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Opinions of Thursday, 21 January 2016

Columnist: Dekportor, Mensah

Christian council’s war drums

The Electoral Commission’s recent decision to not compile a new voters register as demanded by the New Patriotic Party has largely been accepted by majority of Ghanaians including organizations and civil society groups that participated in the forum on the issue. The broad acceptability of the Commission’s decision is due to the work of the Committee that was set up by the EC to advise it on the issue headed by Justice VCRAC Crabbe. The transparency that accompanied the Committee’s works was amply demonstrated at the forum which offered all parties the opportunity to present evidence to support their various claims and positions. At the end of the process, it was obvious that majority of political parties, interest groups and civil society groups that participated in the forum had taken a firm position that there was not enough evidence to support the compilation of a new voters register. It is therefore very unfortunate and irresponsible for the General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana Rev. Dr. Opuni Frimpong to resort to issuing threats to the EC on this same issue which had sufficiently been dealt with in public view.

In the first place, the General Secretary of the Christian Council, issued his unwarranted caution to the EC without telling Ghanaians whether the Christian Council agreed with the findings and recommendations of the VCRAC Crabbe committee recommendations or not. He also failed to present to Ghanaians the Council’s documented position on the issue except to follow sheepishly the New Patriotic Party’s position on the matter without subjecting it to scrutiny. Secondly, the arrogance exhibited by the General Secretary in the course of addressing the EC on the issue was uncalled for. He is quoted as saying the “EC should not take us for granted because Ghanaians are perceived to be timid, it must reconsider its decision” Is he impliedly inciting Ghanaians to take up weapons and fight just because his preferred option was rejected by the EC as unmeritorious? Is that what the Christian religion teaches him to preach and propound on issues?

He further exhibited his recklessness when he stated that the EC should redeem its battered integrity and gain credibility in the eyes of Ghanaians before conducting the elections. Who told Rev. Dr. Opuni Frimpong that Ghanaians do not find the EC to be credible? A Commission that has successfully supervised seven elections in Ghana some of which have led to change in Government’s since the inception of the 4th Republic, How can this General Secretary claim that such an august institution lacks credibility?
When the NPP took the results of the 2012 elections to court based on flimsy excuses of lapses on pink sheet records of the EC can the Christian Council tell us whether the Supreme Court removed even a single vote from the final election results as declared by the EC.? Whose integrity was upheld at the end of the case, was it that of the EC or the petitioners who were exposed as mere sour losers.
Rev Dr. Opuni Frimpong and his likes in the Christian Council rather have their integrity and credibility battered in the eyes of Ghanaians by these highly irresponsible statements that have recently emanated from their quarters. He has demonstrated that he and his cohorts in the Christian Council are in the Christian Council to take prejudiced and bias opinions on national issues, and have absolutely no respect for constitutionally mandated institutions such as the EC. He should do his battered image a lot of good by publishing for all to see the Christian Council’s well researched document that supports the need for a new voters register. Until such is done he and the Christian Council should stop stoking the fires of conflict in God’s peaceful country Ghana. They should always remember that Christians belong to all walks of the political divide. Therefore wisdom dictates that they take a balanced and unbiased view on all national issues in order to preserve their credibility.
Report By:
Mensah Dekportor (Hamburg – Germany)