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Charlotte Osei may be lying on the number of NHIS registrants

Thu, 7 Jul 2016 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Let’s not waste our time dignifying the patently non-issue question of whether the diddly figure of some 56,000 people released by the so-called Independent Electoral Commission (EC) at the request of the Supreme Court is accurate or a swindle (See “Is Nana Konadu God? – Kofi Adams Asks” Classfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/4/16). The obvious answer lies in the stiff resistance and criminal defiance offered the Apex Court by Mrs. Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei and her lock-stepping Associate Commissioners at the EC.

I have not had the chance to revisit the breakdown of the figures by regions, as they initially appeared on the various media websites. But one thing is crystal clear: the notion that more registrants in the lead-up to Election 2012 registered by the use of the NHIS cards in the Asante, Eastern and Central regions could not be more criminally preposterous on the part of the EC operatives.

If the total figure was as statistically insignificant as the 56,000 number of NHIS registrants provided the Supreme Court by the Electoral Commission, then why would Chairperson Osei spend hours bitterly complaining that expunging the names of those who used the NHIS cards to register to vote in 2012 and having them re-register by the use of more credible documentation would be tantamount to an elitist wholesale disenfranchisement of the overwhelming majority of the Ghanaian underclass? Or was it that at the time of her vehement protestations, the EC Chair had absolutely no idea about the relative magnitude of the National Voters’ Register (NVR) vis-à-vis the number and/or percentage of people who had registered to vote by the use of their NHIS cards in the lead-up to Election 2012?

The preceding issue strikingly recalls the Afari-Gyan riddle vis-à-vis what constitutes over-voting and under-voting. But even more significant ought to be highlighted Team Bawumia’s post-petition BVR-sleuthing that uncovered the forensically sustainable fact of at least some 100,000 Togolese nationals whose vital statistics had been criminally scanned into Ghana’s National Voters’ Register. Then there was also the solid, fool-proof corroborative human evidence presented to the editors of the Freddie Blay-owned Daily Guide newspaper, which the key operatives of the Electoral Commission flatly refused to consider. There was also clear evidence of collusion between operatives of the Togolese Electoral Commission and their Ghanaian counterparts. Precisely how long or how far into the past such collusion had been going on has yet to be ascertained.

Almost no significant or prominent Ghanaian politician or leader believes that the figures released by Mrs. Osei and her Electoral Commission associates to the Supreme Court are credible, including many front-row members of the ruling National Democratic Congress! It therefore ought to be very clear to all the stakeholders involved by now that Chairperson Osei has completely lost the confidence of the Ghanaian electorate in her ability to conduct a credible election in the country. She needs to be promptly eased out of the way while there is still time for the EC to be able to redeem a remarkable modicum of its lost credibility. Her being shown the exit out of the headquarters of the so-called Independent Electoral Commission may also necessitate the easing out of the other seven, or so, Associate Commissioners of the EC, perhaps in a deliberately graduated sequence.

The EC is a decidedly an irreparably compromised institution that requires immediate total reorganization and/or reconstitution. Another emergency alternative, if an imminent civil strife is to be averted, will be for the Wood Supreme Court to call for the compilation of a new voters’ Register. We shall have more to say about this ongoing debate and raging controversy in due course.

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.