Ghana heads to the polls on 7 December to elect a new president and fresh parliament for another four-year term. Close to 16 million eligible voters are expected to cast their ballot.
There are seven presidential candidates running for the presidency. They include President John Mahama of the governing New Patriotic Party (NDC), Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Ivor Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Dr Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and independent candidate Jacob Osei Yeboah.
Early voting started on 1 December and is continuing today, Sunday 4 December due to some irregularities that marred the exercise.
Ahead of the main voting on Wednesday, founder of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Dr Mensa Otabil, through his Living Word teachings, has been advising Ghanaians and the electorate on who and what to vote for:
1. Vote for your dreams and aspirations. Look at your future projections, where you are going and see the proposal that best suits where you are going in life: what kind of future do you want, what kind of vision you have for your life? Think about your life, consider the proposals and ask yourself: which of these ones will help me become the person I want to be or my children or my grandchildren become what I want them to be? Which idea best fits my dreams and aspirations, not which colour I support or which slogan sounds nice, for which idea best helps me become whom I want to be, so, vote for your dreams and aspirations and never allow any politician to take you for granted. Don’t let anybody abuse your intelligence and think that they can sing you into a vote, or dance you into a vote, or dessert you into a vote, it’s your dream, it’s your aspiration.
2. Vote for your beliefs and your values: what do you value, what is important to you, what do you believe, what are the things that you wouldn’t compromise in life? Look at all of that. Do you value honesty, do you value truth, do you value integrity, do you think purity is important, who and what ideas represent your values?
3. Vote for the best interest of your nation. Remember your vote doesn’t just affect you but it will shape the destiny of your nation. Look at your nation, where it is and where it wants to be. Which of the proposals will help us get to a better place? Which of them? Think of other citizens of Ghana; do you think life will be good for them if this particular idea succeeds? Will it help the generality of the people? Will it serve everybody’s best interest or you are voting because you think when your party wins you would get something, because somebody has promised you something? That is selfishness and that is an insult to yourself, to your sacred votum. But look at your nation: where are we, where do we want to go and make a wise choice. The advice I want to give you is that prayerfully consider this and not only at one time but every election time. Your vote should not be fixed, your vote is always an expression of a proposal that is in agreement with you, so you may support a party one year and not support them another year, you may support a candidate one year and not support them another year because the proposal they put on the table this time is not in your best interest. If every Ghanaian thinks like that, our politicians will stop distributing t-shirts and making songs and giving money and playing games with our mind. They will know they have a people who respect their vote; that is a sacred responsibility and anytime they go to that ballot, they are there to think of their hopes and aspirations and the aspirations of the nation and they want a better life for themselves.