A Commissioner�s Unnerving Posture

Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan�s posturing in the face of the demands by most Ghanaians regarding the coupling of the biometric voting with its verification accompaniment cannot be a heartwarming one. It portrays him as a man struggling to free himself from an entanglement of a sort. Given the confusion that can envelope an electoral process, the situation as, we observe, looks eerie. With the EC Commissioner living in denial of the seriousness of the subject at hand, all we can do is to stand up and ensure that we do not have a half-baked biometric exercise because a biometric registration without a verification is incomplete and a waste of resources. If those who turned up at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) conference hall, when the think-tank hosted a parley on the issue of biometric registration last week, expected to be the wiser regarding the subject, they were utterly disappointed. They were rather left brooding over the possible ado that awaits the country should the EC Commissioner continue to play pranks with this important subject. Many wondered why Dr. Afari-Gyan downplayed the seriousness of the issue, as its mishandling could lead to an inflammation of political passions unknown in our history. While some pity him for really not understanding the biometric issue, others think that he is up to something sinister and thereby ready to blow to smithereens all the good works that he has done over the years. Perhaps, he is not the man that we thought he was in all those years. The gentleman must understand one thing: He and the commission are subservient to the people of Ghana through the constitution. They should therefore do the bidding of these people, their compatriots, and come off the insulting posture. He is reported to have highlighted what he referred to as vigilance instead of verification, to the ire of many who heard him. Here is a man who is fond of saying that the EC has no capacity and authority to stop those who turn up to vote when their documents for doing so lack integrity. What vigilance is he talking about under such circumstances? We have no time for such nonsense and the earlier the gentleman sits up and does what is expected of him, the better. An election without integrity is a recipe for chaos, something we are not known for. Much as we are not ready for this now, we think government should provide the necessary funding to make the verification possible. Until Dr. Afari-Gyan alters course and considers the verification an important adjunct of the biometric registration, we can predict a sham election in the offing. He took it easy even when representatives of the largest opposition grouping expressed misgivings about his remarks regarding the wholeness of the biometric registration. Dr. Afari-Gyan preferred rather to sing about his readiness to commence registration as the verification segment is kept in the cooler, carrying himself as though he was pandering to the caprices of one of the many political groupings in the country. Be that as it may, Ghana stands to gain if we have a credible election underpinned by a biometric registration and verifiable for that matter. Only this can guarantee an election commanding respect and in conformity with international best practices.