Ghana must go to the polls come December 7th and not November 7th because our lawmakers in a beautiful edifice in Accra called parliament are still in love with the darling and so have no plans of filing for a divorce anytime soon. The love is still deeper than that which is between lovebirds in a televised telenovela.
Without any shred of doubt, we shall elect our leaders to man the affairs of the country for the next four years not because we do not like president Mahama and the Members of parliament, but we have subscribed to a way of governance called Democracy and a neatly codified book of rules and regulations and respective punishments for our guidance called constitution which is a supreme book for charging and prosecuting those who behave contrary.
In this book, article 42 reads “Every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purpose of public elections and referenda”. Relative to this article, you have the right to choose who leads you base on your philosophical and political conviction. For the records, I am unlearned lawyer who just shoplifted an article from a public document.
Imagine how time flies, 2016 is finally here and soon shall December 7th for us to have a taste of what happened four years back. You can call it elections but I will call it the test of democracy. Ghana have gone through stages aimed at making her elections credible and open. From the days of opaque ballot boxes to transparent ballot boxes and now to the almighty Biometric registration as a way of reducing double registration and double voting.
The political environment is filled with realistic campaign messages and polluted by political promises that are cock-eyed aiming to win the votes of loyal and floating voters. The environment is charged up with comments that are unpalatable to the airwaves and unpleasant to the discerning listening Ghanaian ear. The political temperature has reached a boiling point like a “boiling point” program on Oman FM and bears a striking resemblance of “Pampaso” program on Muntie Fm.
Some became contemnors and ended up as inmates. Others yielded to a certain malady by debasing womanhood. Some participated in democratic exercises and subsequently became one-eyed. Every stakeholder is leaving no stone unturned in order that we have free and fair elections. A cohort of citizen vigilantes has visited the apex court of the land as though they were a group of commoners seeking a biometric birth certificate from the Birth and Death Registry to seek a clarity about who supposed to be a voter in our electoral roll because to them, a card that can be owned by all including noncitizens for the purpose of healthcare access being a proof of citizenship cannot fly in the face of law and common sense. Luckily enough, their arguments were upheld by the superior court of the land.
Some through biometric facial recognition devices, has produced ten percent of allege non Ghanaians in our register with a promised ninety percent on the run. Pro political party pressure groups have mounted series of demonstrations on the electoral commission to register their displeasure about a register they said was “incurable flawed”. The electoral commission did their part in making the controversial book clean like a clean sheet by expunging names of those who registered with National Health Insurance Cards in compliance with the ruling of the supreme court. The cacophony did not end there!
The Charlotte Osei’s outfit was none pressure-phobic. A graphic designer was hired to put a mixture of colours together to produce a new logo which many thought was needless, misplaced of priority and waste of scarce economic resources. Some political parties did not panic a bit as they say would not contribute to their electoral fortunes. Others maintained that the commission has so many issues to deal with that is in sync to having a credible and fair elections including the “incurably flawed” register.
African politics is dissimilar and surreal like the Ghanaian voter. What informs the voter’s decision is unthinkable! Some vote parties base on sectionalism, religion, ethnicity and tribalism (hard truth). Others can travel on a road of potholes from Kpandai to Kpatinga, which was a campaign promise by a political party in the last four years to still vote for same political party. Likewise, the voter has no interest in microeconomic indicators as he does not seem to understand and eat Gross Domestic Product or chances are that he might be arrested one day over Ghana’s public debt.
The politician will bring goods that are attractive. You know why? the Ghanaian voter is notorious and goods-sensitive. The actions and inactions of the politician in this period to some degree, is because of the voter. To every action, there must be a reaction, nay, actions and reactions are equal and opposite though I am not a physicist. An ill-informed voter in Dzolokpuita and akyerekyerekrom in the Volta and Ashanti Region respectively will just vote regardless of a document called manifesto purporting to be selling the ideas of a political party having unbridled appetite for political power. Arguably, we are all politicians not only the politicians!
We have only one Ghana so peaceful elections is paramount. Political parties come and go but Ghana continues to remain as a beacon of democracy in sub - Saharan Africa. This hard won accolade and reputation must be jealously guarded by all. Election is about ballots and not bullets. National Peace Council is doing their best and so the other stakeholders, what about you? Do not allow yourself to be used as a foundation block for somebody’s future. If a clueless political party cannot convince you with a development policy, convince not yourself to snatch a ballot box on election day.
Vote but don’t take part in violence. I have pledged not to indulge in violence with those who indulged therein. Don’t wield a machete to fight for a political party that cannot convince an electorate with a policy but rather be a bystander. It is an irresponsibility of highest order, finding it difficult to divorce violence from political activism. The former brings irreparable damage and irreplaceable losses and the latter is basically the application of common sense to bring out practical development policies geared towards winning elections through the ballot box.
This upcoming elections is crucial but peaceful elections is the most crucial. Some think it is an election that must be won in their third attempt. Others say it is an election they must win just not to become a one term administration in the history books. Equally, some will not allow the hope in their loyalists to die down as they hope to perform miracle like Jesus Christ on the election day. But from my ignorant point of view, I think it is an examination of democracy we must not trail at all cost. The international community is watching. let’s make ourselves proud in the face of the watchers and shame the many eyes of the naysayers.
Quick reminder worth reminding! The constitution made reference to those who are eighteen years and above and of “SOUND MIND” so let your sound mind guide you on election day. Mad men who are eighteen years and above cannot take part in that sound minded activity so don’t make yourself a replica of them.
Ghana is boarded eastwards by Togo. They speak French, I would not be comfortable there because I don’t understand French maybe you are a Frenchman. Same can be talked of our westward border and northward border to the La CoteD’ivoire and Burkina Faso respectively. Let us not forget that Ghana is boarded southwards to the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Living there is an impossibility needless to talk of your comfortability because you are not an amphibian.
Exercising of franchise is not synonymous with violence. Say no to violence and say yes to a Peaceful election because we can’t afford to describe Ghana as the country that rose from the ashes of war one day.
God bless Ghana.
The writer is a student studying BSc.Computing-with- Accounting at UDS, Navrongo Campus;
Email: [email protected]
Alhassan A. Alhassan.
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