Overcoming The Biometric Challenges
3/27/2012 3:04:33 PM -
The biometric registration exercise is into its fourth day, and expectedly, challenges have been encountered in many of the centres.
Given the novelty of the exercise, the unfolding challenges observed at the various processing centres are not wholly amazing.
Yesterday, the media was awash with stories regarding such challenges but we take solace in the fact that the bottlenecks, although real, are not insurmountable.
A lot of resources went into the planning and execution of the project, with the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) and his lieutenants doing all they can to ensure that all plays out well. In fact, nobody expected the exercise to proceed without hitches given, as noted earlier, that it is something we are embarking upon for the first time in our electoral history.
While we cannot ignore such technical challenges, which we believe the EC factored into their overall planning, we are confident that the Commission would respond to them appropriately to ensure that all Ghanaians who are eligible to vote do so.
What is more worrying is not the technical hitches but the actions and inactions of politicians, one of the critical stakeholders in the electoral process which begins with the registration exercise being undertaken now.
We are pained to observe that some politicians, with the connivance of the prospective voters, have decided to disregard the impact of their misconduct on the peaceful management of the electoral process.
The basic rules regarding the registration process are unambiguous and so when people purported to be working in the interest of some politicians go to the extent of creating unnecessary confusion at registration centres, we begin to wonder whether these are persons who seek to lead the country.
The EC is saddled with the task of managing the process counting on the cooperation of the good behaviour of the public and politicians for an acceptable outcome of it all.
It is disappointing that the process of merely registering to vote can turn bloody in some instances as reported in the Ashanti Region and elsewhere.
A small boy is said to have been shot accidentally as a result of a registration-related issue. What a shame! There have been pockets of misconduct in a number of places by so-called machomen who are encouraged to disrupt the orderly conduct of the registration exercise.
That some people can even encourage foreigners from nearby countries to come and breach the process is even more worrying.
Let us be civil in our conduct, especially since the spotlight of the international community is on us as we go through this initial stage of the electoral process.
There is a thin line between a civil society and an unruly one, in fact a failed state. We do not want to belong to the latter but the pockets of confusion politicians are sponsoring can prove appropriate ingredients for sowing the seed of disharmony. We do not want to be there.