Sheikh Dr. Ibrahim Basha, an Islamic Scholar in Tamale, has observed that the Electoral Commission (EC) bears a heavy responsibility in the maintenance of peace and stability in the December Presidential and Parliamentary polls.
He said the disorder that was associated with the recent Biometric Voter Registration Exercise in relation with broken down biometric registration gadgets, made it imperative for the EC to set its house in order to avert a repetition during the December 7, General Election.
Sheikh Basha who made the observation at the launch of the 13-member Civic Campaign Report Council, by Northern Ghana Aid (NOGAID), a non-governmental organisation in Tamale, said the commission should provide backup equipment to all the polling stations to stall any potential violence.
The report being sponsored by Star Ghana is part of NOGAID’s Northern Region 2012 Multi-party Democratic Governance Support Project.
The Project aims at streamlining the activities of political parties in the region, which had been a flash point of political violence to ensure incidence free elections.
Star- Ghana is a multi-donor polled funding mechanism being supported by DFID, DANIDA, USAID and EU to increase the influence of civil society and parliament in the governance of public goods and service delivery with the ultimate goal of improving the accountability and responsiveness of government, traditional authorities and private sector.
Sheikh Basha said if the breakdown of equipment during the registration exercise, which lasted for weeks could spark trouble then what about the casting of votes, which is supposed to be done in less than a day.
“If this should happen on Election Day in some of the strong holds of some political parties, it will create a big confusion in the country,” he warned.
Sheikh Basha noted that, the breakdown of the biometric registration machines in some registration centres should be a case study for the EC.
He asked stakeholders in Election 2012 to play their roles effectively and efficiently and according to the laid down rules and regulations, since the successful conduct of elections had always being a collective responsibility.
Sheikh Basha called on the political parties especially the ruling National Democratic Congress and the opposition New Patriotic Party to cooperate with the EC for peaceful and stable elections.
He also cautioned the youth not to allow themselves to be used by self-seeking politicians to foment trouble, before, during and after the polls.**