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Opinions of Saturday, 7 November 2015

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Why Clean Up a Heavily Discreditable Voter Register?

Almost all Ghanaians with the vociferously malevolent and unprecedentedly corrupt NDC faithful inclusive have come to acknowledge the fact that the present Ghana voter register is hugely pregnant with irregularities. Among the known irregularities discrediting the voter register are the appearance of the names of minors, the names of foreigners not eligible to exercise any franchise in Ghana and the names of others of questionable Ghanaian nationality using only National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card as their nationality identification to register.

NHIS cards are issued to not only Ghanaians but anyone resident in Ghana, either temporarily or permanently, who may require medical services. Illegal and legal residents in Ghana can have access to NHIS cards hence its use as a form of nationality identification to get one registered onto Ghana's electoral register to exercise their suffrage in Ghana is COMMPLETELY ERRONEOUS IF NOT CRIMINALLY ABSURD.

With the teeming irregularities as specified above, having the potential to raise eyebrows as to the authenticity of the voter register, how can national elections be conducted in a fair and free manner using such a register?

Will it not be cheaper and easier replacing such an intentionally or inadvertently bloated register that risks the election of someone as a Member of Parliament or a President without those people being actually the persons the electorates in their heart of hearts had desired to elect?

How can the voter register be cleansed of all the identified irregularities? How do we identify all those that used NHIS card which is actually not a true identification form of one's Ghanaian nationality status hence shouldn't have enabled them to register onto the voter register but they did? Unless the Electoral Commission had installed in their database all the detail information on a registrant - their name, age, sex, place of birth, parents' names, the form of identity produced for registration, their nationalities etc., the voter register cannot be cleansed of the names of all those that have dubiously collusively arranged to get their names onto the register.

Such detail information on each individual has surely not been stored by the Electoral Commission. Is there any such data held by the Electoral Commission without which any attempt to put the doubtful voter register through extensive, if not shallow, cleansing, will only amount to chasing the wind?

I harbour animus towards those Ghanaians in higher public positions who have made it their habit to play on the intelligence of the less fortunate ones in the society, always taking them for imbeciles. If the register is not that credible, why not change it but seek to fool us saying it had rather better be cleansed than replaced totally?

Additionally, who are those going to supervise the cleansing of the irregularities therein contained? Is it going to be Ghanaians appointed by same irresponsible persons in higher positions who have colluded to maintain the very questionable register through cosmetic rather than deep cleansing? Is it the Chair of the Electoral Commission, Ms Charlotte Osei, who has lost my respect for her owing to her shallow-mindedness who is going to appoint the team that will supervise and or cleanse the register? If she did, will it not amount to more ado about nothing? Shall we not be going in circles and always coming back to where we started?

I will suggest that for any cleansing exercise to be credible, we need either Ghanaian children born, schooled and trained abroad in Information Technology (IT) as computer analysts etc. to oversee such an exercise or foreigners, especially Whites, with IT knowledge. They are more knowledgeable and more often are people of integrity to handle such cases.

There is no way that the Electoral Commission have a database that will show the type of identity document produced, or the persons who vouched for, one, before he or she was registered to exercise their suffrage in Ghana.

I challenge Charlotte Osei and all those arguing for only cleansing the voter register to challenge me on the issues raised. Mind you, I did not come to the "Long John's" country (the United Kingdom) to learn foolishness but to acquire intelligence and wisdom hence those daring to challenge me must be on their guard.

I call for a new voter register, the wish of the silent Ghanaian majority.

Rockson Adofo