Cocoa Farmers Lose Voter ID Cards

Nana Ama Ampomah (second left with pony tail) interviewing some of the inhabitants of the Asante Akyem South district whiles Justin Koduah Youth organizer (seated) looks on.

Scores of cocoa farmers in the Asante Akyem District of the Ashanti Region have expressed worry over the possibility of being denied their voting rights in the 2016 general elections.

The farmers, most of whom are illiterates, claimed that some people who posed as COCOBOD officials visited their communities recently and took details of their voter ID cards.

According to them, the so-called COCOBOD officials insisted that unless the farmers made the data on their voter ID cards available, they could not benefit from the cocoa spraying exercise and the supply of cocoa inputs.

The poor farmers said this had never been done before and that it was after the so-called COCOBOD officials had left that they gathered that they (farmers) could not vote come 2016.

The farmers said information they were privy to indicated that the capturing of their data on the voter ID cards was part of the NDC’s ploy to secure one million votes in the Ashanti Region in 2016.

According to the farmers, who are predominantly NPP members, they had information that their names would be deleted from the voters’ register so that they wouldn’t be able to vote for the NPP in 2016.

Appeal To NPP Leadership 
The farmers have therefore appealed passionately to leadership of the NPP to intervene to make sure that those who took details of their voter ID cards would not disenfranchise them in 2016.

They made the appeal when top NPP members in the Ashanti Region, led by Nana Ama Ampomah, the Women’s Organiser, visited their area.

The NPP team—made up of Justin Koduah, the Youth Organiser, the Nasara Coordinator, Alhaji Hamid and Helena Pinaman—visited Banso, Asempaneye and Ofoase where the incidents took place.

Madam Serwaah Amponsah, a cocoa farmer at Asempaneye, said in the past only pass books of the farmers were demanded by COCOBOD officials, adding, but ‘this year they demanded for our voter ID cards as well.’

She claimed that those so-called COCOBOD officials captured all details on their voter ID cards on a separate sheet of paper, after which they wrote their names on another paper, raising the suspicion of the farmers.

COCOBOD’s Failure
On his part, Opanin Agyei Kusi of Ofoase decried the failure of COCOBOD officials to supply the farmers with all the inputs they promised them six months ago.

He said what worried him most was the fact that all details on his voter ID card were taken away by these people ‘and I don’t know if they would work to ensure that my name is deleted from the voters’ register.’

Kwame Atuahene, another cocoa farmer at Banso, also appealed passionately to leadership of the NPP at the regional and national levels to make sure that nobody disenfranchised the poor farmers come 2016.

Ampomah Warns NDC
Nana Ama Ampomah, who spoke briefly, assured that the party would ensure that no cocoa farmer in the region was denied his/her voting right in 2016 and urged the farmers not to panic.

She sternly warned the NDC not to attempt using any diabolic plans to secure one million votes in the Ashanti Region for peace to prevail, warning that the NPP is battle ready to face the NDC squarely.

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