Statesman Leader: Why John Mahama and the NDC fear a fresh voters’ register Featured

The National Democratic Congress is leading a spirited fight against the decision by the Electoral Commission to introduce a new voters’ register for the December presidential and parliamentary elections.

In fact, the party sounded warning of that battle long ago – and in several crochets and quavers, including John Dramani Mahama’s campaign vibes (previous and current), as well as the Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo firefight workshop in which voices such as that of the parliamentary Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, added to the mounting political absurdity.

From the eve of the 2000 elections up to date, the NDC has fought, to the hilt, every reform to promote a stronger civil society and good governance, including repeal of the obnoxious law on seditious libel.

But why would a party that prides itself on probity and accountability resist reform so persistently and appear to cherish backwardness? The answer, in the Daily Statesman’s view, cannot be far to find. The NDC has always thrived on intimidation and poverty of mind and pocket.

That is why, for instance, the party not only fought the referendums on creating more regions and the openly partisan election of district assembly officials. But it is also why the NDC, under the sly Mr Mahama, used a crooked directive to prevent the media and security agencies from pursuing the conventional special voting, in which even certain polling agents were given special privileges.

The “love or hate” zone

The NDC has zoned Ghana into its own hate and love constituencies, intimidating the constituents in their hate constituencies and indulging to a subversive fault those in their love constituencies.

They have had varying strategies for border towns, zongos and indigenous communities in Greater Accra. They also devised a different set of strategies for Northern/Volta constituencies and middle-class residential areas – again intimidating “hate” communities during voter registration, as well as periods of campaigning and voting.

Like a typical bully in the village, they hold your hands behind your back and pay people to pummel you while they gloat and race back to town, announcing how weak and cowardly you are.

You can’t hold Truth down

Using a similar formula, they plant acquiescent officials to offer complicit cover for their drives to allow multiple electoral registration on a large scale, and use the same beasts to perpetrate multiple voter fraud in their love constituencies.

Who doesn’t know that in some parts of La, Teshie and Nungua there were young men (almost invariably) who held multiple voter cards and used them regularly? Who doesn’t know about the double ballot papers, smuggled out of polling stations and mysteriously transferred to ballot boxes, or the rallying of criminal minds to vote with dubious cards as agents of rival parties had their attention diverted with offers of food, comfort and free transport?

Again, who doesn’t know that polling agents of rival parties in the Volta Region and certain zongo areas were threatened with death each time they tried to be courageous and do their patriotic duty?

Worse still, who doesn’t know that certain indigenous Ga opposition boys were slashed with machetes or had their mouths bloodied because they had gone to the Volta Region to support intimidated residents who wished to block ghosts from walking over from Togo to vote in Ghana? Who has not heard the stories of party activists who struggled to prevent NDC honchos and foot soldiers from voting three, four or five times in constituencies where no NPP polling agent would dare open his or her mouth?

Devious Ananse

The NDC reminds us of the fable about Ananse being compelled to keep hot pap in his jacket, however uncomfortable it made him, because the pap had been stolen and removing the jacket would expose him.

The resemblance to the present suspicious posturing by the NDC is apt.

If John Mahama proposed using a sledgehammer to resolve a problem in 2012, we should think that today, in 2020, if he were Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, he would be proposing nuclear missiles.

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Last modified on Thursday, 30 January 2020 05:02

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