Former President John Mahama has said with or without a new register of voters, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will defeat the “failed” Akufo-Addo government because the people of Ghana will not allow the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its co-conspirator, the Electoral Commission (EC), to steal the right to vote from ordinary Ghanaians through a “politically-engineered” new voter roll meant to exclude a large swathe of citizens from the upcoming December elections.
At a press conference on Thursday night after the Supreme Court decided that the EC should go ahead with its planned voter registration exercise without the use of the existing voter card as a breeder document, Mr Mahama said: “I pray that the almighty God shall protect all our citizens who come out to exercise their constitutional right to register from any sickness or infection by any disease”.
The process, he acknowledged, “may be made deliberately slow and painful, but I encourage you all to endure it insofar as it would enable you vote out this government that has masterminded that frustration in the first place”.
The flag bearer of the biggest opposition party said: “We must always be willing to hold leaders accountable for bad decisions that impose difficulties on citizens and this is one clear opportunity to do so. Do not let the several hours you may spend at the registration centre get you to surrender your right to vote”.
“That would only embolden those who seek to disenfranchise you. To the few who have passports and Ghana cards, make use of them and register. To those who get the opportunity to register, I implore you to assist your brother, sister and compatriot by guaranteeing for them even if it takes a bit more of your time”, he urged.
“See this as a civic duty and your contribution to the effort to preserve the right to vote”, he charged Ghanaians.
This way, he noted, “we will undo the grand conspiracy to deprive us of the inalienable right to vote and we will in the process send a clear signal that it is only we, the people, who will decide who gets the opportunity to lead this country and not the governments we elect or state agencies who make themselves pliant accomplices in the attempt to disenfranchise us”.
“This is not just an NDC fight, it is a fight to rescue the very soul of our beloved country from the hands of those who seek to impose their will unjustly on the people”, the former President added.
He said: “Our forefathers founded this nation with the motto ‘Freedom and Justice’, but observed: “It is clear today that never in the history of our 4th Republic have these two lofty ideals been in such short supply”.
“I salute the all the diverse organisations, civil society organisations, prominent chiefs, organised labour, professional groups and all well-meaning Ghanaians who have rallied around this cause to demand that the right thing be done in the larger national interest”, he appreciated, and called on “all Ghanaians who yearn to see a change in the governance of this country to rise up and be counted for where there is a will, there is a way”.
“No politically-engineered register can save this failed government from the inevitable defeat that awaits them in the next 165 days”, Mr Mahama added, insisting: “With or without a new voter register, the NDC shall win this election by the grace of God”.
“I leave you with this famous quote by Emperor Haile Selassie: ‘Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph’”.