No News Here at All!
It is the sort of nonissue event that ought not to have made the news headlines. I am talking about the alleged walkout of the representatives of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) from a meeting convened by the administrators of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) that was intended to work out the technical details or any kinks in the proposed compilation of a new Biometric National Voters’ Register (BNVR) – (See “NDC Walks Out of EC’s Technical Meeting on Voters’ Register” News Desk – Modernghana.com 2/14/20).
It was a patent nonissue because the grounds on which the lead representative of the National Democratic Congress, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, who also doubles as the monarchical General-Secretary of the NDC, predicated his party’s walkout had already been decided and long settled by our august House of Parliament, the real and true representatives of the Ghanaian voters and the citizenry. Mr. Asiedu-Nketia, it is significant to note, has a first-hand knowledge and experience of parliamentary protocol, having himself served as a parliamentarian for a dozen, or so, years in the recent past.
So it is rather strange for the former Deputy Defense Minister in the democratically elected government of former President Jerry John Rawlings to have anticipated that a meeting that was convened to work out only the technical details of the compilation of a new Voters’ Register, would actually retroactively and regressively take up an issue that had already been determined by Ghana’s august Parliament. We also learn that the representatives of two other left-leaning kleptocratic minor political parties, namely, the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the United-Front Party (UFP), also joined the Asiedu-Nketia Gang in the walkout.
The latter development was also a patent nonissue because the PNC, in particular, is widely known to have one key operative or two who are listed on the payroll of the National Democratic Congress. At any rate, neither minor political party has a single seat in Parliament or even at the Assembly or local legislative level, which, by the way, the leaders of these minor political parties themselves ensured by inadvisably joining the Asiedu-Nketia Gang to boycott the December 17, 2019 Referendum.
As well, the fact that the Independent Electoral Commission-established Committee of Eminent Persons (CEPs)has indicated that the EC will continue to actively engage all the stakeholders involved in the country’s political culture in the runup to the 2020 general election, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the forgone or definitive conclusion that is the nonnegotiable decision handed down by Parliament for the EC to compile a new Biometric National Voters’ Register.
It is quite clear that somebody needs to sober up the leadership of Ghana’s largest opposition political party to the stark and indisputable fact that the NDC has absolutely no mandate or inalienable statutory or constitutional right to make up its own electoral rules or to staunchly and doggedly pursue the same, without reference to the democratic institutions authorized by the largely NDC-crafted Fourth-Republican Constitution of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana. It is also flagrantly preposterous for the leadership of the National Democratic Congress to accuse the legitimately appointed operatives of the Independent Electoral Commission of indulging in ambush over issues that clearly falls well outside the purview of the technical consultative teams of the various legally registered and recognized political parties in the country.
It is well past time for the Asiedu-Nketia Gang to wake and overcome its counterproductive funk over the irreversible decision by Parliament for the compilation of a new Biometric National Voters’ Register. Bona fide Ghanaian citizens and the electorate have absolutely no stomach or patience for such infantile tantrum-throwing over simple and straightforward matters of electoral protocol.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
February 14, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]
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