The Giving Capsules: Let’s gift ourselves awareness on voter rights and responsibilities as we to the polls

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By Baptista S. H.Gebu (Mrs.)

“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” – Abraham Lincoln 

As Ghana goes to the polls this electioneering year to vote, it is very important we all collectively work towards a free, peaceful, fair, transparent and violent free election. Its common knowledge we all want purposive change to happen. To some, this change is possible when a new candidate is elected. Whiles to another, it is when a candidate is retained. It is not enough to just wish for change. We have to go out and work towards this change. How do we do that? We all need to go out to vote. Its great not to just vote for friends and people you know cannot do the job. Putting square pegs in round holes is not good for our progress and development as a nation.

Ghana is bigger than any political party. Let’s works toward promoting peace, before, during and after election 2020.  Our vote is so precious and dear to mother Ghana. This is because it is the most influential non-violent tool we have and can use in a democratic dispensation. According to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

We need to make our voice and values heard. We can demonstrate this clearing by voting right. Black life matter, Ghanaians life matter, so do our communities. So if our communities matter, we need to demonstrate that clearly by reminding all and sundry that it matters. Let your voice be heard. Come to think of it, who will speak, if you don’t? Who will speak so our voice will be heard? We may all not appreciate politics. But it affects us directly and indirectly as a country because our world depends on it.  Should there be an announcement of curfew in your locality right now, you as an individual cannot be allowed to operate freely without bounds. For us to be very certain about our future, we need to make the right decisions ourselves and commit to the right actions today as life is lived forward but understood backwards. We can gift posterity our understanding and commit to a peaceful, fair and transparent election before, during and after election 2020.

Casting that ballot today for that positive change may not necessarily be for you. Do it for Ghana’s future. What issues are you most passionate about? What challenges are facing the country, community and youth for instance? For now, the introduction of this new normal as a result of the covid-19 pandemic is offering global economies what quick adjustment to make to the future of work. The statistics on job lost is alarming globally, issues of climate change is steering us in the face; and imbedded in that climate change discourse is the introduction to the Sunday law. Do you know more about the Daniel prophecy?. Then tell me what time is it now in history!

If you are a researcher, learn more about history to help you prepare for the future and are concern about policies and strategies; it becomes a good way of assessing which candidate share your concerns and have plans to ensuring the country is secured and protected in this manner for instance. Voting then, for a candidate that understands fully and clearly the implication for adopting and accepting false doctrines and teachings, working at solving issues of youth unemployment among others will be a step in the right direction.

In an election year, we all have rights and responsibilities to ensuring a peaceful, transparent, free and fair election during, before and after the election. Your rights include;

  1. Your ability to support or campaign for or on behalf of any good competent candidate.
  2. Your ability to vote freely and fairly for any candidate you deem fit capable to helping cause positive change.
  3. Your ability to keep your vote private to yourself.

Your responsibilities include these;

  1. Be well informed about issues, situations and happenings. As such, gift your self-awareness and tune in to the most reliable media be it print, audio ( for FM), visual (For Television) and other online portals for accurate, non-partisan information and update. You can follow, participate in debates and town –hall meetings virtually or in person. Covid-19 is still here with us. Let us not throw the safety protocols to the dogs they say. We should all still be mindful of staying safe and observing the laid down protocols.
  2. Get registered before any deadline if you are an adult and qualified to register as voter in Ghana.
  3. Be aware of the election date
  4. Be aware of your electoral area and assigned polling station location
  5. Be aware of the election processes and mandatory documents you need to present on the election day to qualify you to vote
  6. Know more about the contesting candidates and issues or promises they are offering
  7. Support and to partaking in a peaceful, free and fair election
  8. Not getting involved in planned violence
  9. Hold your elected officers accountable to their campaign pledges
  10. Join or support positive advocacy groups to promoting change

So you see, you have rights as well as responsibilities. If you are not well informed about issues and not aware of problems or challenges in your communities and the candidates, how do you vote to elect the right candidate? It is great to also look beyond labeling candidates personalities instead of issues. Look beyond your affiliation, their gender and religion.  Focus on issues and not personalities. Focus on change and positive outcomes.

Let your voice be heard. Influence change positively, do not sell your vote for instance for a ball of Kenkey or money. How long will that money last? Remember, the problems you face as a people or community will not go away if we all sell our voice which is our votes. Selling votes leads to reduced accountability and corruption.

To our hopeful election officers, when we make the electorate feel or believe they do not have a voice; you lose getting them to support to commit to a peaceful election process. Most may not be concerned at all and you risk getting them to volunteer to vote come the election day.  The onus lies on all contestants and political parties this year to make Ghanaians feel like participating to elect Ghana win. Remember, Ghana is bigger than any political party. Let’s gift ourselves awareness of our rights and responsibilities this election year.  May the best candidate win.  Long live Ghana. Long live ProHumane Afrique International.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Dr. Martin Lurther King Jr.

By Baptista S. H.Gebu (Mrs.)

Baptista is the Executive Director of ProHumane Afrique International.  ProHumane is a charitable, development & think thank organization working with communities & individuals to create sustainable solutions to transform communities through diverse pro-poor initiatives. Pro-poor initiatives are initiatives that help to alleviate poverty. Baptista is a realist, affable, simple and humane. You can reach her via e-mail on [email protected]  and follow this conversation on all our social media sites: Linked-In/ Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram: ProHumane Afrique International.  Call or WhatsApp: +233(0)262213313. Hashtag: #behumane #thegivingcapsules #prohumaneafriqueint  #fowc

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