Is Voter Registration Putting Ghana on a War Path?

Ghanaians are currently registering to vote in the general elections of December 7. What we thought was a mere constitutional arrangement is now a risky exercise in some parts of the country. One can lose life and limb and we wonder if this indeed is Ghana, a country that has had elections in the past few years to the admiration of the entire world.

Published reports indicate that much of the violent incidents are proven to be the handiwork of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), while the victims happen to be perceived members of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Most incidents are happening in the NPP strongholds of Ashanti and Eastern Regions and certain parts of other regions. Volta Region, the perceived “world bank” of the NDC is relatively “peaceful” compared to others. In known NPP strongholds, the exercise is being interrupted with impunity as the police stand by and watch. As we speak, NDC thugs have allegedly physically assaulted some NPP functionaries visiting the Odododiodoo constituency in the nation’s capital.

Strange enough, the incident at Odododiodoo constituency followed a brash and hubristic declaration of a presidential staffer, Nii Lante Vanderpuye (who is also an aspiring member of parliament for that area) that Odododiodoo is out of bounds for NPP and/or non-Ga speaking people to exercise their registration rights. Unfortunately, President Mills seems, as always, indifferent to all that is going on.

Political violence is not a recent occurrence; neither is it isolated: Mills from the beginning of his tenure has looked away while his minions in the NDC visit mayhem on opponents.

Recently Mr. Mills declared his distaste for “power tainted with blood,” yet he looks aloof as registration violence continues. An innocent 12-year old boy has reportedly been shot in Ashanti Region in the process.

From all indications, President Mills is presiding over a war cabinet. The prize is to recapture power at all costs and by any means possible. Even before voter thumbprint was dry in December 2008, perceived members of the NPP were physically assaulted resulting in the death of one person at Agbobloshie a suburb of Accra. Re-election in Akwatia, Cherepone and Atiwa were scenes of violence in which most of the victims were NPP members. Those who committed those atrocities are still walking and continuing in their violent ways. Several such incidents have continued to happen in the country since 2009 but the head of state has been quiet. He has been a beneficiary of his party’s violence anyway.

The NDC has since its inception been militaristic and violence. The party’s first two terms in office was marked by intimidation of perceived opponents. Peaceful demonstrators were fired upon by the police killing a few. Many of the same repressive measures in the first NDC administration are continuing under President Mills.

Never in the history of post-independence Ghana have ethnic differences widened as now. Kwame Nkrumah worked hard to unite a multi-ethnic country, but Mills has only worked to put that achievement asunder. Tribalism, nepotism and apocryphal claims in the Mills administration are prized attributes. Ghana’s security services including the police and military have all been politicized and are divided on ethnic lines, a trend most unbecoming of a democracy.

To the immediate west of Ghana, la Cote d’Ivoire erupted into smoldering flames a couple years of ago as a result of doctored election results. As we write Ghana is the home to refugees from la Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone all because of internal strife engendered by tribalism and bad governance. Where are the chiefs and the clergy when Ghana needs them most? Or are they also cowed into submission by Mills’ goons?

Amandla is putting the Mills administration on notice that should anything happen, Mills and his NDC would have to answer to their consciences and the world.

The world is watching Ghana.


Posted by on Apr 20 2012. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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