Ghana, with its long experience in a democratic dispensation, should not be seen engaging in violence and chaotic acts over electoral exercises, the Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, the Chairman of the Christian Council says.
“As Chairman of the Christian Council, I’m worried about the violence in some parts of the country where people even die as a result of the voter’s registration exercise. People should not die as a result of this. It should be peaceful.
“We can say that as Ghanaians and as a nation, we’ve come very far in terms of our democratic dispensation and we should be learning from it. These things shouldn’t be repeating themselves every four years. We should have gone past this many years ago. Tensions and violence should be out of the nation’s politics”, he said.”
Most Rev. Boafo, who is also the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana, made the remarks when he visited the Electoral Commission’s (EC) office in the Adentan Municipality, in Accra, on Wednesday to register for his voter’s Identification card.
He appealed to individuals and groups, including political parties, churches, and Islamic groups to stop fomenting violence in the electoral processes to ensure that the nation enjoyed peace.
On the position held by some that Christian leaders should not indulge in partisan politics, the Presiding Bishop said Christians were rather needed in that field.
This, he said, would help to bring sanity and dignity into the political landscape as Christians were expected to employ the word of God in their politicking to promote peace among humanity.
Most Rev. Boafo commended the EC for ensuring orderliness and peace at the registration centre. “This place is orderly kept. If all centres had things in order like this, with veronica buckets, hand sanitizers and social distancing in the arrangement of seats, we wouldn’t have heard the bad news we are hearing in the media about some centres.”
Mr Gerald Roberts, the Electoral Officer of the Adentan Municipality, said the on the 23rd day of the voter’s registration exercise, which was Tuesday, July 21, 2020, the EC had registered 79,960 applicants of the Municipality. They comprised of 36,379 males and 43,581 females.
Out of that number registered, 1,273 had just turned 18 and were expected to exercise their franchise for the first time.
In 2019, the Municipality recorded a voter population of almost 115,000 and considering the pace at which the Municipality was growing, coupled with an increase in population, he said, the EC expected to register about 140,000 people at the end of the exercise.
Speaking about the progress of the registration exercise, Mr Roberts said, although the process had been smooth, there had been challenges such as a high turnout on the first few days of registration, making it difficult to ensure the observation of the social distancing protocol.
However, the situation was brought under control with the introduction of queue cards to direct the registrants, he explained.