Opinion: Lamentations of a registered Ghanaian voter

Why are you doing this to our beloved country, Madam Jean Mensa?

Lamentations of a registered Ghanaian voter

You promised and assured us of better services when you were appointed to head the Electoral Commission (EC) in July 2018.

You promised us of a more credible voters register. You promised us an all-inclusive Electoral Commission but now you do not even want to listen to the views of IPAC. You promised to protect and judiciously manage the resources of the EC which is being funded with our taxes. Now, look at what we are experiencing.

We all knew your affiliation to the governing NPP but we believed that your professionalism was going to take the upper hand in your day to day running of the commission. Look at what we are experiencing now.

One of your deputies, specifically Dr. Bossman Asare who allegedly was one time a patron of the University of Ghana branch of TESCON, referred to the biggest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), as a threat to democracy in this country on the 26th of April, 2019. A very unfortunate statement that has not been condemned by you or the commission till date. Now, look at what we are experiencing.

You were given over $150million to compile a new register which was a very needless exercise because the existing register was credible and had just been used to elect our assembly members and also for the referendum on the creation of new regions. The reasons you gave were that the current register was overstretched and also the results of the elections on December 7th could be easily manipulated. These reasons, though unattainable, were what you used to hold the country to ransom. Now, look at what we are experiencing.

You conducted the registration exercise at a time when anxiety over the dreadful COVID-19 was very high but we still managed to queue from dawn to get our names onto the new register. We did that risking our lives and that of our families.

You conducted an exhibition exercise just over a week ago and to the surprise of many, names of persons who registered were copiously missing without any explanation. The intriguing aspect of this is that most of the names missing were from strongholds of the opposition NDC. It may be purely coincidental but the posture of your administration to the NDC gives it a different twist which shouldn’t be taken lightly.

You claim you have taken delivery of all the 75,000 biometric verification devices (BVD) but you deployed only 5,000 of those devices for the exhibition exercise. Madam Jean Mensa, we are still waiting for the reason for that decision. There have been reports of persons having difficulty with the BVDs verifying their biometric details in the northern part of this country and one can only say that once it has happened in places where the BVDs were sent, it can happen anywhere in the country so why did you not deploy all the BVDs to the over 33,000 polling stations? What happens on December 7th when a voter cannot be verified biometrically?

You printed Voter ID cards during the exhibition exercise, something that is alien to the country, without the knowledge and participation of political parties and the persons affected. The reason(s) you did that without the involvement of the political parties is/are still unknown and your statement released on the 21st of September rather left more questions than answers. You promised an all-inclusive EC, now look at what we are experiencing.

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” - Albert Einstein

Madam Jean Mensa, you are now telling us that you cannot manipulate the December 7th results because you serve Christ Jesus. I read a publication on the news portal of Citi FM, citinewsroom.com, that you have restored all the missing names in the provisional register. In the direct words of Mr. Franklyn Cudjoe, the founder of IMANI Africa, “How do we know of what the EC now tells us, that is has fixed the elementary errors it's needless $150million ‘super machines’ helped in mangling hundreds of thousands of voter data? Just because the EC chairperson says she is a Christian and believes in God as if we those who advised against this needless exercise dine with lesser gods”. I side with the comments made by Mr. Cudjoe because you made assuring statements on the integrity of the new machines and look at what it brought us.

“The time is always right to do what is right” - Martin Luther King

I have only one request to make. Madam Jean Mensa, can we have a thorough vetting of the administrative, technological, and operational systems of the EC now? This view has been shared by many well-meaning Ghanaians. This is to ensure the credibility that has been eroded by your own hands is restored ahead of the December 7th elections.

By: Efo Edem

The views and opinions expressed herein are the private views of the contributors and do not reflect the views of the organization Pulse.

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