A grand demonstration was staged outside the forecourt of No.10 Downing Street, Richmond Terrace on the Westminster Street in London, on Friday 6th November, by a group that identified itself as concerned Ghanaians in the UK. Defiant to the inclement weather in London, Ghanaians in their numbers arrived at the venue, sheltered under brollies.
Some of them, ignored umbrella shelter, and enjoyed the cold Friday morning showers in soaked clothes. Clad in red head bands, and others in national colours, the demonstrators wielded placards, some of which read: Election 2016 Under Threat; Ghana Elections is for Ghanaians; New Voters Register Now; NDC and EC in Bed; There Will Not be Another Court Case; No Fair Elections No Peace, and many more.
Amid brass band music, the picketing party made the whole area colourful in red and black as the majority of demonstrators were in red clothes and head bands, others in red scarfs, or in national colours, danced as usual, chanting repeated songs and slogans for the Ghana E.C to change the bloated voters register.
Non-Ghanaian passersby, stopped and read the scripted messages on the placards, whiles others took down notes, as well as photos of the placards and the banners and others joining in the pump. Amongst attracted passersby were local and international Press personnel who hide around for news and events to, and from No.10 Downing Street and Whitehall.
At 11:45 GMT, the leaders of the demonstrators went through to the security checks at the gates to the Prime Minister’s residence and office at No.10 Dawning Street, following a pre-arranged permission, where they presented a big brown envelope, containing a written petition, and exhibits of images of multiple Ghanaian registrants, cross border registrants of mainly Togolese nationals, a few of Burkina, and Ivorian nationalities, as well as images of Ghana police brutalities recently meted on peaceful demonstrators against the existing flawed register in Accra.
Aside petitioning the British Prime Minister and the British government, the petitioners sent similar thick and heavy brown envelope to the gates of the British Parliament addressed to the Hon. Speaker of the British Parliament. Other authorities who received copies of the petition and supporting documents were the Commonwealth Secretariat, the United Nations UK representative, the European Union, the German Chancellor, through the German Ambassador in the UK, the Pope through the Vatican Pronuncio, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and several European governments through their Embassies.
The demonstrators cannot fathom why the E.C, through its Chairperson seeks to create fear and panic in Ghana as an excuse for avoiding the compilation of a new credible voters register for 2016 elections. The Chairperson of the E.C, Mrs. Charlotte Osei at the stakeholders forum organised, stated that “Ghana’s security might be threatened by any move to compile a new register”. This, the demonstrators wondered if the Ghana Electoral Commission is now a Security Intelligence Agency.
Below is a full text of the petition presented to the UK Prime Minister and copied to other international authorities.
6th November 2015
Our Ref: 001/COGEF/COGUK/06/15
The Right Honourable Prime Minister. 10, Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA.
Re: Petition in Support of Ghanaians Calling for Replacement of Ghana’s Current Flawed Voters Register.
We are concerned Ghanaians living in the United Kingdom, and we do hereby seek your indulgence, and the support of your government, in acting in solidarity with our compatriots in Ghana, who have stood up against the use of a flawed voters register, for use in the December 2016 General and Presidential elections.
We are dismayed with happenings and mis-happenings currently underscoring our Ghanaian democracy. We sense and feel serious mischievous simmering forebodings, currently in zygote stage of development, that if not earlier dealt with, can result in internecine carnage in Ghana within the next 12 months, and which requires immediate attention from our international partners and development communities, whom we trust, are in a better position to forefend it.
Our concerns have all been outlined in detail in an attached preamble, followed by our request in the form of a petition. Attached with our petition are sample exhibits of double and multiple registration which have been discovered in tens of thousands, cross border registrants from neighbouring Togo, Burkina and the Ivory Coast, also in several hundred thousand, who are transported, or allowed into Ghana by the ruling National Democratic Congress Party, as ‘voting mercenaries’ during general elections, to vote for them, and also Ghana police brutalities on peaceful demonstrators against the flawed register.
We hope our request will meet with your kind attention, for urgent action.
We have the honour to be Sir.
—— Signed ——-
(Adreba Kwaku Abrefa Damoa)
For and on behalf of Concerned Ghanaians in the UK.