My reflective opinion in adding to the many dispositions on the unfolding developments regarding the creation of a new voter register. I still maintain; the patience of the electorate in Ghana awaits December 7, 2020.
Interesting to observe that the current voter register, which in fact was used to elect the sitting president and MP’s in the 2016 general election and subsequently used in 2019 to elect district assembly members is today described as a document replete with close to 70 percent errors and irregularities as established by the electoral commission, a body mandated to do same.
The court through its directives, in the Aburamadan case, without more, instructed; all irregularities identified with the voter register be expunged before its usage in any election. A basis for which the register was used for the 2019 district assembly elections.
Commonsense will inform anyone to know that the register was used for the district elections in conformity with the court directives. Yet we are told by the EC that we need a new register since in their estimation the current register is replete or riddled with close to 70 percent irregularities (none of which is publicly known).
By legal inference, the EC is saying, the sitting president, MPs and other appointees are not occupying their positions credibly and legitimately so since the same voter register in dispute allowed them to occupy their respective positions. (A constitutional law question to wit).
Someone is waiting patiently to test the law again. I have news for that individual though. Whereas I will support and encourage a court action, the individual or groups of persons must be mindful. Is he or they aware that the legal strategists of the president are well aware of this issue? But for anything at all and without disrespect to the integrity and work of the superior court, the recent strategic appointments to the superior courts by the president, although novel but not unconstitutional should serve as a guide. What it means, therefore, is this; going to court on this issue will be a none starter. It will take a miracle for the person to win.
Could it be possible that the EC deliberately decided to implement their decision in 2020 in order to avoid the question in court whether or not the current president and sitting MP’s are occupying their position legally and legitimately so?
Students of law, discerning individual’s, let’s all learn to conduct analysis based on commonsense, legal reasoning, and devoid of childish partisan affiliations. The interest of this great country is supreme. Whereas I agree, largely that a new voter register should be developed for this country since we have evolved, the call and rational reasons for a new register now, is in my view, very suspicious and not in the interest of democratic and socio-economic development let alone espousing same as grounds for nurturing our fledgeling democracy so-called.
It is unthinkable, not visionary and a lazy Ghanaian’s approach to spend such colossal amount just to produce a card that will be used for only one purpose and one purpose only (voting and voting only). That colossal money should have been spent on providing infrastructure for Senior High Schools and tertiary institutions, build a state of the Act Hospitals, and or modernise Agriculture.
Think carefully about this situation; someone woke up one morning, drunk tea, and decided there was the need for us to use millions of dollars to produce a card called the Ghana card in order for same to be used as one of the requirements for the basis to obtain a voter register. The next morning, another individual, deemed it fit, drinks oat, belch and decided we must use millions of dollars to do another card called a voters register card. Significant economic and life-changing hard currency, millions of dollars for that matter, that could have been used to restructure this country’s economy, transform lives and eradicate poverty has been used on the production of cards that has no significant revenue-generating abilities. Why can’t we just have one card that will serve a multipurpose function?
Why can’t we just use one card to serve the purpose to which a national card is required to serve? A resource-rich country such as Norway has just three banks and one multipurpose card. A lower-middle-income country like Ghana has only God knows how many banks and cards. It will interest the well-educated individuals in this country, majority of whom have been given the simple task to manage the affairs of this great country to know that, the onion seller, the uneducated markola woman, the lady selling okra at bantama, the shallot trader at Anloga in the volta region and the shoemaker who cannot write nor speak English will not in the least commit these unpardonable errors currently being committed by most well-educated Ghanaians in the name of development. How irresponsible as well educated individuals do we want them to have us before we start thinking right?
The head of the EC enjoys tenure of office, does she not? so why can’t we implement this decision to have a new register in 2023 if indeed it is very necessary and in the interest of the state? Why can’t we wait? What is the compelling need and rush for a new voter register? Why couldn’t we implement it in 2017 or 2018 if it was this important?
Electoral history of this country must guide anyone who wants to develop a new register for well over 17 million individuals. Never in the history of this great country have we ever used two months to compile names of new entrants (persons who are 18 years and those who for reason decided not to register but wants to register) as additions to the existing register let alone 61 days for 17million qualified persons. At most, we use three months with an additional six weeks for mop-up exercise when conducting the exercise for the former. Today, we are being told we need 61 days to compile a new register for well over 17 million eligible voters in Ghana, using technology we did not produce. How serious are we taking and treating ourselves as Ghanaians? Why the hasty decision to have a new register at all cost and within the stated period? Are we by inference saying we elected an illegitimate president and members of parliament as the case may be since the same voter register in dispute ensured their legitimacy? Do we have an illegitimate president and MPs’s?
