Restricting the qualification for voters to the possession of the Ghana Card is a decision better late than never.
To continue to use the antiquated guarantor system with its varied loopholes for electoral fraud is to condone criminality.
We cannot agree more with the Electoral Commission (EC)'s bold decision to take the country further in its modernisation of the electoral system. With digitisation beckoning to us, there is no reason we should be stuck with the old ways of doing things.
Since elections are processes, not events, such aspects of it which deal with eligibility should be devoid of integrity challenges, as we witnessed in the past.
We have reached a stage where election results should be bereft of any iota of doubts when they are declared.
Those who try to stand in the way of the abolishment of the guarantor system and other novelties are showing similar traits, as those who kicked against the abolishment of the opaque ballot boxes and the introduction of photographs on voter identification cards.
We have noticed the points raised in favour of the abolishment of the guarantor system by the Chairperson of the EC, and the Director of Elections of the Commission, and convinced without doubt that it is the greatest stride yet towards protecting our electoral system.
The integrity of elections in a democracy cannot be overlooked. The avoidable and time-wasting litigation over results are actions which come with their drawbacks.
The Ghana Card has come in handy for us and we must be grateful to all who played their parts in making it possible.
With two clear years ahead of us, as the EC Chair said, and based on the interaction between the elections management body and the National Identification Authority (NIA), we can bet nobody who is qualified to possess the card would be denied it.
While supporting the demand of the EC Chairperson that the NIA expedites action in printing the cards, we would be quick to add that the integrity of the citizenship document should be maintained by all means.
Yes, the NIA should speed up the printing process but they must also continue not to make it possible for unqualified persons to possess the Ghana Card.
Former President John Mahama recently complained about how some persons are being denied the Ghana Card because of their ethnicity. We do not agree with him wholly. He appeared to be saying that persons who claim to be from the Zongos should be automatically given the Ghana Card.
We disagree with him because, not all those who live in the Zongos are Ghanaians. Some residents were not even born here let alone claim citizenship of this country.
While some Fulanis, Hausas and Yorubas are Ghanaians because some of them have one of their parents hailing from here, others are descendants of Nigerians and constituting fourth generation of the initial migrants. Some members of the foregone have nonetheless had problems registering for the Ghana Card. The former President should have rather dealt with this category of persons and suggest ways of avoiding the challenges some of them encounter. We disagree, however, when he appeared to be calling rather subtly an outright granting of citizenship to everybody who claims to hail from the Zongos.
By the time the next general elections are due, all eligible persons would have been issued with their Ghana Card. There is no agenda to disenfranchise anybody who is qualified to be given the Ghana Card and the right to choose the political leadership of the country.
Source: Daily Guide