NEWS COMMENTARY ON NPP PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARIES AND BURNING ISSUES REGARDING CORONAVIRUS AND DECEMBER GENERAL ELECTIONS
As restrictions regarding coronavirus ease for economic and human activities in the country to continue and the December 2020 general elections getting closer, the governing New Patriotic Party, NPP over the weekend held parliamentary primaries in forty-seven constituencies. Besides the shocking losses experienced by some sitting parliamentarians and possibilities of new entrants to the August House, the primaries also brought to the fore some burning issues.
Globally, the Coronavirus has caused more harm to humanity in general than expected. In Ghana, the hardship ordinary Ghanaians are experiencing is unbearable for many. Democracy arguably comes with enormous challenges known in both theories and practice. Numerous videos captured by the mass media and individual posts on social media outlets over the weekend clearly showed that protocols regarding the pandemic were not observed at the various polling centres by the delegates across the country. Meanwhile, corporate entities, religious bodies and educational institutions were made to follow guidelines strictly before operating during this COVID-19 period. It is imperative to find answers to questions like, were there guidelines to govern NPP parliamentary primaries observed over the weekend, as it was requirement for opening churches and mosques? Where were the Veronica buckets, soaps and hand sanitizers? Why was social distancing, a major protocol in curbing the spread the COVID-19 not observed? Health expert say many people with the virus are asymptomatic implying that they do not shows symptom of the virus. To end, the question is, will there be mass testing for the delegates and their families, party supporters who were at the polling centres? Or, it is the case that each and every one is for him or herself?
Again, the president of the republic has constantly expressed his endless worries about how some Ghanaians have constantly breached the protocols relating to the pandemic. Some of these Ghanaians like the pastors are in jail for not observing the laws enacted by the parliament. The parliamentary primaries also recorded pockets of violence’s in Effiduase, Wulensi, Wenchi among others. In view of these and among other factors, will the constituencies’ chairpersons be arranged before court for not ensuring observation of all protocols relating to coronavirus and be sentenced as was done to some pastors for similar offences? Will failure by the appropriate institutions to arraign people concerned to face the law regarding the violence during the parliamentary primaries be called justice or injustice?
Violence has strangely entered into our body politics. Unfortunately, little has been done to curb this worring phenomenon of our partisan politics Notwithstanding the outcome of Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-election violence and the subsequent promulgation of vigilantism Act and measures put in place, how do we avoid these violence’s in the coming controversial registration and December general elections?
Congratulations to those who managed to retain their seats and to the candidates elects. Going forward, there must be expansion in the electoral college to curb the allegation of money being used to woo delegates. With larger party registered members, it will be difficult for the parliamentary aspirants and other party office holders to use money other than their competencies to gain such positions. Key leading chairpersons of the various parliamentary committees losing their seats will arguably affect the work of parliament for some time but it’s important the newly elected candidates are also given the chance to contribute towards the building of the nation. Ghanaian must continue to speak against the ills in our politics to ensure that the system is perfected to enhance national progression. God bless our homeland Ghana.
BY MOHAMMED RABIU ADAM, SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER, TIWNIKLI INTERNATIONAL SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, KANDA – ACCRA