So now that the Supreme Court of Ghana has loudly spoken by unanimously ruling that the Electoral Commission should go ahead and compile a new voters’ register, what again has the likes of Asiedu Nketia, Kwaku Boahen, Sammy Gyamfi, John Dramani Mahama and Bernard Mornah—who were spitting nothing but fire and brimstone—have to tell Ghanaians? Do they have a plan B? And if yes, when are they going to put their cards on the table? And what is this old and usurper of power in the person of Boakye Gyan has under his sleeves? You see, the sages were right when they said empty barrels make the most noise. Let them try anything funny—and they will see where power lies!
The other day when I was watching a newspaper review programme of Adom TV hosted by Omanhene Kwabena Asante, I nearly hit my head against the wall after listening to this guy called Kwaku Boahen, the Deputy Youth Organiser of the NDC. In a heated debate between Kwaku Boahen and Lawyer Nana B, the National Youth Organiser of the NPP, the guy was seen flexing his muscles and swaggering as if the world was on his shoulders. He threatened that nobody can compile a new voters’ register and that if the EC officials think they are bold enough, they can go ahead to compile a new voters’ register and see what will happen in Ghana. I saw him as a jester because in case of any chaos, people like this Kwaku Boahen will be the first person to pack and head towards their respective villages where ‘nkontonmire’ is in abundance.
These NDC guys still think we are living in the revolutionary days where the rule of law was thrown to the dogs. They are living in a fool’s paradise and are yet to come to the reality that we are living in a democratic dispensation where no Jupiter can take the law into his or her own hands.
The NDC has never learnt a lesson from its failures. In the 1992 general election, black wooden boxes were used as ballot boxes. At the end of the voting, we realised that those boxes were previously stuffed with already thump-printed ballot papers. A typical example was the case of General Erskine and the polling station he, his wife and children cast their ballots. The gentleman had formed a political party with himself as a presidential candidate. When votes were counted after six O’clock, General Erskine had zero. The good old man was so surprised that he shouted at the top of his voice: Ebei! Entsi maaso man vote amamehoa?” (‘So me too I did not vote for myself’?) Candidate Rawlings had one hundred per cent of the votes cast at that polling station where the good old general, his wife and children cast their votes. The man then quit politics in Ghana. The last time I saw this fine military officer was during the hearing of the National Reconciliation Commission where he was one of the commissioners.
Instead of protesting violently, the NPP boycotted the election and chose to write a book titled ‘The Stolen Verdict’, which enumerated all the anomalies before, during and after the elections. The NPP did not rest but worked beyond human endurance to make sure transparent ballot boxes were used in subsequent elections. When the issue came up for discussions, the NDC communicators were quick to point to the fact that the country was broke and as such it could not afford to buy transparent ballot boxes. The NPP persevered and lobbied the international community to come to the aid of Ghana in order to avoid any violence that could occur as a result of cheating at the polls. The government of Canada heard the call of the opposition NPP and the government of Canada offered to provide Ghana transparent ballot boxes. That is how come you are seeing transparent ballot boxes during all the elections that we hold in this country.
Voter ID cards used to be thump-printed black and white cards with no pictures of voters embossed on them. Again, the NPP protested— and as usual— the NDC complained that it will be costly to emboss pictures of voters on the cards. The NPP pursued the matter until the NDC agreed to emboss pictures of voters on their cards. Even in this case, they agreed to do so at the regional capitals only. The NPP agreed and so the next time around when we went to the polls, only those who lived in the capital towns had their pictures embossed on the voter cards. The NPP persevered until all voters across the country were issued with coloured ID cards with their pictured embossed on them.
In the run-up to the 2012 general election when the NPP again proposed that the time had come for the country to introduce a biometric verification machines for our elections, hell again broke lose! The NDC said the NPP had a secret plan to rig the elections and that it will happen over their dead and rotten bodies. The then ruling NDC saw the whole thing as their Achilles heels and went all out to convince Ghanaians that it was not feasible. Mr. Know-Too-Much Johnson Asiedu Nketia insulted the intelligence of our illiterate folks by telling the world that they could not use the biometric machines. At the end of the day, good ideas prevailed over wicked ideas and the biometric system of voting was introduced.
If nobody understood the NDC when they went haywire when the idea of compiling new voters’ ID cards was mooted by the EC, at least I did. These guys had padded the voters’ register in their strongholds and wanted to seize the opportunity to reactivate their ‘stealing’ machine. But for the vigilance of the NPP during the last general election, the NDC would have torpedoed their way to success at the polls. That was why when Ghanaians were patiently waiting for the final results, Koku Anyidoho told Ghanaians that the NDC was in a “comfortable lead”. In their attempt to use their plan B, the vigilant NPP blocked the gateway which led to Kofi Adam telling the world that they lost the elections because of IT failure. Whatever that meant, it is only up to him to tell Ghanaians but not your irrepressible Angel Gabriel, he who fears no police. Excuse me while I rush to register in order to acquire a new voter ID card!
From Eric Bawah