As a people, the only good thing we have going for us, is our democracy, apart from that, we have failed in all the indices that make a country great.
The citizenry can only hope in this country, because they know their freedom is guaranteed, whatever the state provides after this, is only a consolation.
We cannot compromise on our freedom; it is non-negotiable, unlike other African countries, the inalienable right that is God given, for us in Ghana, has not been taken away from us by any individual or group of people.
The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC), since 1992, has exemplified itself. In fact our Election body is an envy of many African and European countries. If there is any single institution in this country, that represents anything called institution, with independence, then it is the EC.
We all as Ghanaians, have a duty to safeguard and protect the EC, in order that, we continue to enjoy the freedom that has endeared us to the rest of the world.
The Electoral Commissioner, Madam Charlotte Osei, know what awaits her when she accepted to Chair the Commission. The EC job is not a retirement package, I can dare say is the second most difficult job in this country, apart from being the President.
The EC has taken certain decisions that clearly do not sit well with Ghanaians. To beat a retreat and say, we erred, should not be beyond them, engaging us, in war of words and semantics, is not going to help anyone.
Last week, political parties in the country raised eye brows about the constitution of a Steering Committee, the commission had put together.
As annoying and unfortunate as it maybe, it turned out that some individuals on the Committee, were members or alleged to be members of one political party. Let me state here and now that, in my training and interaction, there could never be a neutral person, as far as politics is concern. So I took issues with the ugly noises, about the composition of the Committee. I thought it was much I do about nothing.
But after last Friday’s Inter- Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting, it became clear that all the political parties were not in agreement with the decision of the EC.
Isn’t it strange that, parties that do not agree with anything, have suddenly found voice and are singing from the same hymn book?
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who are always on each other’s throat, have all agreed that, enough consultation was not done before the EC, formed and subsequently went ahead to announce the Committee.
Among the reasons why we will remain a third world country is that, we have too many institutions playing the same role. The duplicity is just too much, as terms of engagement and references are not well defined.
The EC, has been given clear mandate in the Constitution, people have been employed, trained and are paid at the end of the month, so why form another Committee, to do what.
It is about time we shift our emphasis from human involvement in everything we do, to establishing what I will call strong systems.
Only good and strong systems produce good elections. The”how” should be far more important than the”who”! We are too fixated in having human beings do everything.
The system, not human beings, dictates the outcome. The humans are put in their rightful place by the system that curtails their natural tendency to exploit and thus guarantee credible outcomes.
Focusing too much on humans, rather than on processes as the EC wants to do, encourages rigging and must be condemn by all well-meaning Ghanaians.
The credibility of the EC is on the line should anything untoward happen, before, during and after the November 7, polls. Trust is the best currency the Commission has, the moment one party or group of parties, decides to question the neutrality of the EC that is the beginning of an outcome that will be questioned.
I know that some of the noises are just hot air, the EC cannot bend the rules to favour any party, as some group is claiming, but that does not mean the EC should also do things arbitrarily.
The EC itself is blowing hot and cold air, the political parties after last Friday’s IPAC meeting came out with an understanding that, the Steering Committee is being suspended. The parties were unanimous in their pronouncement, only for the EC to issue a statement on Saturday, clarifying that, such a decision has not been taken. In effect, the Steering Committee, has not been suspended.
This is a slap on the face of Ghanaians, who expect the EC to be above board and reproach. Anything they do from now till November 7, will signal their love for the country.
Madam Charlotte Osei, must know that, laws are meant for men not the other way around. We must temper the law by studying the temperature in the country and measuring the mood of the country.
This year’s election is different in so many respect, the President John Dramani Mahama, is running for his second term of four years, and as a convention since 1992, every President, has been able to win to complete his second term and so President Mahama, will not be exception.
The grandpa, Nana Addo too is making his last attempt at fulfilling his lifetime ambition and aspiration, he is putting everything on the table, he is leaving no stone unturned, he is virtually begging Ghanaians to try him. The man does not believe in his own capacity and has now resorted to begging. Such a person is a wounded lion and is suspicious of even his wife, the man is so desperate, so you don’t do anything to heighten his suspicion and increase his blood pressure.
EC must take urgent steps to end the political suspense that it has created in our polity through its thoughtless announcement that it has not suspended the Election Steering Committee, what at all would they be doing. Madam Charlotte, the tentative political atmosphere is not helping us.
I remain hopeful that one day, we will have a system that will place the perfection of the electoral system above any individual.