By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
The decision by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) to organize and host a forum geared towards finding lasting and constructive solutions to the electoral snags occasioned by the use of biometric voting machines, is a salutary intellectual exercise that could not have come at a more opportune moment (See “Alex Segbefia Cautions IEA Over ‘Contemptuous’ Forum To Review Electoral System” Modernghana.com 6/28/13).
It is not as if the key operatives of the IEA have been going around insisting on only one form of an acceptable verdict, as President John Dramani Mahama has been widely reported to be doing. And so it is not clear precisely what he means, when Mr. Alexander Segbefia cautions the think-tankers of the IEA about their risk of judicial contempt if they decide to go ahead with their forum, even while the unnecessarily snail-paced Atuguba-presided Supreme Court hearing of the Akufo-Addo/New Patriotic Party (NPP) Election 2012 presidential petition direly threatens to virtually halt any progressive discourse on how to run a legitimate constitutionally democratic political culture in the country.
You see, cynics like the former deputy chief of staff of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills are deathly afraid that most Ghanaians are enlightened enough to fully appreciate the fact that the Supreme Court exists fundamentally to interpret laws that are already on the books, or in operation, as it were, rather than legislate for Ghanaian citizens how to determine the details of the kind of constitutional democracy they deem to be the most progressive and efficient.
Maybe what political miscreants like Mr. Segbefia ought to be doing is advising Justice William Atuguba to stop playing Minister of the Interior or the Inspector General of Police by indiscriminately and erratically rounding up any citizens who appear to be aptly impatient with his indisputably amateurish handling of the Election 2012 petition hearings.
Significantly, Mr. Segbefia appears to be in wholehearted agreement with the IEA forum on the country’s new-found biometric electoral protocol. His only qualm is that such forum or workshop be delayed until the Atuguba Court has handed down its decision on the Election 2012 petition.
Well, maybe those politically comfortable Ghanaians with Mr. Segbefia’s mindset ought to be reminded of the fact that the well-being and destiny of the country are far more important than the unduly drawn out deliberations of the Atuguba Court. Come on, let the forum go on!!!
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York