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Editorial | 16 February 2012 11:36 CET

Towards a successful biometric registration exercise

By Ghanaian Chronicle

The stakes are high. The 2012 Presidential and Legislative elections would certainly go down in the annals of contemporary Ghana history as one of the most critical and keenly contested elections.

With the two leading protagonists - the ruling National Democratic Congress and the opposition New Patriotic Party armed to the teeth to ensure that they win at all cost, the stakes are definitely high.

At the heart of the struggle for power, is the quest to take control of the huge inflows from the country's new oil resources which is expected to rake in an additional one billion dollars annually.  The significance of this is that fact that, the party which wins power would have these huge inflows to undertake its developmental projects which would eventually endear it to the electorates in subsequent elections.

A free, fair and transparent election is what connoisseurs believe would forestall any electoral disturbance after the elections hence the quest to use a biometric register in the coming elections to prevent multiple registration and voting.

Unfortunately a very wicked and dangerous rumour is doing the rounds especially in the rural areas that threatens to create apathy towards the biometric registration exercise. Wicked people are going about spreading the false rumour that scanners for the biometric voter's registration can cause cancer and erectile dysfunction.

It is a rumour that has been doing the rounds for sometime now. The Chronicle has had an occasion to express worry about this negative development. That is why the Chronicle is happy that the Electoral Commission itself has been made aware of the wicked machinations and is asking the perpetrators to stop their wicket machinations.

The Chronicle would not rule out the fact that these falsehoods are a game plan of some political elements for their selfish political gains considering the level of recent political environment which is fraught with mudslinging, lies and pure propaganda aimed at gaining political points.

Memories are still fresh in the minds of Ghanaians on how a deputy minister in the present administration coached workers of the Information's Service department on how to make the government look good under whatever circumstance.

To him, the workers were at liberty to deceive Ghanaians to paint a good picture of the government; in fact if the government buys a sheep journalists who are encouraged by the Constitution to call the government to order at all times, are free to say it is a cow and if the colour is black, they are free to say it is a white colourful cow.

The Chronicle is aware of a recent statement by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Electoral Commission (EC) debunking the rumours that the scanners cause cancer and erectile dysfunction.

The Chronicle would want to urge the two institutions to embark on a nationwide campaign to intensify their education programmes on the biometric register to ensure its successful implementation.

An effective educational campaign on the subject is needed to ensure eligible voters have their names on the biometric register and not disenfranchised.

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