On 21st August 2017,university students across the length and breath of Ghana made their way slowly to Tamale for the annual USAG congress. Most of them travelled at night from very far places having only the moon and stars keeping their company.In their busses, they were greeted by the wonderful savanna trees and the rising sun as it’s light crept slowly into their busses to bade them good morning. Hopes were high, expectations were great as students finally arrived at congress grounds at Tamale.
Slowly, the congress traveled to 24th of August with elections finally held on that same day. The elections were marred with some violence as hired macho men came to cause mayhem and destruction by tempering with some ballot boxes.
Interestingly, most of the ballot boxes were protected. A quick meeting was organised by the electoral commissioner with the aspirants and other stakeholders. A resolution was reached in that meeting to count the ballot papers since the scattered ballots upon careful sorting was intact; about 38 papers however were spoilt but it was unanimously agreed that counting should continue since it does not have any effect on the general outcome of the elections.
It is shocking and inconceivable when within some few minutes, the electoral commissioner who received a call was unbelievably missing when counting was supposed to continue. Several attempts to reach him on phone proved futile.
This was the very time students were feigning annoyance and waiting impatiently for the results of their preferred candidates. In any jurisprudence, there was no way the process would be halted due to the absence of the commissioner while the deputy was around. Obviously, the deputy has to assume duty; this he tacitly did. Is there anything wrong, if the president of Ghana is indisposed and the vice president have to act on his behalf? Obviously no!
In that tensed atmosphere, the counting came to a successful end and the winners declared. These we all accepted and wished the victors success as custom demands.
However, a section of students who lost the elections were displeased with the general outcome of the elections. They henceforth proceeded to court to seek justice. This is fair , just and a step in the right direction. That gives every student a sense of hope about how Ghana has come so far, as far as rule of law and democratic governance is concerned.
The judicial board paradoxically brought great imprecation upon themselves as the choose to sell justice as gold in the market. Not long ago, an audio was circulated on senators, pacesetters, NUGS CC page(2016/2017) page. A careful introspection of the said audio is the voice of the Judicial board chairman who was bargaining to collect 4,000 Ghana CEDI’s to turn the ruling in favor of one of the parties.In that same audio, he admitted that the decision is a unanimous decision and an entrenched position of the judicial board to collect the said 4,000 Ghana cedis hook or crook before passing any verdict.
Have we come this far that we should bring such anathema upon ourselves as future leaders of Ghana? What made me almost give up the ghost is that, the entire Ghanaian community cast aspersions and ridicule similar occurrence at the national level when one Anas Aremeyaw Anas exposed Judges who sell their verdict for peanut.
One would have thought that was enough to deter anyone from imitating such happenings. Strangely enough, it is happening right in one of the most respected students front’s; *The University Students Association of Ghana( USAG)*. Very soon, I will get the full details of all those involved in this act for publication. We must kill the snake while it is young else great evil come upon us if it grows to master its venom.
I humbly use this opportunity to caution all those who have any intention to manipulate things in anyone’s favor to desist. As future leaders and paragons of intellectual excellence, we must endeavor to endure truthfulness, equity, fairness, probity and accountability in our societies.If we fail to protect our walls, the weapons of our enemies will fall not only on the king but upon every citizen.
Justice must and should never be sold as a commodity.
Yours in students Activism.
*Fmr. Senate member of USAG*
*ERIC KWAME DUMENU AKATSI*