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April 16, 2012 | Opinions Commentaries

Commentary: Biometric Challenges

The True Statesman
Commentary: Biometric Challenges

The accusations and counter accusations on the ongoing biometric registration exercise continue to create unnecessary tension in the country.

The reported incidents of intimidation, harassment and violent clashes at some biometric voter registration centres across the country also leave much to be desired.

The probable objective of those politicians from all political persuasions and others who are so unhappy about the new biometric registration systems for fear of the unknown is certainly to sway public interest and confidence in the new system that ensures that multiple registrations and its related multiple voting become practices of the past.

Our team of reporters did a random selection and visited a number of registration centers across the country. We can say without reservation that the exercise is going on smoothly. The recent furore and negative publicity by the media on the on- going registration exercise is just hot air and machinations of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which, we on The True Statesman will describe as 'enemies ' to progressive change.

There was the fear that the process will be chaotic, but by and large, this registration exercise has proved the skeptics wrong. Any perceived irregularity is self inflicted by its actors. The role played by Ursula Owusu, NPP parliamentary candidate for Ablekuma South and others is totally uncalled for.

Instead of engaging in dispassionate and level headed exchanges to improve on a system that is very new, the “All-die-be-die” attitude here and there will not be in anybody's interest but has the potential to foment trouble.

It is also reported that some people who are attempting to do double registration have been arrested to face the full rigous of the law. This is what the system is suppose to combat in the first place, so all concerned must come to terms with the fact that, with biometric registration system , the uniqueness of your finger print will surely expose any ill-intentions of those who would like to engage in double registration.

Having said that, we on The True Statesman will like to urge the police to deal ruthlessly with all agents provocateurs, who are bent on destroying the registration exercise.

The biometric registration is supposed to help eliminate election fraud and as such, the law must deal drastically with individuals whose acts would tend to thwart the smooth implementation of the exercise.

Anyone inciting violence must be arrested according to the law, irrespective of his political affiliation. The law is no respecter of persons, and few “agents of confusion” must not be allowed to create unnecessary fear and panic in the country.

A safe environment for the security and safety of the people must be created to remove fear and anxiety among the people so that they can move about freely to perform their daily activities.

It goes without saying that Ghana is seen as a model democratic order on a continent plagued by conflicts, coup d'états, among other challenges.

Ghana has come far in its quest for development and we must all work hand in hand to consolidate this path by sustaining the peace and stability that we are enjoying.

Ghanaians must therefore cooperate with the Electoral Commission to make the biometric registration exercise a success.

The True Statesman
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