The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has criticised what it describes as an orchestrated attempt by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its General Secretary to demonise former President John Dramani Mahama.

James Agyenim-Boateng, the Campaign Spokesperson for the NDC said this came after Mr Mahama urged government to back down from its ethnic bigotry and voter suppression agenda in the just-ended registration of voters.

He called out John Boadu and the drafters of his statement which he presented at a press conference on Monday, that the NDC flagbearer “cannot be blamed for the sins of the NPP and government during the registration of voters, especially in the strongholds of the NDC.”

Mr Agyenim Boateng said Mr Mahama handed over a peaceful and united country to President Akufo-Addo so he owes it a duty to call government out for its “divisive and ethnic bigotry in the run-up to, and during, the voter registration exercise.”

“It is trite knowledge, and video evidence abounds on social media, that heavily-armed uniformed personnel and in some cases NPP thugs operating under the cover of National Security, were deployed by the government to harass and intimidate eligible voters in the strongholds of the NDC, including the Volta and Oti Regions, as part of a grand agenda to disenfranchise the people and thereby suppress votes in those areas.”

According to him, in some cases, eligible Ghanaians were physically removed from registration queues and prevented from registering simply because security personnel and political actors who are not vested with powers to determine Ghanaian citizenship pronounced them non-Ghanaians.

“There are also many reports of people who were denied their right to register simply because they could not speak a particular language.

“We have also received reports of deliberate frustrations and impediments that were put in the way of settler communities, particularly in NPP strongholds, throughout the country to ensure that not many of them could get their names on the new voter register.”

The NDC Campaign spokesperson described as shameful and unfortunate the conduct in Banda in which he said armed military personnel were deployed to block a road, intimidate and physically stop some people from going to a registration centre.

He lauded the resilience of many eligible voters for defying the odds and registering noting that government and the NPP that “the state-sponsored harassment, violence and intimidation in a simple exercise of registering voters was needless and will not be countenanced the next time by the members and supporters of our party.”

James Agyenim-Boateng said “Whilst our people may have endured these undemocratic acts during the voter registration, we call on the government and the NPP, in the interest of the peace and stability of our country, to back down from acts that deliberately raise the political temperature.

“We also wish to remind the NPP and make President Akufo-Addo aware – since he is usually not aware of happenings in his own government or so he says about many happenings – that the undignified case of Minister Mavis Hawa Koomson firing gunshots at eligible voters at a registration centre in her constituency is one that is still present on our minds.”

The NDC Spokesperson added, “It is also important to make the point that the deafening silence of the President about that shooting incident does not just speak volumes on his stance on electoral violence and intimidation, but it is also a sordid reminder that not much has changed on the part of the NPP and President Akufo-Addo, even after the shameful state-sponsored violence in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.”