Ghana’s limited registration – a recipe for clear and potential disaster
Ghana’s Electoral Commission opened a limited window of opportunity for qualified Ghanaians to register and have a chance to vote in the
November elections. Further to the attendant violence and criminal acts by some political parties aimed at rigging the elections, the exercise does not portend a free and safe general elections in November.
Some of the infractions at the registration centers include registration of minors and foreigners; abuse of the guarantor component in the exercise. In some places too people have been physically assaulted, some severely and requiring hospitalization.
A common occurrence is the bussing in of foreigners from la Cote d’Ivoire or Burkina Faso or Togo. In the past people from these neighboring nations have been enticed by health insurance and money. For instance, people being bussed into the country from la Cote d’Ivoire and questioned by immigration personnel at the Elubo border in the Western region confessed that they had been bribed with 30 Ghana cedis, the equivalent of 5,000 CFA Francs.
Foreigners and people who live in western countries are amazed at the extent of chicanery and crimes committed at the registration centers. It reminds one of the days before the Voting Rights Act was enacted by the US Congress. People died trying to register to vote. Susan B. Anthony had to endure incarceration and other forms of victimization to obtain the right of women to vote in the United States of America in 1922.
The Founding Fathers of Ghana, as in every nation once under colonial rule, were emphatic on the right of the citizens of Ghana to choose their governors. It must also be drummed into the ruling NDC that Ghana is a multi-party democracy in which the right to vote is enshrined and entrenched in its constitution.
We scoff also at the attempt to import foreigners to choose our leaders in the Republic. For advantage in numbers the NDC would rather allow foreigners from Togo, Burkina Faso and la Cote d’Ivoire to vote rather than bona fide Ghanaians. It happened in Kumasi where 18-year olds in high schools and colleges were prevented to vote through the incompetence of the Electoral Commission.
The Ghanaian media is fond of painting all political parties with one brush. Evidence emanating from the registration exercise is a clear proof that the main and perhaps only culprit in the effort to win power by all means necessary is the NDC. It has been seen to bus in foreigners; it has been sponsoring assaults of political opponents and workers of the EC who do not do their bidding; and it has been discovered using underhand methods to gain numerical advantage over other political parties. It is ready to jump to the defense of the EC as it fumbles and prevaricates in preparing for November 7.
We appeal to Ghanaians to shun their hypocritical ways and condemn the condemnable. The attitude of some opinion leaders, like the rented press, is to bunch all political parties together as culprits. We appeal therefore to all right thinking Ghanaians to be vigilant and not to be perturbed by the NDC’s nefarious deeds. Now is the time for the Peace Council to act. Ghana needs change.