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Opinions of Sunday, 6 January 2013

Columnist: Sofo, Abdul Mumin

Lost of Common Sense

In light of the recent political debate that has engulfed the outcome of the December 7 elections which sought to have declared president Mahama as president of the republic of Ghana by the electoral commission and the subsequent contest in the supreme court that seeks to nullify the declaration of president Mahama as president should be seen as Lost Of Common Sense in our Ghanaian society.

One would have being very sorry as to put out such a deduction that sounds so harsh. But to a deeper understanding, this article does not seek to insult any person or group of persons but to only boost the morale of many Ghanaian s who have been saddened by the actions of the NPP. I would like to strip my concern bare and open my self up for understanding, why I personally think the claims of the NPP in the supreme court should be seen as a “LOST OF COMMON SENSE.”

First of all, it is important for us to make traces and reflect our minds back to the way and manner in which the elections was organised. All of us cannot contest but to agree that, the electoral commission lead by Dr. Kwadjo Afari Gyan is the major player, where as the political parties are the major stake holders. There is therefore a direct linkage between the electoral commission and the political parties. It is a principle that the electoral commission cannot undertake any activity or program in the course of conducting elections without the consent of the political parties who are the major stake holders. I would restrict my self at this point to a publication by the Electoral Commission dubbed “A Guide To Candidates and Their Agents” which was served to all political parties and actors. It is important to note that this publication was sponsored by Ukaid. Department of International Development. Part 2, Page 10 of this guide specifies the Importance of Polling Agents and The Qualities Of A Good Agent. The Electoral Commission says, “The electoral commission attaches great importance to the work of polling agents, because they act as Watch Dogs of the election process if they do their work well, they can enhance the credibility of an election process by helping to detect:

1) Persons who pretend to be someone else in order to vote in the that persons name(impersonation).

2) Persons who attempt to vote more than once(multiple voting)

3) Persons who try to tamper with the contents of a ballot box.

4) Polling staff who do not follow the laid down procedures, or misconduct themselves.

5) Polling agents enhance the acceptability of the overall election results by certifying the results of their various polling stations.”

In the same vain, the electoral commission also painted in the same guide that “To be able to operate effectively on polling day, the polling agent must not only have the confidence and trust of the candidate who appointed him/her. Additionally, he/she must preferably:

1) Have a minimum level of education to be able to discern issues and sign documents at the station.

2) Be familiar with basic election rules and regulations relating to activities at the polling station.

3) Be knowledgeable about the duties of the election officials he/she will be working with.

4) Be willing to collaborate with election officials to deliver a transparent election and finally

5) Be resident of polling station area and be reasonably familiar with the people."

Now let us cast our minds into why in my candid view, one should be reading common sense into the claims by the NPP. Deducing from the above guide lines to candidates and their agents, is the NPP saying they did not position polling agents across the 26000 polling stations? Again is the NPP saying their agents were sleeping at polling stations and failed to act as WATCH DOG?

Let us also ask, is the NPP saying their agents were not trust worthy or is it that all their agents across the 26000 polling stations were illiterates and did not have any knowledge or training concerning the election process? Could the NPP have the moral confidence to tell Ghanians that their agents were not residents at polling stations where they were appointed as agents? Common sense would not spare us, if we believe, the agents of the NPP did not contributed to transparent and credible elections by signing results and accepting results of all 26000 polling stations. We cannot believe the NPP, if the say their agents were not vigilant during the elections.

I am sure by now my simple logic is well understood and I shall not be misunderstood if I say there is a complete LOST OF COMMON SENSE in the case filed by the NPP in the supreme court. My moral upbringing would not allow me to pour invectives or venom on any person or group of persons. So I do not want to sound harsh but it is important for the NPP to realise that their party is loosing the admiration of Ghanaian s and people are loosing confidence in their leadership. I would be grateful if they take a quick move to withdraw this case at the supreme court in order to regain the confidence of Ghanaian s. And to also regain the already lost common sense.


ABDUL MUMIN SOFO. (0200518182)