Dear Rexford Opare,
I want to use this opportunity to congratulate you for your appointment as the Electoral commissioner of the Student Representative Council of the University of Ghana. I hope and pray that the good lord grant you strength and grace to deliver your service in good faith to the student populace of the University of Ghana. I strongly hope that you proceed in integrity as you deliver your services to the Student Representative Council of the University of Ghana and also to make sure that truth stands always in your dealings with all stakeholders as we go into this year’s SRC election.
Sorry to put, I did not write this letter just to wish you well in carrying out your duties but to bring to your notice some few observations I have made within the few period you assumed office as the EC of UG SRC. Even though your duties as an Electoral Commissioner are clearly stated in the constitution of the SRC, I want you to bear in mind that your duty in this year’s elections goes beyond opening of nominations forms, holding of vetting for the aspirants and declaring of final results.
This time round, there is a greater responsibility on your part to restore the confidence the people have in the Electoral system. You cannot ignore the fact that the memories of last year’s elections still lingers in the mind of the electorates and some fear that their votes will not be counted and hence will decide not to vote at all and if you believe that the number of people who partake in an election to endorse the candidature of an individual is important, then there is need for you to put in place measures to restore the confidence of the Electorates in our electoral system.
Very unfortunate on your part, your predecessor failure to make sure that issues that came up after last year’s SRC elections were solved and coupled with an undecided court case has increased the perceptions of students about the electoral system which is going to make your work very difficult.
I should say your chances of restoring confidence of students in the electoral system are declining day by day. Firstly, the constitutional instrument you read at GA meeting, caught me asking myself whether the Electoral Commission is indeed in independent as stated in the SRC constitution or the commission is managed by some group of people and you are just been used as a stooge to fulfill a constitutional provision. I don’t need a soothsayer to inform me that you had no inputs in the preparation of the constitutional instrument. Apart from your poor responses to concerns raised about the constitutional instrument, the time frame within which you produced the constitutional instrument shows that it was prepared by somebody else and all you had to do was to sign the document to make it have a legal identity. But even if you can prove to as that you prepared an important document like the Constitutional Instrument five minutes after been sworn in as the Electoral Commissioner, then it should be the cause for most of the inefficiencies in the document and hence the need to take a second look at it.
Our elders say, the wise learn from the mistakes of others to attain perfection. As we go into this election, I think there is the need for us to revisit past elections and learn from the mistakes that were committed in those elections most especially the immediate past election. I am not writing to advocate for the use of a manual system of voting or an electronic system of voting. This is because both systems have their own weakness and advantages. The manual system as you know comes with its problem of going through difficult times counting the votes coupled with the stealing of ballot boxes by Macho men. The electronic system also has its own problems where those with the brains determine who becomes victorious against the wish of the people.
But once you have chosen to use the electronic system of voting, and most importantly that of a software developer whose credibility is questionable, there is the need for you to be extra careful and put in place measures that will prevent any possible rigging. I strongly disagree with you when you decide to use Forson’s software because you feel the candidate who lost and sent the case to court did not establish enough evidence to prove that the software was tampered with and that he (Forson) had organized elections for four good times and hence can be trusted. I feel it is shallow on your part to justify the use of Forson’s software on these bases.
I strongly believe the argument should move away from whether allegations or claims by Team Mikdad after they lost the elections are true or not to how we can ensure that people don’t attempt to do some of the things they alleged were done. I therefore entreat you to hold broad stakeholder consultation in relation to those allegations to find out ways as to how we can stop people from tampering with the system to favor a particular candidate.
Once again I wish you all the best as you carry out your activities as the Electoral Commissioner of University of Ghana Student Representative Council and urge you to make sure your actions reflect the true “independence” statute your office enjoy under the constitution. And finally, I hope you do not end your tenure as Electoral Commissioner of UG SRC after the elections but keep on working and making recommendations and reformations for the betterment of University of Ghana Electoral System until you officially hand over.