Lee Ocran, Education Minister

MORE THAN 100,000 senior high school students, mostly first-time voters, risk being disenfranchised in tomorrow?s presidential and parliamentary elections.

Reliable information available to DAILY GUIDE suggested that heads of Senior High Schools (SHS) have been directed by ?powers from above? to only release students who came to campus with their voter ID cards to take part in the impending elections.

The heads of the SHS were further asked to register the potential voters with their voter ID numbers before allowing them to go home to participate in the elections.

However, reports were that most of the potential SHS voters who registered outside their schools?specifically their homes?failed to go to school with the ID cards for fear of losing them.

Most of the affected students who called into the Brong Ahafo regional offices of DAILY GUIDE cried foul about the directive, describing it as an attempt to disenfranchise them.

The affected students appealed to the leadership of the various political parties competing in the election, minister of Education, Electoral Commission and all other stakeholders to intervene in their situation so they would not be prevented from voting.

According to the students, majority of them did not come to school with their voter ID cards because they thought it was not safe for them to do so with the expectation that the school authorities would allow them to go home and exercise their constitutional rights.

They however vowed to defy the orders of their heads if the school authorities insisted on the directive and go home to exercise their franchise.

One of the students stated, ?As a first time voter, I will not allow this golden opportunity to pass me by,? insisting on ?taking part in the elections to elect the right persons to govern this country.?

When DAILY GUIDE contacted some heads of SHS in the Brong Ahafo region about the situation, they confirmed having received such directives from the higher authorities.

The heads who pleaded anonymity, however, declined to comment further, saying they were only implementing orders from above.

 FROM Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani

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