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Joseph Brown Hammond Must Explain This

Fri, 18 Sep 2015 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Garden City, New York

Sept. 5, 2015

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

If the leader of the so-called Ghana Citizens in Togo campaign group of political agitators wants his rebuttal to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s forensic uncovering of some 76,000-plus Togolese citizens illegally packed onto Ghana’s Voters’ Register by National Democratic Congress (NDC) operatives from the Ketu-South Constituency, in the Volta Region, to be taken seriously, he needs to provide more tangible evidence than lamely claiming that an anonymous Togolese professor with that country’s Electoral Commission has “categorically denied that Togo’s Voters’ Register has been given to a third party” (See “Ghanaians in Togo Fight Dr. Bawumia Over Voters’ Register” MyJoyOnline.com 9/4/15). Mr. Joseph Brown Hammond allegedly claims that the aforesaid anonymous Togolese professor also claims that even legitimately registered political parties in Togo do not have access to that country’s voters’ register.

First of all, short of the Chairman, or Chairperson, of Togo’s Electoral Commission coming public to categorically contradict Dr. Bawumia’s widely published forensic evidence, the reference to the Togolese professor allegedly on the staff of that country’s Electoral Commission categorically denying the authenticity of the Bawumia evidence is at best hearsay. At the worst, Mr. Hammond’s claim is vacuous and lame. It is also nothing short of the downright risible for the leader of Ghana Citizens of Togo to claim that it is impossible for any non-Togolese national to obtain an authentic copy of that nation’s voters’ register. It all depends on the process by which such request was made and the mutual understanding reached by the releaser of such document to the recipient.

Now, we don’t the process by which the Bawumia Team obtained a copy of the Togolese voters’ register. What needs stressing is the fact that the New Patriotic Party’s Vice-Presidential Candidate for Election 2016 is not obligated to reveal the process by which he and his team obtained their copy of Togo’s voters’ register. The evidence has been widely publicized, so all that Mr. Hammond and the members of the group he claims to represent need to do is to access copies of Dr. Bawumia’s evidence and seek forensic authentication from the relevant Togolese authorities. That ought not to be the business or lookout of the NPP 2016 Veep Candidate. As a former Deputy-Governor of the country’s central public treasury, the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Bawumia has dealt at the highest levels of intergovernmental affairs enough to know how to successfully go about soliciting information he needs to prove a critical point, such as the illegal packing of Ghana’s Voters’ Register with foreigners.

We must also quickly point out that Dr. Bawumia is as distinguished as the Togolese professor that Mr. Hammond cites to back up his patently vacuous claim, perhaps even more distinguished and accomplished than his Togolese counterpart. We also need to recall the Robert Tetteyfio Adjase brouhaha, in which a dozen, or so, disgruntled National Democratic Congress operatives from the Ketu-South area of the Volta Region publicly confessed to having been contracted by some party bosses to pack that electoral district’s voters’ register with Togolese nationals. As an inducement, we are told that these Togolese nationals were promised free medical insurance cards and motorbikes. We need to significantly point out that such revelation only became public after the Bawumia Team had published its forensic evidence, clearly pointing to the fact that, indeed, President John Dramani Mahama may well have been elected by Togolese nationals, and not by the Ghanaian electorate in December 2012.

We must also point out that Ghana does not recognize the rights of dual citizens, such as Ghanaians with Togolese citizenships voting in our local and national elections. What this means is that if people like Mr. Hammond, who claim to be a Ghanaian citizen, turn out to have also acquired Togolese citizenship, then, of course, he has absolutely no right to vote in Ghana. Yes, the acquisition of dual-citizenship has been hotly debated in Ghana’s parliament. But the measure was never approved. Unless Mr. Hammond and the group he claims to represent have been involved in any criminal activities, they have absolutely nothing to fear. The sole objective of the Bawumia Team was not to expose Ghanaians resident in Togo to official harassment, but simply to prove to both the Ghanaian citizenry and the global community at large, that the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress government has been neck-deep involved in criminally undermining the sovereignty of Ghanaians by allowing foreigners to elect our leaders.

If any of the members of the group calling itself Ghana Citizens in Togo turn out to have appeared on the voters’ registers of both countries, then, of course, Mr. Hammond and his associates have good reasons to feel uneasy. But they would only have themselves to blame, and not Team Bawumia.

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame