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17.01.2020 Feature Article

CSO Rearguard Tactics Will Not Work

Kwame Okoampa Ahoofe Jr.Kwame Okoampa Ahoofe Jr.
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The rearguard decision by some so-called Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), at the last count 18 in all, to shamelessly join the protest demonstrations of the entitlement-drunk leaders of the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), actually puts these clean-election-bucking apologists for the dastardly attempt by the leaders of the NDC to compromise the integrity of the 2020 general election in a very bad light. It is quite clear that self-styled think tanks like the Franklin Cudjoe-led IMANI-Africa are veritable propaganda fronts for the Mahama Posse. They all talk a good game but practice deception. This reminds me of the old Joe Mensah highlife classic number titled “Bonsue” or “Bosoe,” loosely translated from the Akan-Twi original as “Hit right on it!”

Among the Akan also, there is a maxim which says that it is only the lazy ones who prowl around their neighborhoods trying to collect or fetch potable drinking water long after the rain has stopped and the scuppers have become Harmattan-dry and rusty. You see, the decision to compile a new National Biometric Voters’ Register (NBVR) did not just materialize out of the proverbial blue or just pop up last night, as the leaders of the National Democratic Congress would have the rest of the Ghanaian citizenry believe. To be certain, it emanated from a longstanding deception and act of political criminality of the highest order perpetrated by the infamous “revolutionary” thugs and robber-barons of the National Democratic Congress who until very recently, as was shockingly revealed by Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), sometime early last year, including the inexcusably shameful decision by the leaders of the National Democratic Congress to have a foreign-based Biometric Voting Machine (BVM) vendor maintain exclusive proprietary right of access to the code numbers and passwords used to accessing the data and the results of our national elections.

In short, under the governance leadership of the National Democratic Congress, the rights of the Ghanaian electorate and the citizenry had literally been sold to a foreign Biometric Voting Machine vendor. Now, if this is not a classic case of effective postcolonial enslavement of the Ghanaian people, I don’t know what else it is. Even under British colonial imperialism in he Twentieth Century, Ghanaians, the erstwhile Gold Coasters, had far better and far greater human rights amplitude than what happened under the tenure and leadership of the Rawlings-founded National Democratic Congress, in the wake of the introduction of the Biometric Voters’ Register. This is what these apparently fascist-oriented leaders of the 18 so-called Civil Society Organizations ought to be discussing around the nation (See “18 CSOs Kick Against New Voters’ Register” News Desk – 1/16/20).

There is also absolutely no room for debate at this advanced stage of the proposed decision by the Jean Mensa-led Independent Electoral Commission to compile a new and totally clean National Biometric Voters’ Register. For starters, all the issues and controversies related to the compilation of the new Voters’ Register were debated on the august floor of Ghana’s Parliament before the GHȻ 444 Million budgetary allocation for the compilation of the new Voters’ Register was approved. If any of the leaders of these 18 so-called Civil Society Organizations were that much concerned about the integrity or feasibility of the proposed new Voters’ Register, they could have either individually or collectively tabled a motion with Speaker Aaron Michael Oquaye, through some of their own parliamentary representatives, to be permitted to address a plenary session of the House.

There is absolutely no evidence on record, at least to the best of my knowledge, that any such a progressive initiative was ever taken or embarked upon by think-tank popinjays and panjandrums like IMANI-Africa’s Mr. Franklin Cudjoe. You see, we may have our own fair share of human quirks and foibles, but one thing that I can boldly and frankly tell the likes of Mr. Cudjoe is that, generally speaking, Ghanaians are no intellectual toddlers or moral fools to be so facilely taken for granted or for a ride. The expert administrators of the Independent Electoral Commission have also informed us that it would cost much more to merely upgrade our current Biometric Voting Machines than having the same totally replaced with state-of-the-art add-on features; predictably, however, the devious and mischievous architects of the Judgment-Debt Gravy Train would have the rest of us believe the diametrically opposite to be the case.

Now, upon what basis of moral credibility and/or authority are we to judge or assess the validity of such scandalous poppycock? It is also downright preposterous to expect the administrators and staff of the IEC to be playing a lamebrained game of trial-and-error by “removing the names of the suspected dead” or to be playing possum with the named of registered voters “who do not show up to verify” their names and data. You see, short of the presentation of a “Death Certificate” by the relatives of a deceased registrant, IEC officially cannot simply and hastily delete the names of registered voters on sheer “suspicion” that such voters may be dead. It is also insufferably presumptuous for these CSO leaders to second-guess the legitimately elected representatives of our National Assembly who approved the budgetary allocation for the compilation of the new Biometric Voters’ Register and the Biometric Voting Machines.

What kind of arrant stupidity is this? You see, the National Identification Authority (NIA) is not mandated to do the work of the Independent Electoral Commission, so these CSO post-season quarter-backers and soccer-team coaches and skippers had better leave the rest of us alone in peace. There is no turning back, World-War III or not. “We no go sit down make dem cheat us every day.” Hell no!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

January 17, 2020

E-mail: [email protected]

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

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