Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mustapha Gbande
Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mustapha Gbande

Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mustapha Gbande says the party is not concerned about the missing Biometric Verification Device (BVD) but rather about the possibility that individuals could enter the premises of the Electoral Commission (EC) and steal these devices.

According to him, the EC is the body in charge of elections; therefore, the lax security at their premises, allowing others to steal very important electoral materials, is a cause for concern.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on April 9, he said “These are very critical questions bordering on the credibility of the Electoral Commission and in their own interest let them go and sleep on it and reflect.

“In fact, knowledge is not in one person’s head… in the interest of the commission’s own integrity and credibility that has been put on the line.

“In the first place, we should not have a commission that will fail to protect the machines. We should not have a situation where thieves can enter the warehouse of the Electoral Commission to steal. Knowing how important these machines are, we shouldn’t have gotten there in the first place.”

The NDC disclosed that seven of the machines were missing in March. However, the EC stated that only five were missing and these did not contain voter data.

The EC also debunked claims that it would struggle to organise a free and fair election following the theft of its five laptops.

According to the Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Corporate Services, Dr Bossman Asare, there was no need for such panic because the alleged stolen items do not concern sensitive data.

Earlier today, at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee meeting, the EC requested the NDC to volunteer any information regarding the robbery so that proper investigations can be carried out.

The NDC is reluctant, insisting that the EC must protect the machines. Hence, the EC should be able to conduct an inventory of machines to provide an account and update the public on the issue.

Additionally, Mr Gbande said the party is not interested in pursuing a criminal matter but rather in understanding how it might affect the elections.

 “So if you are calling on the NDC to volunteer information who says we are interested in the criminality of it? We are interested in the administration of those machines to the extent that it can jeopardize and compromise the integrity of the exercise. That is what the NDC is talking about,” he added.

On the same show, Programmes Manager of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Paul N.K. Aborampah Mensah said that although the NDC was not interested in pursuing a criminal case, providing insight into the matter would help the EC and police resolve it.

“Probably they have information that can help the police because there is a criminal aspect to it. Apart from the Electoral Commission being accountable to its own administration, there is also a criminal aspect to the whole thing. So probably, I was thinking because the NDC has been able to support us,to tell us that, because I wouldn’t have known that five BVDs are missing.

“It’s because of the NDC that some of these things have come up. So if we have this information, I am not saying it is the responsibility of the NDC to start an investigation but if there is any information that can help us to unravel the criminal aspect of the whole thing. We are all citizens and we should all support the system to function,” he added.

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