The high numbers recorded and the smooth take-off signal a good beginning of an exercise that was embroiled in controversy right from the day the idea was mooted.
Reports from around the country indicate that the high turnout, although welcomed, is turning out to be a huge challenge and a nightmare for the Electoral Commission (EC).
Our reporters across the country mentioned two critical challenges, that is, the non-adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols and the chaotic situation created by the crowd that have besieged the registration centres across the nation.
What is worse is that some of the registration centres have already recorded fights among the applicants over different issues.
This is not good enough.
Although it is anticipated that there might be misunderstanding here and there, it is not acceptable in the midst of COVID-19 for the people to disregard all the rules and regulations and misbehave at the registration centres.
We are concerned that in spite of the warning issued against trouble making at the registration centres, many appear to have ignored them and thrown caution to the winds.
Behaviour of that kind that only undermines the registration exercise invites the security agencies to take action to ensure law and order.
We wish to remind such troublemakers that Regional Security Councils have already stated that they would not hesitate to deploy security personnel to deal with recalcitrant persons that may cause mayhem at registration centres.
“We have put security arrangements in place and in case of any issue they would be deployed but it is safer for people to cooperate rather than the security doing what they have to do to maintain peace.
“There are people who are apprehensive just at the sight of the security uniform and we do not want to put fear in people in order to allow the exercise to go on peacefully,” the Chairman of the Greater Accra Regional Security Council, Mr Ishmael Ashitey warned.
The Ghanaian Times adds its voice to appeal to the public to behave responsibly at the registration centres by remaining in orderly queues and observing the COVID-19 safety measures.
It must be drummed home that everyone is at risk of contracting the disease and therefore it is the responsibility of all to help fight the pandemic, which has seen more than 500,000 deaths globally, even as we register for a voters roll.
It is not in anybody’s interest to ignore the rules and regulations as well as the safety protocols.
What would it profit anyone to contract the disease and die without casting a vote in the December 7 general elections to elect a President and preferred candidates for Parliament?
Let us all maintain order at the registration centres to ensure a successful exercise.
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