The attention of the Leadership of the National Democratic Congress in the Northern Region, has been drawn to the overwhelming politicisation and bastardization of the upcoming 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) by the NPP and the Statistical Service.
Over the last couple of days, the Executives of NDC-NR has been inundated with calls from concerned and innocent citizens of Ghana in the region about the unjustifiable and unfair deletion and removal of names of people who expressed interest in partaking in the PHC exercise as field staff. These people have gone through the requisite procedures of the Statistical Service and notified by the service as having qualified and recruited with their names published, only to be surreptitiously removed and replaced by names of known NPP party folks.
Across the various districts in the region we have also received reports of NPP hoodlums invading training centres of recruited staff for the 2021 PHC demanding the withdrawal of qualified Ghanaians and replacing them with handpicked NPP supporters and threatening to vandalize the training equipment if their uncouth demands are not met. Particularly, we have seen evidence of the NPP Constituency Chairman for Gushegu, leading hoodlums to threaten the PHC officials in the Gushegu District if the list of NPP party supporters he and the party has submitted is not accepted.
Another case in point is in the Savelugu Municipal, where the NPP Constituency Chairman authorised his party thugs to invade training centres for the PHC to sack qualified persons recruited for the exercise and replace them with handpicked NPP supporters. Indeed, reports we have received about this cancerous and uncivilized behavior by the NPP and in some instances with the tacit connivance of the Statistical Service abound.
This explains why many qualified persons have had their names unjustifiably deleted and replaced with known NPP folks. And this, a clear trumping of the rights of these innocent citizens and a present danger to the credibility and integrity of the exercise.
An exercise such as the Population and Housing Census is supposed to be carried out in the national interest devoid of partisan politics but like the capture of state institutions, programs and projects by the Akufo-Addo led NPP, the 2021 PHC has fallen victim.
It is sad and regrettable that President Akufo-Addo, a man who touts his credentials as a ‘rule of law champion’ will lead a party that has bastardized, politicised and captured sensitive state institutions and continues to deny innocent Ghanaians opportunities, whose only crime was to vote for him.
Again, we have also taken notice of the clandestine moves by the NPP government and the Statistical Service to undercount people in certain areas across the country, particularly, areas deemed to be NDC strongholds to deny such areas the fair opportunity to have their own districts and constituencies (in the nearest future).
We are therefore cautioning the government, NPP and the Statistical Service that their unholy matrimony to gerrymander and violate the rights of qualified persons for narrow political interest will draw dark clouds over the integrity, credibility and value of both the exercise and its outcome. We in the NDC will not cooperate or be party to such and will resist such evil machinations in the interest of the 1992 Constitution and the people of Ghana.
It has been four (4) clear days since this shameless incidents were reported by some respected media houses and one would have thought that a responsible government will call its marauding party chairmen and their hoodlums to order or at best direct the security agencies to act, but characteristic of the unashamedly corrupt government, no such action has been taken.,
The 2021 Population and Housing Census, according the Finance Minister, will cost GHS521 million to the treasury of the tax payer. In value terms, this can build over 100 standard senior high schools. It can reasonably assuage the huge infrastructural challenges we have in our primary health sector. It can also give Nana Addo a good head-start in reducing the deficit of his promised 88 district hospitals. In short, GHS521 million is lots of money and it is imperative to have value for money in the way it is spent in conducting the PHC. For the sake of patriotism, this money must not be squandered on square pegs in round holes.
We call on civil society groups, our development partners and well-meaning Ghanaians to join forces in calling the Ghana Statistical Service to stay true to the guiding principles set out for the population and housing census as the importance of the exercise to the development of our nation cannot be over emphasized.
Communication Officer, NDC