Macho men undermine national stability
Participants at a round-table discussion on the 2007 Nigerian elections have warned of the danger of recruiting macho men by politicians during elections. They expressed the view that macho men who sometimes engage in the snatching of ballot boxes during elections were a great threat to democracy and stability of the country. An election expert with the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Mr. John Larvie, who presented a report on the Nigerian elections, said the phenomenon was widespread in the Nigerian elections. He said during the Nigerian elections, the thugs, who wielded guns snatched ballot boxes at polling stations amid gunshots. He said investigations revealed that those thugs were recruited by people in high positions to kill political opponents and sometimes burn down houses. Mr. Larvie said those negative practice when introduced into the Ghanaian system could have much devastating effect on the body politic of the country.
The General Secretary of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Mr. John Thompson, said the situation in Nigeria was no different from what pertained in Ghana during and after previous elections. He said candidates who sought redress in the courts against electoral fraud were frustrated, and that sometimes the candidate whose position was being contested in the court was allowed to take his/her seat in Parliament for the whole duration of the legislature before the case was decided against him. Mr. Thompson said the composition of ethnic groups in the country was however, different from that of Nigeria and the widespread electoral fraud that characterized the Nigerian elections could derail the peace and stability if it were to happen in Ghana.
An executive member of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Mr. Samuel Bassah Quansah, expressed the opinion that because electoral commissioners were appointed by governments, they turned a blind eye to their obnoxious activities. He therefore suggested that electoral commissioners be elected by an Electoral College or Parliament to help curb election malpractices in the country. Mr. Quansah said even though the general election was around the corner, the preparations towards the polls left much to be desired, and that the story would not be much different from what happened in Nigeria if all preparations were delayed until the last minute. Source: Daily Graphic