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Burkinabes Grabbed In Biometric   
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Asmua Klomanu
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Alleged machinations to encourage foreigners in the Ellembelle and Evalue-Gwira constituencies in the Western Region to take part in the ongoing biometric registration exercise have been uncovered.

Reliable sources at the two constituencies told DAILY GUIDE that in their bid to get more votes in the December general elections, activists of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) were urging foreigners, mainly Burkinabes and Ivorians working in different plantations in the area, to register and vote for the ruling party in the December 7, 2012 general elections.

Information reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates that two of such foreigners, who are nationals of neighboring Burkina Faso, were arrested by the Esiama police in the Ellembelle constituency last Tuesday for taking part in the biometric registration exercise.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that some kingpins of the NDC in the two constituencies, upon hearing about the arrest of the two Burkinabes, Asmua Klomanu and Abu Klomanu, both claiming to be 19 years, stormed the police station and ordered that the two foreigners be granted bail.

Narrating how the two foreigners were arrested in an interview with DAILY GUIDE, Samuel Akainyah, Ellembelle constituency chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), noted that the two Burkinabes first attempted to register at Asanta SDA JHS centre in the constituency, but were prevented from doing so when they told the electoral officers that they came from Burkina Faso.

According to the NPP chairman, the party’s polling agent at the registration centre, one Judith, advised the two Burkinabes not to be deceived by anyone to register because the exercise was meant for only Ghanaians and that they could be arrested if they tried to register.

Mr. Akainyah said the two foreigners then left the registration centre only to return after a few minutes.

When the electoral officers asked why they were still hovering around the area, one of them, who could speak Twi, indicated that they were looking for their lost mobile phone.

The NPP chairman noted that after sometime, the two suspects left the place, but determined to register, they moved to the Ankobra registration centre in the Ellembelle constituency to try their luck there.

He pointed out that it took the vigilance of the NPP polling agents at the centre to detect that the two were foreigners after they had been issued with their voter identification cards.

The NPP agents therefore confronted the two persons and enquired from them where they hailed from in the constituency and to their surprise, the two said they were natives of Burkina Faso.

The NPP agents at the Ankobra registration centre then collected the ID cards and reported the case to the Esiama police who later arrested the two foreigners.

The arrested persons were later sent to the Axim District Police headquarters.

He mentioned that at about 7.00pm on Tuesday, some NPP activists at Axim started calling him on phone to inform him that some NDC kingpins, led by one Joseph Meneabe Akpo, the Ellembelle constituency secretary of the ruling party, had stormed the district police headquarters to order the police to grant the two suspects bail.

“We in the NPP do not understand why our friends from the NDC will try to interfere in the work of the law enforcement agency in this case since these two persons are foreigners and we know the law bars foreigners from registering to vote,” he lamented.

When DAILY GUIDE contacted Mr Meneabe Akpo to react to the story, he declined to comment and even attempted to engage this reporter in fisticuffs.

At the Axim District police, the officer in charge of the case who was writing the statements of the two suspects at the time of the paper’s visit, confirmed the arrest but declined to comment further.

Meanwhile, scores of people at Axim who got wind of the presence of the two foreigners at the police headquarters thronged there to catch a glimpse of them.
Source: Emmanuel Opoku/Daily Guide

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