We are all of us, including the leaders of the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), well aware of the fact that since the leadup to the 2012 General Election, the current Biometric Voters’ Register (BVR) has been deliberately bloated by those who were then in charge of the conduct of elections in the country, even as Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) for most of Ghana’s Fourth Republic, personally testified before the Atuguba-presided panel of Supreme Court jurists that adjudicated the 2012 Presidential-Election Petition.
While for most of this period, that is, from 2009 to the present, it was the National Democratic Congress that held the reins of governance, nevertheless, the practical fact on the ground clearly indicates that the bloating of the BVR was done across political party lines, although it is highly likely, according to testimony presented to the members of the Atuguba panel, that the key operatives of the NDC benefited overwhelmingly from the deliberate bloating of the BVR. So there is an imperative need to recompose a National Voters’ Register (NVR) with credibility or credible neutrality and one that accurately reflects the size of the electorate in a bid to meeting best practices as globally recognized, for the most part, in the most advanced democracies, particularly outside of the United States, where for reasons that ought to be quite obvious to those of us who have been studiously following the conduct of democratic culture and elections may leave a bit to be desired.
Indeed, if, as Ghana’s Parliamentary Majority Leader, Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, claims, it is incontrovertibly a generally accepted fact that the current NVR is bloated beyond credibility, then it matters little whether the leaders of the National Democratic Congress are deathly afraid of losing an election based on the use of a thoroughly cleaned up or a totally recomposed BVR or not (See “New Voters’ Register: NDC Fear[sic] Losing 2020 Elections – Majority Leader” News Desk – Modernghana.com 12/23/19). That, of course, is a rather infantile approach towards a humongous and crucial problem that needs to be promptly resolved, if progressive-minded and patriotic Ghanaian citizens are to have confidence in the country’s electoral process.
At the end of the day, contrary to what NDC leaders like Mr. Peter Boamah Otokunor would have the rest of the country believe, absolutely no problem in the country supersedes or may be greater than having a credible National Voters’ Register that will ensure that those who are elected to serve in sensitive positions of public trust actually possess the most accurate and credible mandate of the people. Such ratiocinative red herring thrown into the fray by Mr. Otokunor, the Deputy General-Secretary of the NDC, as nurses and teachers having embarked on an industrial action or strike, is sheer humbug which has absolutely no logical connection to the gravity of the real issue at stake here, which is one of absolute respect for the credibility and the integrity of our National Voters’ Register in the leadup to what has been predicted by some pundits to be very likely to become the most fiercely contested general election in the history of Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
It is also eerily quite obvious that National Democratic Congress’ leaders like Mr. Otokunor have absolutely no respect for the integrity of our National Voters’ Register. And these proven political mischief-makers must not be allowed to carry both the argument and the vote. As well, unlike the ruling Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party, the leaders of the National Democratic Congress have absolutely no enviable performance track-record where the working conditions and the interests of striking teachers and nurses are concerned. There will always be other equally pressing problems needing considerable fiscal resources to promptly and constructively resolve. But what is most important presently is for all of us, bona fide and patriotic Ghanaian citizens to ensure that the right leaders are elected and mandated through the use of a credible electoral system to govern the country for the next four years.
This is what NDC leaders like Candidate John Dramani Mahama and Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, the dynastic General-Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, do not want to have to boldly and fearlessly confront or have anything to do with, obviously because all that these double-salary drawing charlatanic politicians care about and/or are interested in, first and foremost, is to be ceded power by hook or crook, so they could go about business in the sort of exploitative manner and in the form of reckless contractual scams in order to “SADA-accelerate” the sizes of their wallets, pocketbooks and bank accounts at the criminal expense of the hardworking but woefully underpaid ordinary Ghanaian civil and public servant. In brief, under absolutely no circumstances should the people to whom Ghana actually and collectively belongs, allow the few sellouts among us to make our lives as miserable as hell while the Mahamas and the Otokunors and the Asiedu-Nketias feast high on the hog, as it were.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs