By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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??????????? It is all to be expected in the realm of a human institution that there is bound to occur a remarkable number of glitches in the maiden use of biometric technology in Ghana?s general election. Still, the extent to which such glitches, or hitches, as may occur in Northern and Southern Ghana are calibrated to be with comparable evenness, could well determine whether the country?s Electoral Commission has either colluded or not colluded to rig Election 2012 in favor of one of the two major political parties for reasons that may be best known to the key operatives of the EC itself (See ?Kufuor Chides EC Over Widespread Hitches? JoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 12/7/12).

 

Indeed, the bitter complaint by former President John Agyekum-Kufuor that the chairman of Ghana?s Electoral Commission could have borrowed a page or two from Nigeria?s 2010 biometric voting experience is worthy of note. On the foregoing count, this is what Mr. Kufuor had to say shortly after casting his ballot in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency of Accra: ?Our chair of the Electoral Commission was there. Perhaps he could have taken a leaf from Nigeria in this respect, but I?m not seeing it.?

 

In essence, what the former president seems to be clearly implying is that there well may be a deliberate attempt on the part of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the Electoral Commission?s chair, not to run a fair and glitch-free general election.

 

Already, Dr. Afari-Gyan has demonstrated ample cynicism and gross irresponsibility, and professional insensitivity, to vindicate the skeptical observation of Mr. Kufuor in this respect. A couple of weeks ago, for instance, when it was discovered that a remarkable number of under-18-year-old Ghanaian youths had been illegally registered to vote, for reasons that were not made clear to the general public, the shockingly cavalier response to the same by Dr. Afari-Gyan was that the Electoral Commission had absolutely no intention of expunging the names of the illegally registered teenagers from the voters? register.

 

Even more unpardonably annoying was Dr. Afari-Gyan?s rather soft-headed advice that parents and polling station officials assume responsibility for dissuading these illegally registered youths from voting. Needless to say, the extent to which voting glitches occur in the northern-half of the country with comparable frequency may well determine whether Election 2012 has been conducted freely and fairly.

 

The latter observation is significant because in the heated lead-up to Election 2012, Caretaker-President John Dramani Mahama passionately pandered to the basest instincts of northern ethnic and regional chauvinism. Thus it was peevishly ironic that on the eve of Election Day, Mr. Mahama took to the airwaves to vacuously talk about the unity and cohesiveness of Ghanaians being of paramount importance.

 

??????????? Predictably, many listeners and viewers thought that his remarks had come at too late a time with too little credibility to show for the same by way of content. Whatever the outcome of Election 2012, one thing is clear and certain. Not many Ghanaians are happy with the way and manner in which their country and its enormous economic resources have been managed and/or utilized during the past four years. And this is why many are expecting the electoral equivalent of a seismic wave, or a Tsunami, to sweep across the length and breadth of the country.

 

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

Garden City, New York

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