Pollster and Managing Editor of Dispatch, Mr Ben Ephson has said that winning an election in Ghana is not a do-or-die affair.
He explained that winning an election requires trained party loyalists as polling agents who will ensure that vote numbers are properly collated and filled on the pink sheets.
His comments come after Former President John Dramani Mahama has said that the 2024 election is going to be a do-or-die affair at the polling stations.
Mr Mahama said that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has learned lessons from the 2020 general elections.
Speaking on Techiman-based Akina FM’s on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, as part of his thank-you tour, Mr Mahama said “This current president has made elections life and death for him, he uses his Delta forces and invisible forces enrolled in the security agencies.
“You see some Military and police officers and ask whether these are indeed officers. They wear earrings and all sorts of things and you can’t tell whether this is a police officer or a soldier. We know they have infiltrated the security with some of their people
“Look at what happened at Techiman South the ways they shot at the crowd, it was intended to kill people. We hope that in the next elections we won’t see scenes like that again.
“We have learnt our lessons from happenings during the 2020 polls. The 2024 elections will be won or lost at the polling station. It will be do-or-die at the polling stations. The right thing must be done during the polls. We will win the elections at the polling station and won’t wait for collation centre results nor petition the Supreme Court if aggrieved,” he said.
Reacting to this, Mr Ephson said “I think it is too early to warm up for elections in 2024. If you understand elections, if Nana Akufo-Addo decides to make his brother the Electoral Commissioner or John Mahama decides to make his brother Ibrahim the electoral commissioner, I will not be bothered. The eating of the pudding is at the polling station, you just need to train about 50,000 educated and loyalists who will be there.
“You don’t go and pick anybody on the street, tell the person I will make you a polling agent, I will give you GHS200 a day, I will give hundred, at the end of voting and counting I will give the other hundred. By 2 pm that person who is not loyal to your party will take double the balance and sign the pink sheet and he leaves.
“So it is not a matter of dying at the polling station, it is a matter of just getting educated and loyal polling agents and that will be it.”
“I think that Mahama is appealing to the base of the party. The 2020 elections were very close, virtually a hung parliament and for example, the election of an NDC’s past Minority Leader Alban Bagbin as the speaker, the impression is that maybe NDC is in control of parliament and they will be able to do a few more things. You can protect your ballot at the polling station without dying.
“With only eight months, you have got three years and four months more to 2024, I think that all the politicians will be exhausted in a year and a half. They are flexing their muscles far too early,” he told Joy News on Tuesday, September 7.