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Feature Article of Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Columnist: AFAG

Afari Djan!! Rescind Your Decision Or Ghanaians Will Speak

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the press and welcome to yet another important public discourse with the Alliance for Accountable Governance. As always, it is our fervent hope that AFAG will earn your unflinching support in carrying out our message to the good people of Ghana.

Ladies and gentlemen, AFAG has invited you here today to focus public attention on a decision which stands to shake the very foundation of our thriving democracy, a beacon of hope on a continent predominantly plagued with electoral disputes. Indeed this decision has dire consequences on our democracy, as it stands to threaten our very co-existence and future as one people, in a peaceful and loving country.

As you are all aware by now, the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, against all caution from civil society and well meaning citizens of the land, is bent on seeing to the creation of 45 new constituencies. This is un-thinkable considering that, we have barely three (3) months to go for the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections. Indeed unprecedented!
Ladies & gentlemen, whiles AFAG, acknowledges the constitutional mandate of the Electoral Commission to undertake periodic revision of the boundaries of Constituencies, we would like to question the propriety of this particular decision. In fact, there is no moral justification for this action by the EC.
Fellow countrymen, it is of interest to note that, AFAG under the hands of its Chairman and General Secretary on the 20th of July 2012 wrote to the Electoral Commission to humbly request for a meeting to jaw-jaw on this matter of national concern. It’s been more than a month now, and not withstanding visits by members of AFAG to the EC’s office on daily basis, the defiant posturing of Dr. Afari-Djan and his unwillingness to meet with AFAG,speaks volume of his intensions.

CREATION OF CONSTITUENCIES IN THE 4TH REPUBLIC

Ladies and gentlemen, creation of new constituencies is not new under the 4th republic. Historical re-call shows that, the 200 constituencies used in the 1992 elections were created in 1991. Also, the additional 30 constituencies used in 2004 elections were created in 2003. The difference between the previous instances and the current situation is the timing of the process. Dr. Afari-Djan, this is simply not right!

AFAG’s POSITION

It is obvious that, in spite of the incessant calls, the government and the electoral commission are more than determined to see to the passage and implementation of this dangerous decision without a hoot about the repercussions. Consequently, AFAG, in the interest of the public is giving Dr. Afari Djan and his Electoral Commission 2 weeks to;

• Unconditionally rescind his decision,
Or
• To honorably resign as Commissioner if he cannot stand up to the challenge.
Failure to do so, Mr.EC; AFAG and the good people of this country will demonstrate to show that, in this matter of national concern, the voice of the people matters!
Fellow countrymen, in other to meet the challenge of the above, AFAG will for the first time;
i. involve bilateral and multi lateral agencies in our advocacy
ii. go on a mass action, that may last for 3 days on its first phase
iii. will call on all political parties, youth and women’s group who are opposed to this arrogant posturing by the EC to join forces with AFAG
Finally we end by making the point that events of December 7 will be just one out of the several processes in our electoral system. To merely focus only on events of that particular day is in itself inimical to the entire process. Consequently, we make a passionate appeal to the Peace Council, all Religious Groups, the National Chief Imam and other Civil Society Groups to make their voices heard now, and also, take a cue from the work of the US institute of peace that; electoral violence are due to systemic and un-resolved grievances which culminate prior, during and after elections.
AFAG is thus; inspired by the truth and nothing apart from the truth that, no Ghanaian should face death after exercising his or her civic responsibility.
Thank you and God bless us all.

Signed:
Abu Ramadan 0244570006
Davis Opoku Ansah 0244861593
Bright Acheampong 0545230621
Arnold Boateng 0244294754
Dr. Nana Ayew Afriye 0244780359

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