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Opinions of Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Samia’s Bloated Register Plaint Is Not Credible

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Oct. 31, 2015
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

I shall return to the sticky subject of bloated voters’ registers in due course. But what I wanted to significantly observe here before launching into the subject at hand, is that Commissioner Charlotte Osei would be living in a fool’s paradise to suppose the need for the leaders of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to present a tortured and “comprehensive” evidence of a compromised voters’ register before setting about the crucial work of either thoroughly cleaning up the same or establishing a totally new register altogether. (Well, this is shocking but not altogether unpredictable. I am, of course, talking about the New Patriotic Party’s Director of Finance and Administration who reportedly received a letter from the Electoral Commissioner, some two weeks ago, asking to be furnished with details of the findings of the Bawumia-led team of forensic experts that uncovered the widely publicized massive voter fraud in the Ketu-South Constituency of the Volta Region, but deliberately either refused or failed to inform the other administrators at party headquarters. We shall be discussing this in the offing).

The preceding parenthesized contretemps notwithstanding, Mrs. Osei may do well to inform herself about what National Democratic Congress (NDC) operatives like Mr. Kofi Adams, the party’s National Organizer, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, General-Secretary, and Mr. Koku Anyidoho, Deputy General-Secretary, have to say about this long-known but apparently tacitly accepted practice. Deliberately playing deaf and dumb, as New Yorkers are wont to say, this time around will not work. It is time to move Fourth Republican democratic culture expeditiously to a wholly new and wholesome level. And if Mrs. Osei cannot be positively instrumental in bringing about such well-needed change, then it may be well-nigh time for her to call it quits. The foregoing observation maugre, I still staunchly maintain my stance that any wholesale scrapping of the current voters’ register and its replacement with a completely new one must inevitably be accompanied by disciplinary measures.

And such disciplinary measures must entail bringing whoever is/are responsible for the deliberate and criminal bloating of our voters’ register to book. It is about the only positive and constructive way to guarantee that such act of criminality will not be repeated anytime soon. I must also quickly note that I do not consider Ms. Samia Yaba Nkrumah to be a serious politician, let alone one who cuts a national-level political profile. Piggybacking on the remarkable standing and quite impressive political record of her late father, President Kwame Nkrumah, at least on some material level, is quite understandable, but at the end of the day, Samia Yaba Nkrumah may need to stand on her own two feet, if she wants to be taken seriously. Her claim, long after the fact, that the Jomoro Constituency voters’ register was deliberately padded to favor her National Democratic Congress challenger, Mr. Francis K. Anaman, can at best only be taken with a pinch of salt.

This is because only 3,541 votes separated the candidate who defeated Ms. Nkrumah, a margin of difference that is readily more than made up for by the nearly 12,000 votes split between the New Patriotic Party’s Mr. Joseph Ewoniah and Ms. Margaret Blay Kenyah of the Nduom-owned and operated Progressive People’s Party (PPP). In other words, Ms. Nkrumah would have a hard time putting forth an argument that does not objectively account for why if she were that popular with the voters of the Jomoro Constituency, she so woefully failed to remarkably cut into the 9,630 votes clinched by Mr. Ewoniah, the New Patriotic Party candidate. And if, as Ms. Nkrumah maintains, between 2008 and 2012, the ruling National Democratic Congress bused in some 10,000 voters, why does the bulk of this number of voters appear to have voted for the NPP candidate, instead of exponentially increasing the total number of votes received by the NDC candidate who defeated Ms. Nkrumah?

Put another way, what Ms. Nkrumah’s argument points to is the improbable possibility of NDC voters’ register scammers busing in ineligible foreigners who, somehow, massively ended up voting for the NPP’s parliamentary candidate. The math simply does not add up. And the explanation offered by Mr. Sekou Nkrumah, Samia’s younger brother, rings far more logical and plausible. In essence, Sekou Nkrumah believes that his sister lost the trust and confidence of her Jomoro constituents because the half-Egyptian daughter of President Nkrumah was simply incompetent. Still, it is quite refreshing to have such an inveterate ideological opponent of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo Traditionalists agree, in toto, with the New Patriotic Party on the critical question of a bloated national voters’ register.