercise will coincide with the Ramadan which begins on Thursday, April 23, 2020 and ends on Saturday, May 23, 2020.
“While we wish the EC will in its endeavours to execute this important national exercise, we also wish to draw attention to the discomfort the exercise will cause Muslims nationwide as it coincides with the fasting period”, parts of a statement signed by General Secretary of the Federation, Al- Hajj Muhammad Amir Kpakpo Addo.
They recounted the stress and other incidents that characterized such national exercises, as they expressed fears such incidents will occur during the period.
“Voter register exercises in our part of the globe is characterized hustles including queuing for long hours, sometimes in the sun and for days before on goes through. This is not the kind of torment one would want to see a fasting person goes through.
“It is the sincere hope and prayer of the Federation of Muslim Councils that the ongoing tripartite negotiations among the Eminent Advisory Committee of the EC , IPAC and EC will lead to amicably fruitful results to move us forward as a nation. We hope and pray too that the importance the Islamic calender and the fasting period will not be lost sight of”
“…If care is not taken many Muslims will be disenfranchised come December 7, 2020″, they further stated.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, self-reflection.
The Muslims also join fisher folks in four regions along Ghana’s coast who are kicking against the timing.
The fishermen say they risked being disenfranchised as they would go fishing in neighbouring Nigeria, Liberia, Benin and Togo.