Bumpy Road To 2016

The road to 2016 is still bumpy, full of turns and twists.

Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan appears to have forgotten how the country got very close to falling off the cliff but for the courage of one man who called it a day and ordered the swords to remain in their sheaths.

We have all the opportunities to straighten the road to rid it of the combustible materials as we head for the 2016 polls.

The pitfalls of the last elections should teach us critical lessons so these are not repeated: ignoring these with an Afari-Gyan-level arrogance and stubbornness can be a recipe for the instability we are ill-primed to contain at this time of our national poverty.

The issue of limited registration continues to dominate political talk, especially among those outside the ruling party. It is instructive to note how the ruling party has maintained folded arms as the parlous drawbacks of the tendentious registration exercise and how these can impact negatively on the country’s stability are discussed in a national conversation.

Equally important and even mindboggling is the silence on the part of the many so-called peace-seeking bodies.

They were very active in the run-up to the Supreme Court verdict on the election petition hearing: they organized various state-funded forums but now that they are needed most, they have become loudly silent.

The best opportunity for obviating the fire that could follow the billowing smoke is now with the sincere intervention by such bodies, especially the Ghana Peace Council and religious bodies, whose voices were loud too when a political issue was in the air. Unfortunately all of them are in an induced state of somnolence totally oblivious to the hue and cry about the looming danger.

It would be hypocritical on the part of these bodies to suddenly jump from the comfort of the fence on which they are perching to call for calm when Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan’s action takes us to the precipice once more.

As we mentioned in a previous commentary on the subject, the next time we might not be lucky enough.

If to date the Electoral Commission (EC) has still not deemed it necessary to engage the political parties and continues to display hubris and abuse the independence status it enjoys, then Ghanaians and development partners must justifiably be jittery.

All too soon, the EC Chairman has forgotten what he went through in the witness box at the Supreme Court.

This show of insulting indifference to the people of Ghana is unbecoming of an academic like Dr. Afari-Gyan, who should know better the repercussions of such insolence.

We are particularly disturbed about the nagging features of the electoral system. The EC Chairman has not showed any interest in addressing these even before thinking about re-opening the infected electoral register.

The ambiguous meaning of “shall” and the confusion underpinning the National Health Insurance card as evidence of citizenship are among challenges, which should be ironed out before this unnecessary hasty registration exercise commences.

As he watches his favourite cartoon series with cigarette between his fingers, let Uncle Kwadwo think about the fallouts from another marred electoral process and be wise.