Absolution for colonialism?
The country has its sights firmly placed on the spectacle occurring over the hack/leak of documents that may or may not have influenced the election. It’s irrelevant. The people of the United States cannot grant the Central Intelligence Agency (or any intelligence agency) the power to cast doubt on the results of elections via unconfirmed, unsourced, and politically biased findings. At the end of the day, the precedent set by allowing a secret agency to veto election results is the death of democracy.
So what did you miss while this was occupying the national narrative? Lots. Troops are deploying to Afghanistan, the Boko Haram is back in the headlines, a new pipeline fight, and much more.
Following a successful and peaceful election on December 7, Twitter was awash on Sunday, December 11 with messages from Ghanaians saying that they had attended to church to give thanks to God for the smooth outcome or to celebrate with the winning party.
However, a tweet from Ghanaian sports journalist Gary Al-Smith (@garyalsmith) struck a much different note. Gary had published a screenshot of part of an article written by American broadcaster CNN about Ghana’s election in which the country was characterized as suffering food shortages. In his tweet to his over 166,000 followers, using the hashtag #CNNGetItRight he said:
A fake US embassy operated in Ghana for ten years before being shut down last month, the US State Department reports.
Despite being a total sham, the “embassy” in Ghana’s capital, Accra, did provide real, albeit fraudulently obtained, US visas and other documents, as well as counterfeit bank records, education records, birth certificates and more for $6,000, the State Department reported November 2.
“For about a decade it operated unhindered; the criminals running the operation were able to pay off corrupt officials to look the other way, as well as obtain legitimate blank documents to be doctored,” the State Department report explained.
Civil society in Ghana has mobilised in large numbers to ensure that the 7th December elections will be fair and peaceful. Faith-based organisations, local NGOs, women’s groups, artists, sportspeople, and prominent Ghanaians have stood up to promote peace and solidarity in Ghana. This popular peace movement is not partisan and does not carry political messages – it is a celebration of democracy.
The Embassy of Denmark supports the work of the Christian Council of Ghana and the Office of the National Chief Imam. Together they are currently implementing the Interfaith Sensitisation Programme on Peace, where they reach out to the Ghanaian youth via different activities such as community/interfaith dialogues and Peace Walks. Dialogues and walks have been organised across five regions, including in Kumasi, Aflao, Wa, Bimbila, Tamale and Accra.
There has been much debate among major stakeholders as to whether social media should be banned during the upcoming elections in Ghana. Inspector General of Police (IGP) John Kudalor hinted in May 2016 that Ghanaian authorities might consider shutting down social media platforms during December 7 elections to “maintain peace”. The IGP argued that the intention to shut down social media platforms during elections is based on the fact that some people abuse the space during voting. However, Ghanaian president John Mahama declared on the 14 August that social media will not be shutdown during the upcoming elections that “the government has no intention to shut down social media on election day.”