IGP must walk his talk
Prior to the introduction of the biometric register, the ballot figures were distorted by agents using all manner of means to gain advantages for the political party or parties that sponsor their nefarious activities. There has been unusually large number of rejected ballots with various explanations.
There is the notion that electoral officers were bribed to deliberately spoil some ballots by applying chemicals identical to the ink used in thumb printing the ballot papers. That may explain the large number of spoilt ballots.
There were allegations of multiple registrations inflating the figures and ensuring that ghost names vote for particular political parties.
When the state decided to go biometric, it put the fear of God into those who usually engaged in or supported multiple registrations. To make up for the numbers they may be losing in December, all manner of tricks are being contrived.
The most obvious, we dare say, is the idea of stopping people from registering in areas where those bank-rolling the registration violence know that they stood little chance of winning. It is a matter of spoiling the opponent’s source of ballot and maximise your own.
On Friday, The Chronicle published a front page story of the arrest of people suspected to be aiding some machomen to disrupt the registration exercise at a centre in Kronum in the Suame Constituency in the Ashanti Region.
According to the report, eight machomen riding motorbikes and wielding offensive weapons invaded the registration centre, vandalised the registration equipment, and assaulted people who attempted to stand in their way.
There have been several reported cases of violence in several other places in which guns have been freely used. We are gradually reaching the scenario when assurances by the police have done very little to stem the tide.
When the announcement went forth that Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly members were to be supplied with motorbikes, The Chronicle smelled a rat.
Our misgivings about motorbike for assembly members crystallised when Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, told a seminar of journalists at Koforidua about two months ago that the party’s research had proven that about 60 percent of those elected to serve on the various assemblies, in that joke of an election in 2010, were men and women who owe allegiance to the NDC.
Knowing how policies owe their genesis in this regime, The Chronicle believes the decision to give assembly members motorcycles has its genesis in the realisation that most of the beneficiaries of the new motorbike policy would put their newly-acquired toys to the use of the party in power.
We are not at all surprised that motor riders are at the forefront of the election violence. We invite the police to look into this scenario, in their attempt to nip the registration violence in the bud, if, indeed, they are interested in ending the mayhem currently undermining the exercise in a number of registration centres.
The police, in our view, have not been very reliable in the fight to end the violence so far. Let the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye, walk his talk of leading the Police Service to ensure that the registration of voters for the December elections does not degenerate further into an armed conflict.
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