Feature Article of Friday, 13 April 2012
Columnist: Nortey, Nii Noi
In every developed country there is an understanding that “you vote where you live”. In the case of the Klottey Korley and odododiodoo constituency, that is not the case. This is the situation that has brought the Hon Nii Amarh Ashitey in confrontation with DSP Awuni at Motor Traffic Unit in Accra.
Let’s create a few scenarios; it is the last week of Koofori, a shoe shine boy who has migrated from Dwabose district to Accra, to work as a shoe shine boy. Koofori finds shelter under the sheds of the train station at night or joins his friends to sleep in front of the old GNTC shoe store across from the train station. And then there is Ama Awuni, a kaya yoo (head porter), has arrived in Accra from the North because his uncle DSP Awuni has been transferred to Accra to head the motor traffic unit. She finds shelter in an abandon car in the yard of the police barracks. Continuing onto the Arts Centre across from the old Parliament House, is a commercial area where you will find Kwame Danso, who has just arrived from Kumasi, and works at the Arts Centre weaving Kente and makes wood carvings that they sell to tourist. At night they sleep in the shops at the Arts Centre. At the Katamanton/Agbloshie and kokonmba markets scores of northners migrate to the city to sell yams then go back at the end of the season. Of all these scenarios none of the above legally resides within the klottey korley or ododdidoo constituency.
I believe this situation is what lead the Hon Minister to the MTTU registration Centre. If the MP even stopped people from registering, he did not do that on party lines. He was not allowing people who are NDC to register as against the NPP but instead advising people to register where they reside.
If Awuni understands the dynamics of the constituency in which he resides, he would have known better. Even DSP Awuni should not be allowed to register at OSU Klottey. In America Awuni `s vote will be mailed in as absentee ballot to Nandom where I believe he hails from. While studying at the University of Education in Winneba, I remember that students were given a day off to go back home and vote because students don’t reside in the Ewutu Efutu electoral area. Why should these people be allowed to register and vote in Accra?
I agree that a northner who has moved to Accra and rented a house should be allowed to register and vote in Accra, but I object that a kente weaver at the arts Centre sleeping under sheds does not have a place of abode or a permanent address in Accra should be compelled to register and vote where they reside.
DSP Awuni had no right to arrest the Hon minister who was making sure that people were registering where they reside to prevent confrontations on Election Day. Awuni does not deserve to be a commander come Election Day he admitted on national radio that he was annoyed and was confrontational with the Member of Parliament. He forgot the “code of conduct” shows he will not make good judgments.
If Ga’s behave like Awuni and his tribesmen his arrest and maltreatment of Nii Amarh Ashitey could have started a mob action. The barracks could have been burnt down like instances in the North. I believe Awuni was trying to use the scenario to get his name out for a possible run for promotion, but it will back fire. Accra doesn’t need Awuni as a commander and he should be fired for his action.