The beauty of Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) general elections was nearly marred when one of the presidential candidates, had his name replaced with that of former president John Mahama on the voter’s list.
The candidate Johnnie Aryeetey was therefore turned away by the Electoral Commission officials when he showed up at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation polling centre in Accra to cast his vote on Friday morning.
Mr. Aryeetey is slugging it out with Lloyd Evans former president of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists and the incumbent GJA president Affail Monney for the presidential contest conducted every three years.
The elections had suffered a number of postponements due to disputes.
“Today [Friday, September 29, 2017] is a day of shame for the Ghana Journalists Association”, Nutor Bibini Nutor campaign manager for Johnnie Aryeetey assessed the election process.
He told 3news.com’s Stephen Effah that incumbent executives have “skewed” the elections to “their advantage”.
He cited the “insertion of 25 names” from Kintampo and Techiman in the Brong Ahafo to back his claims.
More worrying to the campaign manager is the fact that his candiadate was unable to vote because his place has been given to the former president.
“During our last meeting, the list which everyone had, has 138 as Johnnie Aryeetey, my candidate for the GJA presidency, but today, strangely, it has changed to H.E John Dramani Mahama,” he stated.
Nutor Bibini Nutor insisted that what he had was the true list given to him by the chairman of the elections committee, Ben B. Assorow.
“If you check with any polling agents including the master list that any electoral commission agents have, it has as the general list number 138 as His Excellency John Dramani Mahama who is a member of the GJA. But come to think of it how could it happen that the same list, final, final, eligible voters for this year’s GJA elections at the general list column you have 138 for our candidate and for our team, Johnnie Aryeetey,” he reiterated.
He wondered if the GJA that is supposed to play the watchdog role and make politicians accountable can really live up to that expectation if it is unable to manage its own house.
Though he claimed the chairman of the elections committee has assured him that Mr. Aryeetey would be allowed to vote, he believes the process has already been discredited.
“That is not enough” it goes to “fuel suspicion that most candidates have, that this year’s election is a mere formality that some people have been predetermined to come out victorious”
He said the development is a manifestation of the number of challenges they raised prior to the elections but were ignored.
“We are saying that this particular election is a done deal for some people…what we are here doing is a cacophony of theatrical arts.”
By Isaac Essel | 3news.com | Ghana