By JayJay D. Segbefia

Accra-GHANA

Here’s what I don’t understand about our NDC cousins (uhm – let’s make it 3rd cousins, twice removed. Cutting the relationship too close could be problematic, you see?)

The call for some kind of audit of our over-bloated electoral register has been going on for a long time. I would not here engage in repeating the calls of political leaders in Ghana since they – and they alone – are the cause of the present predicament. I mean, how many times have we all not screamed ourselves hoarse about the need to have a national database and a better census than that palm-wine census we had some time ago? Wasn’t that the reason we set up that miserable excuse of a National Identification Authority to begin with? I think successive governments have deliberately stonewalled any attempt to get a comprehensive database of Ghanaians.

Why would they, you ask?

Simple. How else can electoral results be massaged? If we don’t know the exact number of Ghanaians there are, then how can we complain about the number of total votes churned out in an election? Not even the Electoral Commission knows at one time or the other what figures would surface, even in the relatively more controlled space of the electoral register. I mean, how else can the EC account for why total registered voters for the 2012 parliamentary election stood at 13,628,817 against that of the presidential election at 14,158,890? A difference of 530,073 in the same one election? What did you say? African electronics of the Bole Bamboi type had a hand in it? Tweeaaa!

And, whilst we’re at it, I might as well add that a certain Vice-Presidential Candidate John Mahama’s interview in 2008 to the effect that a national population of 22 million having almost 13 million people on its voters register is weird, bears repeating. In any case, we all know that our voters register has a few screws loose in its head and has been in need of a jolly good tightening since its birth. Even so, we have made many attempts to correct the anomaly. Heck, we almost declared war on each other over registration before the 2012 elections when people who smelt more Togolese-and-Ivoirian than Ghanaian were bussed with NHIS cards to register as Ghanaian voters in diverse places.

I am inclined to believe that this is what Dr. Afari Gyan (eish, Doc, you dey?) complained about when he lamented, “If our population is indeed 22 million, then perhaps 13 million people on our register would be statistically unacceptable by world standards. If that is the case, then it may mean that there is something wrong with our register.”

Of course there’s something wrong with our register. It isn’t rocket science, really. The issue was therefore going to hinge on who had the intellectual resources to commit to coming up with, and developing the ideas (the hypotheses) about why our voters register is the way it is. The best hypotheses would then lead to a prediction that could be tested in various ways, including using advanced technology and the services of auditing firms of repute to measure how the tests would match the predictions in order to refine, alter, expand or even reject the hypotheses. If the hypotheses become very well supported a general theory may be developed that our electoral register is sicker than our cedi (hard to believe as that would be) and the better solutions proffered.

It comes as no surprise therefore that it was the NPP that had what it took to undertake that vigorous task of scientific inquiry. It’s sad but true. What other party could have done it? The NDC? Surely, you jest! If you have doubt, look at how its government has failed to negotiate the simple CoS of striking doctors. The relationship between vituperatively sharp tongues and incisively sharp, probing minds is as off the mark as the chances of the country launching a fly-by of the moon. But what do I know?

And, again, here’s where I come up with a blank. If there’s a certain lack of uhm… you know… intellectual acuity in appreciating the very telling facts and figures presented by the NPP, why must the NDC go down the muddy path of branding the NPP’s efforts with the hot, searing iron of anti-Voltarian sentimentalism? That’s the part I don’t understand, you see? And this isn’t the only example. The NDC has consistently screamed itself hoarse over the years accusing the NPP of being anti-Nyebroski or ethnocentric, especially against Ewes. That people believe that kind of hogwash is evidence of the notion that it serves the NDC well to so do – at least in their strongholds.

I dug up some small research on ethnocentrism – a natural tendency of a group of people to believe in the intrinsic superiority of their nation, culture, or any other group to which they belong while simultaneously exhibiting feelings of dislike toward those who reside outside such “in-groups.” In fact, this definition contends that individuals derive comfort, security, and positive self-esteem from their in-group and, therefore, seek to protect or enhance it while alienating out-groups. This is what the NDC wants us to believe about the NPP. Of course, to say that the NPP hates Bono Ahafo people would be the crux of absurdity given the closeness of the Bono Ahafo region to the ethnic demographics and dimensions of the NPP’s strongholds, so the NDC directed ethnocentric focus on those to whom they believe such propaganda might find ready, unquestioning acceptance.

That is the reason the NDC all but ignores the superior arguments made in the NPP’s presentations. It’s an exercise the indulgence of which is a waste of their time when they can more readily rise to fame and likely electoral success by whipping ethnocentric sentimentalism. It’s a tried-and-tested walk of fame – that assumption that Nyebroskis won’t see through the hogwash but will accept the NDC’s opinion on the matter without subjecting it to any iota of brain work.

Putting it all together, it isn’t the NPP that demeans and insults the people of the Volta region –  a region I hail from, with it’s beautiful mountains and friendly people – no! It’s the NDC that demeans the region. And I’m off to find me a glass of aluguntugui juice, waiting for the day, hopefully in this lifetime, that such vile propaganda would backfire.

But what do I know? I’m a mere jungle boy with a Kalashnikov.

 

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