In a surprising turn of events, a growing number of National Democratic Congress (NDC) National, Regional, and Constituency Executive Members have taken a bold stance in a developing political dispute during their monitoring tour of the 12 Registration Centers for the ongoing Electoral Commissions Limited Voters’ Registration Exercise in Bono Region. This dispute revolves around the Electoral Commission of Ghana political Commission Member, Dr. Peter Appiahene, who was a New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member, and a TESCON Patron at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) at Sunyani, and also doubled as the NPP Regional Director of I.T for the Bono Region in the most recent General Elections and has since the time of his appointment been resisted by the opposition NDC based on doubting his neutrality as demanded of by laws of the land.
The individuals at the heart of this controversy include the Regional Chairman of the NDC, Ambassador Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo; the Regional Vice Chairman, Hon. Ali Ibrahim Adjei; the Regional Secretary, Cde. Dennis Yeboah Twumasi; Cde. Eric Adjei, Deputy Regional Communication, and other National Officers such as Cde. Kobby Barlon, Deputy National Organizer and Deputy Communications Officer, Cde. Godwin Ako Gunn.
At the core of this issue is the defiance of these NDC Officers in recognizing the legitimacy of the Political Member of the Electoral Commission of Ghana as they clashed with him at the Office of the Electoral Commission which is the center for the ongoing 21-Day Limited Voters’ Registration for Berekum Municipal.
Dr. Appiahene had wanted to seize the opportunity through his Municipal EC Officer to have a brief meeting and take pictures with the NDC National and Regional Monitoring Team who came to the center. They maintain that they see him as an NPP Official who continues to hold the position of NPP I.T Director for the Bono Region and not an Official Member of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, a fact that has caused significant tension and concerns among various Stakeholders.
According to the NDC, particularly the Bono Regional Secretariat, this move is seen as a political attempt by Dr. Appiahene to lobby the NDC in the Bono Region to endorse him and not a step to protect the sanctity of the electoral process, while other Officers in the Region view it as a political maneuver. They rather see his appointment as a step to incite anger and unrest, which could potentially jeopardize National Security and Peace in any public election, and not opportunity for the Region.
The standoff between NDC and the political Commission Member of the Election Commission of Ghana in the Berekum Municipal, Bono Region, underscores the importance of upholding the principles of neutrality, and independence within electoral commissions. It also serves as a reminder of the delicate balance between politics, and the administration of free, and fair elections in any democracy. The outcome of this dispute will undoubtedly have implications for the future of electoral integrity in Ghana, and the broader African context. Not forgetting the fact that, if a major Stakeholder of our Democracy has no confidence and trust in the Electoral Commission, is a serious threat to our National Security.