The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has called on President Akufo-Addo to call the National Identification Authority (NIA) to order following its decision to proceed with the mass Ghana Card registration exercise in the Eastern Region.
In a statement, CHRAJ is also asking the Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 to advise the EC on the potential public health risk and safety associated with the planned Voters’ Registration exercise.
The statement signed by the Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr Joseph Whittal, said “…the Commission is of the considered view that the President or the Inter-Ministerial Committee calls the NIA to order by suspending forthwith its ongoing registration exercise in the Eastern Region until the COVID-9 pandemic normalises.”
The statement added that “in the same vein, the Commission calls on the President or the Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 to advise the EC on the potential public health risk and safety associated with the planned Voters’ Registration due to the danger or threat that any mass gathering arising from such an exercise can pose to the health and life of the people”.
According to CHRAJ, EC’s “posture and intransigence” would undermine WHO protocols/benchmarks on COVID-19 and violate the Constitution of Ghana.
“Concerning the Electoral Commission (EC), the Commission’s attention has been drawn to a Press Statement dated 17th March 2020 issued by Sylvia Annoh (Mrs), EC’s posture and intransigence would undermine WHO protocols/benchmarks on COVID-19 and capable of violating the above-mentioned provisions of the Constitution, international and regional human rights instruments and the SDGs for which Ghana is a State Party and a signatory,” the statement said.
“The Commission further recommends that Government as a matter of urgency provide protective gear and equipment to all hospitals and health facilities both private and public and to all health professionals directly handling Covid-19 suspected cases to mitigate the looming contagion in the protection of the rights to health and life of these professionals who are exposed to serious risks of contracting the deadly virus in the line of duty on a daily basis”.