The Greater Accra Regional branch of the Bassare Youth Association has expressed worry over the attitude of some of the officials of the on-going Population and Housing Census.
They also expressed fear that the outcome of the data being compiled may not be as useful as it is intended to be if the teething challenges were not rectified.
A statement signed by Mr Seth N. Baalah, the Regional Chairman of the Association and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday said the feedback he had so far received suggested that some of the officers were doing ‘shoddy work across the country’.
He cited three of such instances to back their worry.
The statement said the first instance had to do with a Census Officer at Madina who had captured a number of Bassares in the area under the Guan Ethnic Group because she failed to explain the questions properly to the understanding of the people there.
“One of our brothers, Gbati, who had some knowledge about the nature of the questionnaires had to insist before information about his ethnicity could be changed to the Gurma Ethnic group where we belong.
“At another instance, a Census Officer in Tamale asked one of our brothers, Fatawu only three questions and told him he was done: What was his name, his date of birth and place of birth. Once again, this our brother had to challenge the officer before his ethnicity and other vital information was properly captured.
“The third and most worrisome instance took place in Techiman, where the Census Officer blatantly and ignorantly told another brother of ours, Musah that ‘there is no ethnic group called ‘Bassare’ in the list of ethnic groups.
Once again, Musah insisted for the officer to open the Gurma Ethnic Group portal in order to ‘prove’ to the officer that Bassare is one of the ethnic groups provided.”
The statement said as a Regional Chairman, he personally did a lot of education among his people and encouraged them to avail themselves for the enumeration and also ensured that every information about them was correctly captured because every information shall be useful for specific aspects of their nation building.
“I wonder whether the officers did not receive adequate training or they are simply lazy and unwilling to do the right thing. My fear is that if these officers continue to capture wrong information from the field, the resultant census data will be erroneous and misleading which will not make it useful for the purpose it is intended.
I therefore plead with the Statistical Service Department to up their game and ensure that the correct data is captured by their field officers.
I also wish to encourage all people in Ghana to ensure that they are counted and also ensure that all the necessary questions are captured correctly.