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Feature Article of Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Weija Constituency Ballot Boxes Went "Missing"

THE EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY OF CONTESTED WEIJA CONSTITUENCY BALLOT BOXES TO AMASSAMAN AFTER MIDNIGHT: DOES IT HOLD THE KEY TO SECRET BEHIND ANY POSSIBLE RIGGING PLAN?

All independent-minded and non-partisan Ghanaians, who are true patriots and nationalists, will have to demand an explanation from Dr. Afari Djan, as soon as his working day starts today, 9th December, 2008 - about the early-morning journey of a number of ballot boxes from Weija to Amassaman, today.

The Electoral Commissioner owes an explanation to those of us who are registered voters of the Weija constituency - and must tell us precisely what the reasons are, for the extraordinary journey, of a number of contested ballot boxes from the Weija constituency, to the offices of the Amassaman District Assembly (in a different constituency!) in the early hours of the morning of Tuesday 9th December, 2008: escorted by a combined team made up of heavily-armed military personal and the police.

The Electoral Commissioner must ask the police to quickly investigate this particular incident and give a detailed explanation of the incident - which, as it happens, and luckily for the residents of Weija, was monitored by correspondents of an Accra FM radio station, Radio Gold (who gave a live running commentary by mobile phone!), to the good people of Ghana.

No one, who heard the dramatic live commentary of those two brave correspondents, Roland Acquah-Stevens and Tweneboah (who risked their lives to keep the world informed of this rather odd early-morning journey of the Weija constituency ballot boxes, during which ballot boxes were even switched between two vehicles midway during the journey!), and is fair-minded, will fail to wonder if that clever ruse was not part of a premeditated plan, conceived to rig the election - and prepared for the express purpose of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat: by the crooks in the ruling party, who are determined to stay in power regardless, no matter what the people of Ghana’s verdict is.

Perhaps the question many fair-minded Ghanaians will be asking themselves, is: Is this the way that those ruling party candidates who have been defeated on the first count after the votes were originally counted in their constituency, succeeded in somehow emerging victorious after several recounts, after initially being defeated? Ditto the way those who voted for Professor Mills were cheated - especially as it was clear that the transfer of ballot boxes between the tipper truck and the vehicle that brought them from Weija originally, was key to enabling any rigging to be effected?

Was it part of the plan that they continue raising objections and demand as many recounts as possible, whiles a tactic similar to that employed to try and alter the vote at Weija, was implemented? Could that be the reason why a number of polling station officials around the country, such as the Ashanti Region, were reported to have been unable to complete formalities overnight - a few even saying that they needed to sleep?

Are the residents of Weija to conclude, if they now hear that the candidate from the ruling party and the incumbent Member of Parliament for the Weija constituency, Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has at last emerged victorious (like the magical way that the notorious Sheik I.C. Quaye too suddenly emerged victorious after several recounts!), that that mysterious journey of the contested ballot boxes, which took a post-midnight joy-ride to Amassaman, guarded by soldiers and police personnel, had something to do with her victory, and that her victory was not because she actually obtained a majority of the votes cast in their constituency: but an extraordinary bit of electoral smoke-and-mirrors magic?

For all we know, perhaps there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for that extraordinary journey of those contested ballot boxes in the inconclusive poll to elect a Member of Parliament for the Weija constituency from the jurisdiction to Amassaman - under the guard of a combined military and police team, in the early hours of 9th December 2008.

However, Dr. Afari Djan does owe the inhabitants of Weija in particular, and the rest of their fellow citizens of Ghana, as well as the rest of Africa too, an explanation, for that incredible episode - especially as there apparently is evidence that the National Democratic Congress's (NDC) seals on the boxes had apparently all been broken, after the mysterious journey to Amassaman at that unholy hour: using those terrible and unpaved back-roads instead of the main road! Where is the fairness in all this, dear reader?

Why, do we all not know that rigging an election, is tantamount to a coup d’état - by stealth? Let those in this regime who wish to deny Ghanaians the change they so clearly want, understand that Ghanaians aren’t fools. Have they seen the way ordinary citizens followed the ballot boxes in a convoy, even at that ungodly hour of the morning – the convoy that apparently also included an official vehicle belonging to a minister in the government: who also happens to be the selfsame candidate raising objections to the results of the election at the Weija constituency?

Are they not the very ones in Ghanaian politics who never cease claiming to be true democrats? Have they seen how God has intervened so miraculously in this matter - and ensured that an ordinary Ghanaian, a brave taxi driver, Peter, would overhear two fares talking about an "operation" to switch ballot boxes: and had the presence of mind to follow up thereafter?

The voice of the people is indeed the voice of God - and those who seek to deny it from being expressed openly, do so at their own peril! Dr. Afari Djan, is this true democracy? Please act now, to explain the mysterious carryings-on that occurred in the early hours of this morning, to the voters of Weija! A word to the wise...

Hmmm, Ghana - enti yeawiaye paa, enia? Asem ebaba dei ankasa! May God bless and protect our homeland Ghana, always. Long live freedom! Long live Ghana!



culled from 'thoughts of a native' blog

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