At the mention that the EC is going to rely on professionals (i.e. lawyers, accountants, etc) to collate results at the collation centers in the upcoming general elections, the NDC have started shivering. An Akan proverb says, “atwamene biara suro ayayanda”, to wit, every executioner dreads sleeping in supine position.
Ofosu Ampofo who is Director of Elections for the NDC warns that they (NDC) will resist any such move. He goes on to cite lack of experience and partisanship on the part of these professionals. If the NDC have any better explanation, they should come again because what they are alluding to is infantile and baseless.
In Section C of the EC’s STATEMENT OF POLLS AND DECLARATION OF RESULTS (aka PINK SHEET) for both presidential and parliamentary polls in Ghana is boldly captioned BALLOT ACCOUNTING TO BE FILLED IN AT END OF POLLS BEFORE COUNTING COMMENCES.
The job of the election officer, whether at the polling station or at the collation center, is basically an exercise in ballot accounting. So, if professional accountants, lawyers, engineers, etc. are declared inexperienced because they have never been at the polls before then who are more qualified to do the ballot accounting? Was experience at the polls a requirement before university dons in Nigeria were drafted in to deliver such an excellent job at their last general elections?
Next, the NDC allude that the professionals are predominantly NPP. What a cheap, groundless and unnationalistic talk! And how can the NDC be so colour-blinded? So, which categories of Ghanaian professionals in the eyes of the NDC are not NPP to meet their whims and caprices?
Limping from there, the NDC through Ofosu Ampofo are trying to bend backwards to suggest the need to use teachers as traditional recruits for election purposes. Nobody disputes the need to go for our teachers because of their long standing involvement in general and district assembly elections. And our teachers deserve to take their posts once again. Nevertheless, the hypocrisy of the NDC must be exposed. In 2012, when the EC under Dr Afari Gyan decided NOT to engage teachers who have been known as traditional recruits and the NPP along with concerned teachers and some nationalists kicked against the EC’s position, the NDC quickly went and solidly held the defence for the EC. The majority of these election officials whose particulars and qualification were shrouded in secrecy eventually turned out to be NDC rented officials. The mess that those rented officials created for Ghana is history.
Nobody except the nation wreckers will want to see a repeat of what took Ghanaians to the Supreme Court in 2013. We must build trust in the electoral processes leading to the December 7th elections, which will obviously include the calibre of personnel that will superitend the affairs at all the polling and the collation centers in Ghana.
As matter of fact, the majority of our teachers whenever they are recruited, work at the polling stations as Presiding Officers and as Election Assistants. The current bone of contention is not even about the polling stations; it is about the calibre of persons to be in-charge of collation of results which will take place at the Collation Centers at the district levels.
Not quite long ago, Nigeria relied on its university dons as election collation officers to deliver one of the most celebrated African election results in recent times. Why can’t Ghana go the Nigerian way and even beyond to spare us another 2012 and its aftermath.
All well-meaning and peace-loving Ghanaians must support the idea of the EC to recruit professionals to strengthen its workforce for the 2016 elections.
Source: Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo fmr. Western Regional Minister and Three terms fmr. MP Amenfi East Constituency