You see, the extent to which politicians are taking this great country and its people for a ride is unthinkable, unacceptable and must be stopped. Both NPP and NDC in their current state have nothing new to offer this great country. How big is this country that strategic development strategies keep eluding her people? It is unthinkable. It is our time to chop policy, let’s make governance ungovernable policy and it must not be them but a select few policies are killing this great country. Surprisingly, most of the upcoming youth are as dumb as the word go. An amount ranging between one thousand to five thousand cedis is well enough to buy their conscience. These categorized youth forget that same amount is what some side chicks (no disrespect to them anyway) use on makeup kits. As complicit as you are, do you think you have the moral right to question the wrongs in society today?
Ghana needs to be rescued from politicians with no strategic policies for her development. The lives of her generation unborn rest on your strategic thinking. This country can be developed if we rethink the strategies needed for her sustained growth and development. No country under this sun developed through the use of a party manifesto. They developed through careful planning and strategies embedded in a national plan. When at all will we learn?
Both NPP and NDC in their current state have nothing new to offer this great country. The sooner we all come to terms with this the better. If a country and its people can only recall and or recount achievements of old (Akosombo dam, Tema motorway, Kole Bu teaching hospital, etcetera) it is because we haven’t achieved anything new today. I have taken pains to read Ghana’s history, nowhere in history did Kwame Nkrumah develop a green book or organised series of town hall meetings to inform Ghanaians of his achievements. His achievements spoke for themselves. If you have achieved something great for this country, you don’t make noise to drum it home, you shut up. Your achievements will speak for you. What have we as individuals done to help the cause of this great country? Nothing. What are we individually or collectively doing to help the cause of this great country? You are struggling to provide an answer because the impediments are just too great working against you. Don’t be too worried. Take solace in the fact that many of you are nursing political ambitions, strategic mind bowling ideas, business strategies and strategically waiting to stage a good entry. It’s very encouraging to note that there are many Ghanaians who are tired with the current system at work (my use of the statement current system should not be limited to the performance of the NPP). Sooner than later, Ghana will have the likes of you managing the affairs of this great country. Seize the opportunity to do, as it were, what is fit and proper for the state. Your children and those yet to be born will depend on your decisions to survive. Create a safe haven for them.
To the individuals who for choice and not an imposing or right of claim decides to join either the NPP or NDC political party, please if you cannot join the NPP or the NDC as the case may be to transform the party in hopes of conforming same to modern ways of thinking and doing things, you have no business joining.
Now, let’s conduct some wishful technical exercise, one to which persons in their hasty attempt to rubbish or dismiss my exposition will describe as an exercise in futility, nonetheless. Should a case travel from the high court through the supreme court in respect of matters in relation to electoral issues (be it the new compilation of the register, the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the current president, among others) who do you think will win? the NPP or the NDC? Your guess is good as mine.
Currently, the NPP through Nana Addo has close to ten (10) JSC’s who without shame or breach of rules of legal engagement but through legal technicalities( what is well known in legal parlance *purposive approach) will rule in their favour (the Ayini v AG is a good one to use, a case in respect of the age of a public office holder as define per Article 190 and 199, Martin Amidu interested party). For persons who want to learn and who think there’s still chance to oust Amidu from office, better jump into the sea since same is close to the supreme court to request for a review. Fact is, it is only the supreme court alone that can review its own decisions. I don’t see it happening now. Not today and certainly not in the near future. Amidu is here to stay to work in public office. Simpliciter. Do you think this happened by accident? No. It occurred by careful strategy, one to which, once upon a time the NDC had but currently lacks empanelling of the court and its judicial pronouncements, lessons learnt from the pink sheet case and a thirst to legally hold on to power guided the current NPP machine in office.
Do you think these intellectually inclined men and women in the NPP will let power elude them like the NDC in the 2016 general election? You must be joking. They love power too because power is sweet. A gamut of legal brains, business men and women, technically sound and well-educated elite’s ideas are what you see operating the machine maintaining and seeking to keep this government in power. What do we see on the part of the NDC, screams, unnecessary name-calling, insults, filing misfits to compete in hopes of becoming an MP of an elite community (you people think we are going to stage a movie in parliament?), boycotting a meeting between the EC and political parties – a rare opportunity to state your case to at least move Ghanaians to know how ready and serious the party is and why there is need not to have a new register, I can go on and on.
