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Opinions of Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Columnist: Lawrence Appiah-Osei

It's either a new voters register or war- Nothing in-between

It is very unfortunate that the NPP is gradually making the issue for a new voters register an “all die be die” matter. From the pronouncements by the flag bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, to some “small fishes” in the party, it is beginning to look like it is either a new voters register or war. They think Ghana does not have any other choice or alternative. But should it be so?

Nana Akufo-Addo was quoted by on October 20, 2015 as saying, “Ghana has worked incredibly hard to preserve a democratic character. One administration shouldn’t be allowed to undermine it. And at times, this requires putting the interest of the country above partisan interest. The hope is that the global community takes notice and urges change before the elections, rather than looking back at the 2016 elections, shaking their heads and asking “how did this happen,”

Actually this was what Nana Addo told a gathering in Amsterdam as part of his European tour earlier in the week.

Nana Akufo-Addo made the same reckless statement at the Heritage Foundation, a leading Think Tank in Washington DC on October 20, 2015. But this time, he added some more dangerous words and I quote, “Our two living former heads of state, religious leaders, Imams, Christian Council, Catholic Bishop Conference etc also want a changed register. This is a real problem, the kind that cannot be brushed under the carpet” I must say here that Nana Akufo-Addo was OVER 45 minutes late to the Heritage Foundation appointment even though he was the Special Guest Speaker.

His driver has come out to explain that they were stacked in Washington DC traffic for over 35 minutes. The driver of Nana Addo has been a taxi driver in Washington DC for several years and so I hoped he would have known the traffic situations in Washington. So the questions is, what caused them to leave Nana’s residence at a time, which also led them to get stacked in traffic for over 35 minutes? I hope Nana did not over-sleep, because definitely, it is not the traffic situation in Washington DC that caused Nana Addo to be late.

Now back to the topic on the floor. If Nana Addo says “Ghana worked incredibly hard to preserve a democratic character. One administration shouldn’t be allowed to undermine it” what does he mean? Has the NDC or the President Mahama led administration done anything to undermine Ghana’s democratic character? Is President Mahama led administration a military regime? What kind of nonsense statement is that? Did Nana say that to the international community because people are saying he thinks it is his birth right to be President? Nobody has a problem with Nana being a President, but he has to work for it.

Winning elections is about campaigning and selling your good ideas to the people. It has got nothing to do with Nana’s lamentation about his defeat in 2016. Unfortunately, up until today, that is all what Nana Addo has been doing. That is, talking about why he is going to lose the 2016 elections and then war.

Again, when Nana Akufo-Addo says “the hope is that the global community takes notice and urges change before the elections, rather than looking back at the 2016 elections, shaking their heads and asking “how did this happen?” what did he mean? That is, if there is no change in the 2016 elections, there would be war? This is another careless statement from a flag bearer. You see, that was a nice way to tell the international community that the 2016 elections is an ‘all die be die” affair. By the way, former President Rawlings, the Christian Council and no Imam has ever called for a new voters register.

The NPP has now thrown out their original reasons for a new voters register and have resorted to mentioning names and groups as the reason for a new voters register. But I want the NPP to know that the voters register will never be changed because some individuals are calling for it to be changed. The voters register will be changed only if it is necessary.

So far, no one in Ghana or Africa has been able to proof that it is necessary to change the voters register. All these individuals and groups calling for a new voters register are presenting their imaginations to the court of public opinion. The Electoral Commission does not work based on imaginations and public opinions. It works based on the law.

It was also reported on on October 22, 2015 that the NPP MP for Okere, Mr. Dan Botwe said, “You cannot compare lives and properties that would be destroyed to the money that will be spent for a credible register.” I will pardon him here because he did not use the word “new.” But what is that ‘small fish” also saying? That, if a credible register is not made for the 2016 elections, lives and properties would be destroyed? Let Mr. Botwe know that Ghana already has a credible voters register going into the 2016 elections, and if all that the NPP think, is that either a new voter register or war, they should think again and start campaigning. By the way, no properties or lives would be destroyed after the 2016 elections.

Again, these are all the imaginations of some people who don’t wish Ghana well but want to rule it. Ghana is peaceful today and will continue to be peaceful long after the 2016 elections. People have already started looking forward to a much better 2017 and beyond.

A “neglected fish,” Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey is reported by Class FM on October 22, 2015 as saying that the results of the forth coming December 2016 elections could be “violently challenged” if the current “flawed” electoral roll is used rather than a new register. What did this ‘rejected fish” also mean? Listen to someone talking about “violently challenged” who doesn’t know how to speak even one Ghanaian language.

If he knows how to violently challenge election results, why did he not violently challenge the results when he got only 6% votes during his re-election bid? Or was he happy when he got only 6% votes? By the way, how would the NPP “violently challenge” the 2016 elections results when the winner would be so clear that no one would be able to find any faults with it? Also, why has the NPP knew in their hearts that President John Mahama has won the 2016 elections? Are they now seeing the good works of the President with some chiefs assuring him of their 80% voting support?

My fellow Ghanaians, the NPP has started crying “wolf, wolf” when in actual fact, there is no wolf. Since the NPP started talking about this new voters register about 3 months ago, have you seen or heard them campaigning before? So now 3 months of their campaigning time is wasted. They have picked up another fight within the party by suspending their democratically elected party Chairman. This fight will take them into early 2016. Immediately this is over, something new will come up that will take them into the mid-2016. What kind of party is this? And when they lose elections, they blame everybody and everything but themselves and their flag bearer.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the whole crisis in the NPP gets down to lack of leaders and leadership in the party. This Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong matter started in early 2014, and it has been with them up until now.

If these same people are given the power to rule Ghana, when will they finish their internal matter before they come and discuss Ghana matter? Nana Akufo-Addo cannot manage the NPP, how much more Ghana? He sometimes say “we have the men to fix the country” If he has the men to fix the country, he should use them to first fix his rotten party. The NPP as of today has become a broken, visionless, directionless, purposeless, leaderless, mission less and useless party.

The earlier they forget about a new voter’s register and elections 2016, the better it will be for them. If they start now and look for a better candidate for 2020, it will be helpful for them because Ghana will not burn after the 2016 elections. God has blessed Ghana and has made it great and strong. No weapon formed against it will prosper. The spiritual keepers of Ghana are still awake and praying. We shall succeed. Ami.

Lawrence Appiah-Osei (Protocol)
Friends of John Dramani Mahama (USA Chapter)