NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah

In the matter of the ongoing voter registration exercise, it cannot be gainsaid that the NDC has yet again amply demonstrated their age-long inconsistency and lack of principles in many ways. The latest in such series is the party’s decision to go to court to challenge the Electoral Commission’s decision to register SHS students who have turned 18 and beyond in the ongoing voter registration.

Yes! You heard it right. The NDC is telling us that it has become an offense for the EC to provide an opportunity for our brothers and sisters in the Senior High Schools to register in order to entitle them to exercise their constitutional right to vote come December 7. I am sure you must be shocked by this turn of events regarding the NDC’s stance. But it is what it is.

Only a few weeks ago, this same NDC was in the Supreme Court arguing strongly that the EC was seeking to deny eligible Ghanaians their constitutional right to vote in the December 2020 elections following the removal of the old voters ID card from the voter registration requirements. They claimed the EC, by this decision, was going to disenfranchise many eligible Ghanaians from registering and therefore sought the court’s intervention.

Yet, the same NDC which claimed it was defending people’s constitutional right to register and vote, is today, back in court arguing that the court should intervene and stop the EC from registering eligible Ghanaian voters in our Senior High Schools. How incredulous! So I ask, is the NDC in support of the right of eligible Ghanaians to register and vote, or they are against it? There is no middle ground.

Or maybe, just maybe, the NDC is telling us that per their “micro and macro understanding of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana [apologies to John Dumelo]”, the right to vote as enshrined in Article 42 of the Constitution, does not extend to students in Senior High Schools regardless of their age. Interestingly, the NDC finds nothing wrong with the EC going to prisons to register prisoners. The gods must certainly be crazy indeed. Well, I just hope free SHS has nothing to do with this manifest absurdity of our NDC friends.

And please, do not be deceived by the NDC’s argument that the registration centres at the Senior High Schools have not been gazetted hence their opposition. First of all, the EC was not creating any new centres from the centres that were gazetted. The current legal regime allows the EC to use mobile registration vans and accompanying devises to register eligible voters and assign them to the closest polling station. The Commission has in fact been using this mobile registration vans across the country since the exercise began on 30th June.

So, what the EC proposed to do on Friday (10th July) and Saturday (11th July), was to move these mobile registration vans and the accompanying devices to the Senior High Schools to register the final year students who have turned 18 and beyond. This is because per the current executive instrument on Covid-19 restrictions, the students cannot leave campus and go to town queuing to register. Meanwhile, these eligible students have a constitutional right to register and vote, which right cannot be derogated under any circumstances.

Mind you, out of the about 700 Senior High Schools in the country, over 280 of them are already registration centres which were duly gazetted, hence will not be captured under this special arrangement. And this is what the NDC is kicking against? So, what at all is the alternative? The eligible students should be disenfranchised? Is this what the NDC wants? My dear SHS students, at least you now know those who care about you and those who do not, and I’m sure, you will be guided by that accordingly.

The decision is yours. Vote wisely on December 7 and be ruled, or be ruined forever.