Feature Article of Thursday, 30 August 2012
Columnist: Sakzeesi, Camillus Maalneriba-Tia
In The Matter Of The Creation Of Forty-Five ( 45) New Constituencies: The Confusion – And A Call To Stopage Of Intention.
I know the already elected candidates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidates for the yet to be officially created constituencies, would be more than hurt when they read what I am about to put across. My concern, however, is not about individual hurts, but the hurt that would affect the whole nation.
My fervent prayer is, therefore, that whoever is reading this opinion, may do that with an open heart and considering Mother- Ghana first before anything else.
The intended creation of 45 new constituencies by the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana is gradually becoming an issue that cannot be managed ala the negative machinations of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). But the blame ought not to be solely put at the door-step of the NPP.
This close political disaster was cooked and dished out by the Statistical Service of Ghana. The fact is that if that institution had not delayed in coming out with the 2010 Population Census results, the current confusion would not have arisen. Whether the delay was an intentional act to sabotage our political process or not – nobody is interested in finding out?
The EC, in trying to satisfy a constitutional mandate, ought to look at the implication its action is most likely to affect us as a nation. One is not saying that the EC is wrong – but looking at the political terrain, it would be wise on its part to shelve its intention if only by so-doing, would not lead us to some constitutional crises.
But if one may ask – why is the NPP so apprehensive about the proposed creation of the new constituencies? Is it the case of experience, that when a Party is in power and new constituencies are created, it performs well by winning them?
If it is so, then it has the legitimacy to be worried. However, such political fright must not push statesmen into issuing near threats to the EC – and for that matter government. So, when on August 25, 2012, at Mantse Agboena, no less a person but a former president of MOTHER-GHANA, in the mood of incitement, forgot his ‘presidentialness’
Former President Kufour was head at the top of his voice, insinuating that the intended creation of the new constituencies “…is a recipe for chaos…” His message was a direct threat to the EC, as well as inciting his Party members against it.
It is not surprising, therefore, to hear – following his words, threats from a cross section of his Party to the effect that they would demonstrate against the EC if it does not withdraw the Legislative Instrument (LI) seeking to establish the new constituencies.
The appendage of the Party AFAG is already out, threatening the EC with a three day continues demonstration against it if the termination of the LI is not done. This is exactly the feed-back anticipated by the utterances of a statesman. And I can bet Ghanaians with my nothingness, that the meditated demonstration is not going to be a peaceful one.
For, the game-plan of the NPP to throw this country into an ungovernable state was sealed-off earlier until the new constituencies issue came out. It is worth recalling that it was the Party, through its Danquah Institute’s Gabby Ochere Darko who led the crusade for the introduction of the Biometric Registration system.
At the time of their advocacy for it, they were fully aware of the high cost involved and believed government would not be willing to accept the expenditure involved. They were shocked when government accepted the financial burden for the sake of peace.
When that failed they quickly crafted another plan, and that was on their alleged lack of transparency in the tendering and award of contracts to Service Providers in the biometric system. In that development, the EC was sent to court.
Having failed in that direction the next plan was to ask for a VERIFICATION system after the main Registration Exercise. Learned professionals in the field argued for and against the demand. Finally, financial cost factored much – but the pro-verification advocates contended that DEMOCRACY is an expensive exercise.
The government, for the sake of peace, again, said it will release money for it. That was the end of the game-plan. Having nothing to forage on now, they have been fortunate hearing the EC intends creating more constituencies.
One thing that must be made clear is that the NPP knew that the biometric system would go against them in the Asante Region, because they can no longer manipulate figures there. They indeed contend that much as polling figures are normally massaged in the Volta Region, the magnitude cannot surpass that of the former. Readers can now understand the Party’s apprehension.
We have to also remember that the NPP has tasted the fruits of creating new districts and constituencies. Why should they, therefore, allow the NDC have its way since the exercise would be rewarding to it. That is a legitimate fear that no one can fault them. Where the Party can be faulted is the intended PATAPAAH (acts of lawlessness) it intends to engage.
What they are coming out with is to openly and violently confront the Security Agencies on the days of their demonstrations which could result in an equally violent reaction which could trigger a nation-wide violent demonstrations against the government.
I know readers would ask why the NPP would take pleasure in creating a volatile situation as I am putting across. The answer is that they are LOSING the elections and that is why the government must prevail on the EC to discontinue its move of creating the new constituencies.
This appeal must be taken serious if we are to preserve the good name of our late President Atta Mills. The’ Asomdweehene’ would be turning in his grave if this country is turned into a state of anarchy. If the NDC as a Party had no chances in the December 7 polls, that would have been a different issue all-together. But observing the political grounds indicate a resounding first-round VICTORY. Why, therefore, should the Party allow this BAITE of violence being foisted by the NPP
The NPP is hell-burnt in throwing this dear nation into a state of chaos and the NDC as a Party must not allow the bad name to come to it as the ruling government. The Party must intervene, because that would show the strength we have and not that we’re weak in meeting them ‘boot-for-boot’.
MOTHER-GHANA needs to remain in PEACE and we must help her to maintain it. Let us forget of the new constituencies and shame the DEVIL.
Camillus Maalneriba-Tia Sakzeesi