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Feature Article of Friday, 4 January 2013

Columnist: Akpah, Prince

First Experience As A Ghanaian Voter

I had to resist temptations from peers to register at the age of 17 when the voters register was opened in 2010 for registration during the District assembly elections. But I later grabbed the opportunity to participate in the first ever biometric voter registration

Just about one year after turning 18. What a joy and happiness I had when I turned 18, even though without a party, It fell on an Easter Sunday. But it was also because I have crossed the limit relating to the privileges being 18, but the one that surpasses all of them was I am going to decide for in the 2012 elections.

I left Accra with an enthusiasm at about 4am on Thursday, a day before the elections, to the bus stop so that I can catch a metro mass to Aflao to avoid the attitude of drivers raising the lorry fare. But guess what, just after grabbing my ticket and sitting comfortably in the public transport I remembered I did not carry my voter's id along. But luckily I remembered I can use a small sheet issued when I registered. Also not to forget as the decision making day was just tomorrow, I started examining critically the policies of the two major Political parties especially concerning our educational systems. This is because I had the opportunity to visit schools and considering the state of infrastructure in Schools, we are seriously lacking behind. In some cases students nickname poor structures that they have on their Campuses which THE KEY NEWSPAPER carried as Headline” "STUDENTS STUDY IN 'BEER BAR' and live in wretched boarding house" it was a sad experience but 'what for do' I have the power on my thumbs.

I woke up on December 7 and the first thing I did was to ON my TV to see how the media was also preparing for the day, I quickly logged in on my facebook page to see what my friends were saying about the day too and checked on ghanaweb.com for some news. Without bathing I left for my polling station just to meet a long curved queue. I got back home doubting myself whether I am going to have this dream come to pass. Since I had nothing doing I didn't hesitate to turn on the TV again. But my brother Mawunuyo, and I were just quarrelling because I was being a prostitute tuning from one TV station to the other and radio stations just to keep myself updated. What I saw at my polling station was not different from what I was seeing from the live coverage’s from other places and situations where people arrived at polling station as early as 12am

Later in the day, I went to the polling station just to see few people there as compared to the morning. Meeting old friends who came down from other places to cast their vote because we registered at this polling station when we were in school also made me happy. Meeting them there just repose in me the enthusiasm that my friends also have to partake in this major decision making. I got into the queue and within five minutes I found myself in the Polling booth. With my heart beating I decided to put on some smiles just to pretend whiles i placed my thumb in the box. Hey, come on I have cast my vote, wow, it was just wonderful. Thanks to my mom, Bakah Salome for sponsoring me to have this wonderful experience at this age of 19.

But to crown it all was when I came back later in the evening for the counting of the votes. It was just interesting and same as I saw in the AFRICAN ELECTION.

But not to forget HAPPY NEW YEAR to those I voted for Ketu south, my families, friends and loved ones. Gabriel, Stanley, Nafty, Prissy, Bridget, Melinda, Innocent, skywalker, lekwuwa john and you

AKPAH PRINCE

akpahprince@ymail.com

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