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Opinion | Nov 4, 2015

What About Ghana As A War Zone?

What About Ghana As A War Zone?

I initially thought the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana was committed to fairness in the case of calls for a new voters register for Ghana in the wake of compelling evidences that the voters register which was used for the 2012 elections was full of “foreign” materials and there was the urgent need for the EC to compile a new voters register as part of preparations towards fair and credible elections in 2016.

Having listened to the Electoral Commissioner speak at the end of a 2-day stakeholders forum at the Alisa Hotel in Accra, I noticed there was no difference between the chairperson of the Electoral Commission and the NDC communicators. She spoke that day as if she was representing the NDC rather than the EC when she attempted to address a number of issues that the NPP had submitted to them.

Not only did Charlotte Osei present half-baked answers in reference to the concerns raised by the NPP and other bodies, but also completely avoided some of the things the NPP submitted to her and was in some cases demanding the NPP to provide further evidences of documents the EC has in its custody!

This was a clear proof of an organisation that is not determined to ensure free and fair elections but rather extremely biased in favour of the government that recently appointed its Chairperson. Charlotte Osei must be told that she is not running her own NGO. She is heading an organisation which is being financed by the very people asking for a credible register to ensure free and fair elections in 2016.

You don’t show fairness by taking a side from day one. Is the Electoral Commission saying that we should still go into election 2016 with Togolese, Ivorians and Burkinabes on our electoral register? Is the EC saying the several names that got stapled into the electoral register of Ghana should be left on the register? Is the Electoral commission saying that the various minors on the register should stay? What in particular is the EC going to do to eradicate the “foreign” materials from the register?

Twum Baffour and Koku Anyidohu are on record to have boasted categorically that the EC will not compile any new register for election 2016 at the very time the commission was handed over crucial evidences on why the register should be changed. What information influenced the way the two NDC officials spoke in the manner they did?

Why is the NDC as a political party in particular vociferously against a new voter register? What do they know about the register which is of beneficial to them that the rest of us are not aware of?

The most uninformed statement I have ever heard came from the chairperson of the Electoral Commission was when she said compiling a new register could be equal to opening 30,000 conflict zones in Ghana. With what security expertise was she making that statement? Is the EC not aware that rather going into an election with a heavily flawed and dirty register can rather get nearly 25 million Ghanaians into civil war?

Is the fear of conflict in 30,000 polling stations now the reason Ghanaians should by all means accept a defective register for election 2016? I think the EC must be told quickly that we are not at the National Theatre preparing for an Akan drama. We are preparing for very crucial elections and they must come to this realisation swiftly.

The NPP should not renege on the calls for a new credible register. The EC must reorient itself on its true functions to the state. It is an Electoral Commission and Charlotte Osei must be reminded that the peace of Ghana before, during and after elections is dependent on her resolve to be fair to all and sundry.

The EC must take time to critically analyse the evidences submitted and take the right decision in the interest of mother Ghana! If the EC is ready to spend money to audit or clean the old register, why is it not determined to compile a new register which is doable anyway?

Am done for now.

Akilu Sayibu

Email: [email protected]

Akilu Sayibu
Akilu Sayibu, © 2015

This author has authored 188 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: AkiluSayibuUK

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