It has always been clear to every levelheaded Ghanaian that a perfect National Voters’ Register (NVR) is a practical impossibility to establish in the country.
It therefore comes as absolutely no new revelation just dreamed up by the General-Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) who has, by the way, done his fair share of unduly and flagrantly taking advantage of the weaknesses and loopholes in the country’s electoral protocol to cynically facilitate the morally untenable entrenchment of his party in the seat of power (See “Voters’ Register Can Never Be Cleaned Unless… – Mosquito” Ultimate 1069.com / Ghanaweb.com 5/9/16).
Indeed, as even the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. Jon Benjamin Has a Point
, had occasion to point out recently, there is absolutely no such thing as “a perfect voters’ register,” not even in Britain where modern democratic culture, in its various shades and forms, has existed for centuries. At best, such fraudulent practices, as have been known and exposed for blighting the credibility of the country’s electoral culture, can be drastically reduced to a tolerable minimum.
In order to reasonably achieve the foregoing level of electoral credibility, it is very obvious that Parliament needs to order the immediate implementation of a National Identity Card, the securing of which ought to be primarily based on one’s citizenship in the country either by birth or naturalization. Mr. Asiedu-Nketia is absolutely right to observe that there are quite a remarkable number of non-Ghanaians who possess drivers’ licenses, especially if such holders are legally resident in the country. Where the problem gets tricky is in regard to non-Ghanaian-born residents who are known to possess Ghanaian birth certificates.
This problem has arisen primarily because until very recently, the perennial culture of military dictatorship had negatively impinged on our sense of civic responsibility. This disconcerting state of affairs will take some time to rectify. The problem is also partly economic and has to do with the generally meager salaries and wages of many a Ghanaian civil-service worker. Occupational fraud has come to be generally envisaged as a legitimate mode of supplementing one’s official income. The widely acknowledged but unspoken philosophy here is that one chooses to hold onto a civil-service job because there is no other readily available legitimate means of making what approximates a decent living. In such a morally noncommittal sociopolitical cultural milieu, it is decidedly a no-win situation for those on the lookout for a democratic culture that fairly approximates the desired ideal.
What makes General Mosquito’s inexcusably cynical prognosis even more disturbing inheres in the fact that he has been recklessly and unconscionably complicit in the very fraudulent misdeeds which he rightly identifies to be gravely militating against any attempt to establish a credible electoral register and protocol in the country. His recent decision to illegally permit Dr. Zanetor Rawlings to contest the Klottey-Korle parliamentary primary is a striking case in point. In this instance, a non-registered member of the National Democratic Congress was flagrantly afforded the illegitimate nod to run for a parliamentary seat merely because the eldest daughter of Chairman Jerry John Rawlings possessed a familial name recognition, aside from the obvious animus virulently exhibited towards the Klottey-Korle parliamentary incumbent and former Greater-Accra Regional Minister, Mr. Nii Armah Ashitey.
Dr. Rawlings was also permitted by General Mosquito – as Mr. Asiedu-Nketia is widely known – to contest the Klottey-Korle parliamentary election, as noted above, because the incumbent NDC-MP has fallen out of the favor of the Rawlings Posse, of which Mr. Asiedu-Nketia is a prime operative. The issuance of a National Identity Card stands the best chance of bringing Ghanaians closest to a credible democratic culture. One’s access to the NIC ought to be primarily based on one’s presentation of a birth certificate or a legitimately sworn affidavit certifying the veracity of the same.
Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York