A forty-two minutes conversation on GN Radio this morning was the Executive Director for Kandifo Institute, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah on topics related to the voter registration and importance of leadership in this year’s election. Beginning his interview, the host inquired his view on the Presidential address to the Nation on 16th August 2020, where the Electoral Commission was applauded by the President for a clean job done during the voter registration. Mr. Boakye- Danquah commended the Electoral Commission for their mob up exercise and giving Ghanaians a credible voter register. He argued that a country with about thirty-one million people cannot have a population of roughly twenty million people above eighteen years. Statistically, if the old voter register was going to be in use, it means Ghana has two-thirds of its population above eighteen and cannot be. The old voter register, which had about 16.6 million people would have risen to about 20 million people if additional names were introduced. However, the new register has about 16.9 million names and this shows that the Electoral Commission has done a credible job.
The GN Radio host then asked; what can be done to ensure that the work done by the EC does not go vain. The Executive Director of the Institute replied saying, “…citizens must be involved, engaged, interested, take development into their own hands and ensure that in exercising their civil rights, they should not introduce other persons that do not live in the country, do not understand the country, do not have the DNA of the country or do not contribute to the country. They should be more patriotic and lift up the patriotic agenda…” The host wanting to know more on how development can be taken into hands by citizens, Mr. Boakye- Danquah added that effective governance is the marriage between the ruling and the ruled. It is a journey which needs a moral involvement, a constant stakeholder involvement or engagement. Effective governance is a collective agenda and both citizens and the leader must know that none of them can thrive independently. Given the opportunity to speak on the Ghana Elections Watch project, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah said the data-driven website gives facts and figures from the 1992 Elections to date and analysis on voting trends, where to focus on, floating areas and others. The database includes manifestos from the various political parties as well.
Mr. Boakye- Danquah says he is unfolding conversations on governments to be allowed to go beyond serving for two-terms but rather three-terms. This means that a political party under the same flagbearer can run three times and get elected into office; twelve years in total for an elected individual to steer the affairs of the country. He believes a credible, globally respected, goal-driven leader and one who brings conversations of the deprived-on board should be allowed the lead the country. Adducing a family setting where there are less resources per available heads, the elderly son, who is tried and tested and has proven faithful would undoubtedly be given the available resources because there is a brighter future for all as compared to an aberrant son. He added that people with audacious visions should come up front because we need actors and not comedians as a country. Desire and passion driven individuals, who are burdened with the state of the country, people with great foresight and are determined to see the country move on are the ones who should participate in the elections. All others who think they stand a chance and are not well prepared should fall back and head institutions and businesses with about 200 persons not a country with over thirty million people.
Ending his conversations on GN Radio, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah added that the potential opening of boarders by the President is a good call and that citizens should comply to the safety protocols COVID-19 has left the world with. Though there would be no wearing of face masks, citizens should wash hands regularly and disinfect their surroundings frequently. He concluded by pleading with all political institutions to educate electorates on how to vote because there is a noticeable rise of rejected ballots every electioneering year.