An International Relations expert, Alhaji Nuhu Alhassan Dicko, has stated that even though Ghana has an enviable record in electoral matters, it needs not be complacent in its upcoming 2016 Elections.
He also expressed the belief that Ghana could still learn from Nigeria to bring innovations to its electoral system.
“Though Ghana is recognised as a beacon of democracy in Africa, it has some lessons to learn from Nigeria in its just-ended elections ahead of the country’s 2016 Elections,” he told the Daily Graphic in an interview.
Alhaji Dicko, who is also a leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Ashanti Region and an expert in Global Governance, said Nigeria enlisted a number of professionals, most of whom were university professors and doctors, to hold positions such as collation centre officers, presiding officers and polling station agents in its 2015 Elections.
He said those professionals had a good understanding of electoral matters and that helped in interpreting election statistics and made collation of election results more transparent.
He recalled that with his experience as a 2012 parliamentary candidate for the NDC in the Ashanti Region, most polling station agents of the various political parties were semi-literates and could not help in election collation.
Again, he recalled that there were only one presiding officer in every constituency, a situation he said did not help in the collation of election results.
Alhaji Dicko said Ghana, particularly political parties, could learn from Nigeria by using a number of professionals such as lecturers from the universities, polytechnics, teacher and nurses training colleges, heads of second cycle institutions, among other public professionals who can better help with the collation of election results from the position of collation officers through presiding officers to polling station officers.
“In the 2016 Elections, the African continent and even the entire world will be demanding a more matured election regime to show that Ghana has really advanced in its practice of democracy,” he stated.
He said though Ghana had a long standing reputation in democratic governance and even though during its authoritative regime (that is before constitutional rule in 1992), the country lived exemplarily on the continent, it needed not remain complacent.
He also praised the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, who for years had been an epitome of the country’s democratic dispensation.