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Opinions of Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

How could we have guaranteed the EC's total deletion

Following Abu Ramadam and Nimoako’s complaint lodged with the Supreme Court regarding the voter register containing names of people who have registered their names onto the electoral roll using NHIS card as means of their national identification, and therefore demanding they be deleted, the Supreme Court ruled in their favour.

Subsequently, the Chairlady of the Electoral Commission was ordered to delete all such names from the voter register.

Why had Abu Ramadan and Nimoako sought the deletion of the names of such electoral registrants from the electoral roll, many a Ghanaian may query. It is all because NHIS card is not a credible means of identifying ones Ghanaian nationality.

This is because NHIS card is issued to anyone in Ghana, who wants to avail themselves of near-free healthcare, be they Ghanaians, or legal/illegal immigrants but residing in Ghana. Therefore, foreigners who had acquired NHIS card could possibly have registered their names onto the electoral roll to exercise their franchise in Ghana, although illegally.

The Supreme Court failed to prescribe measures or appoint people outside the Electoral Commission to be responsible for the oversight of the deletion of the NHIS cardholder-registrants from the electoral register. They left Mrs Charlotte Osei, the Head of the Electoral Commission, to be a player and the umpire at the same time.

This woman, by her every action taken since she became the Chair of the Electoral Commission indicates that she is completely biased in favour of President Mahama and the NDC. Is she not the one who is alleged to have promised never to fail President Mahama hence all her actions taken so far being apparently supportive of President Mahama and the NDC?

Are her actions and energies obviously not directed at helping to retain President Mahama and NDC in power come election 2016?

Hitting the nail right in the head, independent men and women of integrity, or two honest persons selected from each political party, should have been appointed to witness the deletion of the names and to ensure all those registered using NHIS card were duly deleted from the database of the Electoral Commission’s voter register.

These would-be persons to play the oversight role should be supplied with “SEE OR READ ONLY” password that grants them access to the EC’s database on the electoral register. By this, they can see the totality of the names of those registered with NHIS card provided the Electoral Commission has a column in their database for the type of identification card used to register.

It should have such columnar information or else, Charlotte Osei and her colleagues could not have deleted the names that quicker. Without such columnar information, they would not have even known which names to delete.

All data are in columnar form. Therefore, there may be columns asking for the name of the person, age, sex, date of registration, where registered, national identification card used etc.

With the “see or read only” password to be used to logon to the EC’s voter register database, we could easily confirm if Charlotte Osei was not deleting names of genuine Ghanaians but the entirety of the biometrically captured NHIS cardholder voter-registrants.

Charlotte Osei might have deliberately deleted the names of genuinely registered persons who might be presumptive NPP voters but not NHIS registrants hence the aftermath numerous public complaints and outcries.

Anyone who works with Excel spreadsheet understands database formats. Additionally, those who are computer-literate understand how and why “see only or read only” passwords are created by authors of certain documents and databases.

When an author of a document requires others from other departments to access the database to be able to do certain follow-up jobs of their own depending on the information at the database, he/she can create a password for the third person that enables him/her to only see and read, but unable to alter the information so contained at the database.

Why did the Supreme Court not compel Charlotte Osei to do exactly that but rather allowed her to do whatever she likes hence the deletion of innocent persons’ names? How could we confirm she deleted the names of all those who registered their names onto the voter register using NHIS card as their national identification document?

If she had honestly deleted only the affected NHIS cardholder registrants, why are many people claiming that although they used other genuine identification documents, they have still had their names deleted from the electoral roll? The EC is claiming it is an error and that those persons affected should not get worried as they can go to re-register. That is not the issue. Why their names were deleted in the first place if the EC personnel are competent and are not being malicious?

For how long is Charlotte Osei going to remain in her cloud cuckoo land, assuming Ghanaians are imbeciles so she can continue to do as she wants when she wants? She should note that some Ghanaians are computer-literate and know more about the operations of database.

Many a Ghanaian is aware of the evil Charlotte Osei is up to but trust me, she will fail. She is trying all that she could to deny Ghanaian electorates the opportunity of electing the people of their choice to rule them, but those that Charlotte wants. This is not right and surely, GOD will resist her.

Please Charlotte Osei, cease underestimating our intelligence by your trickeries. You have indirectly undermined the Supreme Court by cleverly circumventing their orders to you to delete the names of NHIS cardholder registrants from the voter register. However, you have not only failed to disclose to them the actual number of such registrants but also, deleted the names of non-NHIS cardholder registrants.

The Supreme Court should have instituted some measures of checks and balances to hold her to account but they didn’t, hence Charlotte Osei having every cause to play on our intelligence.

You know what, Charlotte Osei, change is comig soon to expose your trickeries.