The NDC had the best chance to rule for the next twenty years but for its own carefully created quagmire (hurting its own party members, not promoting deserving staffs in the Army, no careful strategy to send its qualified youth to school for massive tertiary education, no succession plan, no appointments at the superior court like the likes seen under the NPP regime, etc.) This is not the NDC anybody fought for. This can’t be an NDC anybody wants to fight for. Should the NDC give a level playing opportunity to the brilliant individuals who are currently in or affiliated to the party, this once great party, in two months, will be a force to reckon with. Current developments in the NDC begs the question; who goes to battle with the same team that made it lose a war? Literally, the 2020 general election is another war. Is the NDC battle-ready with the same team that made it lose the 2016 general election? I doubt if the NDC is ready. There is still time though. If the NDC will listen, I have free advice for them. Change every single communication strategists around the president now. Establish a new team of new faces and expects. The time is still right to engage in conduct that will prevent a two-month-old infant to be forced to speak, not only but willing to volunteer advice to the NDC.
To borrow for use, the phrase by a wise man of the great NDC; we have seen the work of the team B player’s. Accordingly, we know what they can do and judging from their deeds, one can easily tell what their efforts can achieve. To be very open and honest, the current team around the front runner of the NDC for the 2020 general must please jump before they are pushed. And if they refuse to jump, push them anyway. They have outlived their usefulness and are not fit for the current purpose. If the 2016 general election of the United State is anything to learn from, the NDC would have by now glean from the election campaign strategy of the Democrat party. The campaign team that ensured the comfortable defeat of Hillary Clinton is not the same team managing Joe Biden.
Common sense requires you to know that each election year comes with its own complexities. A weak NDC will defeat the purpose of nurturing Ghana’s democracy. Further, the democratic successes chucked over the years will be destroyed. The NDC is constitutionally minded to be strong, vigilant and ready.
To the Magna Carta’s of the great NPP, the sui generis nature of its campaign team, So far so good. Tombs up to the Akyem mafias. You have demonstrated to the world how to protect and keep the integrity of the presidency. In respect of protecting the presidency and having same accorded the needed value, respect and dignity, I say you have done well. But so far so not very good in respect of your handling of the economy. The NPP, and by reason Nana Addo have done a good job not by way of development but by way of teaching people how to run a machinery of a party in government. Tombs up to you all. Your posture begs the question; is this what Ghana needs for her socioeconomic advancement?
Once upon a time, a gentleman decided to publish a green book in which developmental projects across the length and breadth of this country were captured, projects that one can see, yet that gentleman lost a general election. The old saying goes; It is in the character of growth that we learn to unlearn, to transform not to destroy, to build on the old in the advancement of development.
Ladies and gentlemen, can an effective and efficient operation of government machinery to teach people how to run a party in power as opposed socioeconomic developments characterized by structural changes in the Ghanaian economy ensure a win for any political party let alone the NPP with or without a new voter register?
In my candid conceded opinion, the 2020 general election, with or without a new voter register will still produce a president, legitimately or not, the electorate will speak with their legal mandate through the ballot box. Whether the NDC likes it or not, the new register will be compiled. The sooner they start educating their members the better. The sooner the NDC party adopts strategic ways to ensure its strongholds are equally taken care of in like manner as done for strongholds of the NPP and in right conformity with the laws of this country, the better. Elections, they say, are worn at the polling station. Never in the history of the courts have we had unprecedented appointments of judges across the superior court.
President Nana Addo is on record to be the first president ever in the history of Ghana and in the history of the judiciary to appoint more judges than usual at the superior court. Although very unusual and certainly not unconstitutional, this strategy is a mark and a product of an individual who is politically smart and applying relevant legal training. This is here to stay, not only, but here to haunt the NDC. Do you think Nana Addo will comfortably and without difficulty give power to the NDC like the NDC conveniently gave same in 2016 to the NPP? Tsuakia!!! it will never happen. NDC must wake up. The strategy being used is not working. Rethink, regroup and adopt new strategies. There is still time for them. For now, everything is working for the good of the NPP.
A bit of free advice to the NDC; choose a female as ex-president Mahama’s running mate. The female should be one with the relevant and needed experience, dignity, respect, educational credentials and who communicates eloquently. That female will be the game-changer. If you have difficulty looking in the direction of the many qualified females in the party, Maweuna Dumor is a quality of choice. The time is right for new faces to stage the play for the NDC. The old folks must admit that their works brought the party this far. The younger ones who had the opportunity to do, as it were, what was fit and right for the growth of the party did their best. Unfortunately, some of them are a complete disgrace (who the cup fits). They must be named and shamed someday. They must be told in the face how hard they worked to ensure the current unfortunate state of the party.
And oh! I still maintain that the current state of both NPP and NDC is not in the interest of Ghana’s growth. We need brilliant ideas, new teams, strategic thinkers, and smart Ghanaians to help develop this great country. If anybody wants to see the extent to which we have developed, that individual is at liberty to take a short walk on the Tema Tema motorway. Its deplorable state will inform you how far with developed. We need to wake up. Ghana first.
Written by: Delali Kojo Tsikata, Delalikojot@gmail.com