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General News of Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Source: The Ghanaian Lens

Set Up Independent Probe Now!!! – Dr. Brobbey

………. Situation Is “Dangerous For Peaceful Elections”

The founder and one-time presidential candidate of the now extinct United Ghana Movement (UGM), Dr. Charles Yves Wereko Brobbey, has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to allow for an investigative committee that is independent of the EC and the political parties to be set up to investigate the bloating of the electoral roll in the Ashanti region and related matters.

Dr. Wereko Brobbey made the call during a telephone interview with this paper yesterday.

“I don’t subscribe to the idea that the EC should set up its own internal investigative committee to investigate this matter. There are really credible bodies in this country whose credibility I believe that all of us can agree on and then task them to conduct such an investigation,” Dr. Wereko Brobbey stated.

Premising his call on the fact that the credibility of the electoral roll is a sine qua non to having an election whose results would not easily be rejected by any party, Dr. Brobbey observed that the evidence so far indicates that “we need an independent body to thoroughly examine these figures and come out with an explanation as to how these conflicting figures are emanating from the EC”.

“I don’t believe that either the EC or the political parties should be on this committee. It would be tantamount to asking the poacher to become the game-keeper,” Dr. Brobbey pointed out.

In an apparent rejection of claims by NPP General Secretary, Nana Ohene Ntow, that Prof. Mills and the NDC behaved irresponsibly by bringing the anomaly in the electoral roll into the public domain instead of going quietly to consult with the EC, Dr. Brobbey observed that it is the duty of every responsible citizen of the land to blow the whistle on any such finding.

“My only problem was the fact that the NDC appears to have limited its findings to the Ashanti region. If they had made a general finding without limiting it to the Ashanti region I would not have had any problem at all. It is their duty to go public,” Dr. Brobbey stated.

Significantly, just about the time that Dr. Brobbey was talking to this paper, the General Secretary of the NPP, Nana Ohene Ntow, was about wrapping up on a press conference he addressed on behalf of his party to call on the EC to expedite investigations into the bloated electoral roll.

Ohene Ntow, who only last week was all over the radio stations saying that there was nothing wrong with the Electoral Roll and that the figures being complained about by the NDC were mere projections made by the Electoral Commission, has now conceded that the NPP has also noticed some “minimal discrepancies” in the electoral statistics that the party obtained from the EC headquarters and from the Ashanti Region.

Though at pains to downplay the significance of the NPP’s own findings of “minimal discrepancies” in the figures supplied by the EC, Nana Ohene Ntow nonetheless conceded that "even though minimal we must admit it is still dangerous for peaceful elections" (emphasis ours).

Apparently forgetting that he had been accusing the NDC of trying to prepare the grounds for an upheaval in the unlikely event that the NDC lost the 2008 elections, Nana Ohene Ntow failed to realise that his admission that the situation is “dangerous for peaceful elections” only echoes the concerns raised by NDC flagbearer, Prof. Mills only a few weeks ago, when he warned that nothing should be done to send Ghana on the path that Kenya has found itself on.

Indeed, President Kufuor, Ohene Ntow, and the whole of the NPP propaganda machinery heavily descended on the good Professor of law and taxation, labelling him and the NDC as “doom-mongers”.

One wonders whether the General Secretary of the NPP and his party have now joined the ranks of doom-mongers.

At the press conference he addressed yesterday, Nana Ohene Ntow also stated the NPP’s objection to the setting up of a three-man investigative committee by the Electoral Commission.

"The (three-member) investigation team is in contravention of a consensus agreement reached at the last Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting, which suggested an investigation team comprising political party representatives, EC officials and Information Technology (IT) experts,” Nana Ohene Ntow stated on behalf of the NPP.

As the NPP gradually shifts from its needless defence of the EC on this matter as it had done in the last few days, Nana Ohene Ntow now states, “we believe that a broad-based, open and transparent stakeholder investigation would help to clear all doubt possibly created by the allegation..”

It would be recalled that on Thursday 28th February 2008 our sister paper, The Ghanaian Lens, revealed statistically impossible growth of over hundred percent in the population of registered voters in thirteen constituencies in the Ashanti region. The revelation by The Ghanaian Lens was subsequently confirmed by the Ghana Palaver.

Since the story broke, the NPP, particularly its General Secretary, Nana Ohene Ntow, had been doing everything in his power to discredit the revelations.

At one point, Nana Ohene Ntow, after a closed-door consultation with the Chairman of the EC, came on Joy FM the next day to accuse the NDC of spreading falsehood and that the figures being complained about were just projections used by the EC and that the figures do not represent the actual number voters on the electoral roll.

Nana Ohene Ntow however could not explain why the EC would project over one hundred percent growth in only thirteen constituencies in only the Ashanti region.