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Opinions of Saturday, 22 August 2015

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Why is NDC Issuing Party Membership Cards Through Biometric Registration Process?

NDC seem to believe in the use of technology to the fullest. The modern technologies are generally there to enhance the quality of life of human beings in diverse ways, and especially, the lives of those who have access to their use. As the inventors of most of these modern day technologies had good intentions for their use, most of their end users however manipulate them; put them to a totally opposite or different uses never envisaged by the inventors.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) are issuing their party membership cards to interested Ghanaians who choose to align themselves with their party's manifesto, and their aspirations to continue to be in government. They have resorted to registering their members biometrically to subsequently issue them biometric membership cards.

What is the need for NDC issuing party membership cards through biometric registration processes? What are the information and or, identification of nationality document(s) required from a person before they can be registered and issued NDC party membership card? How are the information and identification document(s) presented by an interested individual cross-checked for authentication? Can anyone in Ghana, citizens, legal and illegal immigrants inclusive, be accepted to register as members of NDC? Presuming illegal immigrants are excluded, how can NDC tell such persons are illegals hence must not be registered as members of the party?

What is the criterion, or are the criteria, for one to be accepted for registering as a member of a party, in which case, NDC? Are all, or would-be, registered NDC members, issued with the party's biometric membership card expected to vote in Election 2016 and all other future general elections? If the answer is affirmative (yes), then how will they vote? If it is negative (no), then why can't they vote?

One thing I know from empirical observation is it is not all registered party members that are eligible to vote in national elections. In the Western civilized world, legal immigrants/migrants are allowed to register for party membership cards but are not permitted or eligible to vote in general or national elections meant for choosing their parliamentarians and Prime Ministers/Presidents. Legal immigrants/migrants can be allowed to vote in some nations' local government elections to elect the mayors and district or local councillors – known as assemblymen in Ghana.

Registered core members of a party could be anyone who shares the dreams and aspirations of the party. They can be citizens and legal or illegal immigrants who are ready to work assiduously, contributing money and their services towards the realisation of the party's political aspirations. Registering to become a party member, an activist of course, does not require one to be subjected to close scrutiny. However, registering to vote in national elections; to have your name on the voters register, is a different scenario. Only eligible citizens of the country (people aged 18 years and above and are of sound mind) are allowed to be registered. Citizenship of a country is acquired through birth, origin (from the country through centuries of ancestry) and naturalization.

Now back to the motive of this write-up: Why have NDC decided to go biometric for the registration of their party members? Where and how will they store the information gathered on their party members? Which type of people will they register as party members – age, sex and nationality?

For the attention of NDC, their activists and sympathisers, you are trying hard to be cleverer than other people of different political persuasions. You are clever in the art of winning elections through irregularities but naive in the art of governance. Let you understand, and be aware today that it is not of any good intentions that you are registering your party members biometrically. It has been a long held perception by many a discerning Ghanaian that the details of your party membership as may form a data base, will be passed on to the Electoral Commission that are suspected to be in bed with you. These names will eventually surface in the voters register, without those persons having been properly scrutinized as eligible persons to vote in Ghana's national/general elections. This will amount to NDC winning election 2016 well in advance through crafty rigging.

As long as the Electoral Commission is not 100% independent, but seemingly favourably tilting towards the NDC according to many a watchful Ghanaian, it is completely uncalled-for for the biometric registration of NDC party members.

What type of biometric verification machines are they using to register their members? Are they the same as those used nationally to register electoral voters? Which body part are they using for their biometric registration - eyes, left/right index finger, thump etc.? Is the part being used same as that prescribed for voter's registration? If the answer to both questions is yes, then I can smell a rat.

Should we allow the NDC to steal the election using their dodgy machinations? NO!!!!!!!!!
Then wait for me while I prepare to put out publications that will educate Ghanaians and then tell how best we can stop the crafty NDC members in their evil tracks.

Lest I forget, are NDC accepting National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card for one's identification to be registered as a national of Ghana eligible to vote or to become their party member? I am just asking!

Rockson Adofo