Thursday, 17 September 2015

Will Creative Thinking Help Create A Foolproof Electoral Process To Underpin Ghanaian Democracy?

It is such a pity that what was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration in Accra yesterday - by those calling for a new electoral register - ended up with the police dispersing the protesters by using water canon trucks to spray them with bursts of  powerful jets of water, and firing tear gas canisters into the midst of a highly-agitated crowd.

Yet, President Kufuor's regime set up the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), in 2001, in the hope that (amongst other outcomes envisaged for society's benefit) such brutalities by the security agencies would never occur again in Ghana.

Clearly, the lessons learnt from the sittings of the NRC, about the abuse of the human rights of Ghanaians by the security agencies, were never actually incorporated into the training-course manuals for their personnel.

There are some who might say that in the end it more or less amounted to a waste of public funds - because personnel of the security agencies still regularly abuse the rights of Ghanaians. Pity.

Furthermore, we must also make the point that those politicians who want to destabilise Ghana, by organising public demonstrations and engineering strikes by employees of public-sector entities, through key allies, need to understand clearly that in our democracy, governments are changed through the ballot box - not through violent demonstrations on the streets of cities and towns across Ghana.

It is called the rule of law. Patriotic Ghanaians will always resist mob-rule in Ghana - for the information of those selfish and callous members of our political class guilty of such treasonable conduct. They are nation-wreckers and enemies of progress.

The question is: Why did the organisers of yesterday's demonstration flout a court order obtained by the police? And why did they not ensure that the demonstrators  stuck to the route agreed with the police? Disgraceful, and totally unacceptable conduct, in a democracy.

The leadership of the Let My Vote Count Alliance  (LMVCA) campaign group, who organised the demonstration, ought to be condemned for showing such poor leadership - in their inability to control and discipline those participating in the demonstration.

The question is: If they were well-intentioned, why did they refuse to  delegate a few of their number, to deliver their written document to the Chairperson of the EC, at a venue away from the EC's headquarters building?

For the sake of our country and the vast majority of ordinary people who are apolitical and want peace to prevail in Ghana the security agencies need to monitor the LMVCA's leaders closely - for national security reasons.

One also has to agree with those who insist that the time has come for the security agencies to closely monitor the NPP's verbally-aggressive and super-arrogant Bernard Antwi Boasiako. Perhaps they have a point in saying that his inordinate  ambition, greed for money, and his lust for power, pose a real threat to Ghana's stability.

To quote an old wag I know: "He is a very dangerous man - and has all the makings of a warlord driven by unfathomable greed-for-gold: who dabbles in politics as a cloak to hide his personal wealth-creation agenda."

To ensure peaceful elections, it is vital that Ghana's secret services closely monitor the activities of all verbally-aggressive and violence-prone politicians - from across the spectrum - between now and the day the November 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections take place.

There are a few indisputable facts that we must also acknowledge: It is an open secret that tens of thousands of people from Togo and elsewhere are on Ghana's electoral register - thanks to the cunning ways of some of the members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

And it is also a fact that tens of thousands of minors were registered as voters in the Ashanti Region, and elsewhere. And many more individuals in Zongo communities in the Ashanti Region (and across the country) were also prevented from registering their names and from voting - as a result of the intimidatory and aggressive tactics employed by the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) selfsame Bernard Antwi Boasiakos and their fellow-travelers.

The EC ought to find an antidote to such electoral shenanigans. The leadership of the  NDC and NPP also need to reign in the violence-prone and amoral types in their midst.

Their foolish antics  are turning off ordinary people - who are fed up with their violent ways - in droves, because ordinary Ghanaians understand that such violence  could eventually destroy the peace and stability our nation enjoys: and has a well-deserved global reputation for.

It is also obvious to many discerning and independent-minded Ghanaians that if nothing is done about the demand for a new electoral register, it will lead to more violent demonstrations across the country - as those whose strategy is to spark a Ghanaian equivalent of the Arab Spring that swept presidents Ben Ali of Tunisia, Mubarak of Egypt and Maummar Gaddafi of Libya, from power, become more and more emboldened in their quest for power.

To avoid our homeland Ghana being tipped over the precipice, by the violent types amongst our political class, why do we not use creative thinking  to ensure that we can  fund a new and credible register of  voters (at not cost to taxpayers) that will be compiled by using the world's most effective facial recognition software - to provide the Electoral Commission (EC) with the capability to expose those who attempt to vote twice in elections in Ghana, nationwide?

The question is: Should the EC, the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and the National Identification Authority (NIA), not work together to put forward a public private partnership (PPP) proposal to Facebook and a suitable Ghanaian software company as its partner, to collaborate with Ghana, to develop a biometric national identity card using Facebook's DeepFace software - which will be funded by Facebook: which could share the information in the resultant database?

Ghana would be doing Facebook a huge favour - as it will profit handsomely from  developing the corporate competency to provide nations around the world with a virtually foolproof biometric electoral process.

And in return, would Ghana also not get  up-to-date data for the NIA and EC that is accessible throughout the public-sector e-governance ecosystem, I ask?

Incidentally, would a similar deal with Google also not end up  digitising all of Ghana's archived  public-records documents at no cost to taxpayers?

Instead of blockheaded politicians expending their energies disrupting life in our cities and towns organising pointless protest marches, let them rather be creative - and use their brains to help our nation create a foolproof electoral process to underpin Ghanaian democracy.

Finally, in the supreme national interest, the EC ought to accede to the demand for a new electoral register - and help foil the hidden agenda of those unpatriotic and selfish politicians who somehow think that they have a divine right to rule our homeland Ghana till the very end of time. A pure nonsense on bamboo stilts notion.

And neither does Ghana need politicians with a sense of entitlement, who are prepared to constantly disrupt the lives of ordinary people, by engineering strike action in the public sector,  and organising street demonstrations by sundry organisations, in their tunnel-vision quest for power, 

Life in Ghana is already hard enough for ordinary people as it is, without selfish and callous politicians piling on yet more misery, by creating needless turmoil, which denies the average citizen the peaceful political atmosphere needed  for economic activities to take place - and enable them earn an honest living.

Violent demonstrations serve no useful purpose in nation-building. What Ghana actually needs at this juncture of its history, is creative thinking that will provide our nation with a foolproof electoral process, to underpin our democratic system. Period.

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