Gariba Speaks: The Deafening Silence Says It All

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YUSSIF GARIBA

Like clairvoyants, right from the start, we predicted how it was destined to end. It’s very sad to say but we live in a world where to be principled is to be an outcast. Those with power have become so comfortable with wrong doings to the extent that any attempt by a purist to shed light on to their dark dealings constitute high treason for which they are hanged at the square of public humiliation. Fortunately for some of us, we have come a long way to be discouraged by the doings of those who dwell in dark doings. Without an iota of thought on whose ox is going to be gored, we say it as it is. We are always expectant of the harsh realities and repercussions that come with the stance we have vowed to maintain, therefore nothing surprises us.

In this episode, we are going to explain to all and sundry why the just ended KTU SRC election was a piece of joke. Until we start telling our selves the hard truth, we shall wallow in our lies and like we all know, that’s not how progress is made.

We can recall how the election of the SRC Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson was mired by massive vote buying. To that end, the integrity of the EC chairperson was compromised even before the whistle was blown, and this verily reflected in their doings afterward.

The composition of the electoral commission itself was unconstitutional, having no representation from the Faculty of Health and Allied Sciences. We also witnessed how the EC displayed crass violation of the law by allowing a disqualified candidate to pick up forms again to get right back into the race he was previously disqualified from.

Then the vetting day finally dawned. We got into the room to meet the vetting panelists only to meet the absence of the two lecturers who are mandated by the constitution to be present during all vetting procedures. In fact, we dare say that the waywardness of the vetting procedure was motivated by the absence of the lecturers. Notwithstanding that, we were very astonished to sight the SRC chief justice in the midst of the panelists. According to the SRC constitution, he is the arbiter of students, but in gross contravention, he willingly put himself in a position that rendered him incapable of discharging his official duty of arbitration in the case of any post vetting altercation. Sometimes, you wonder why people consciously put themselves in situations that constitute conflict of interests. Well, in our case, it can only be possibly explained in two ways. It is either he was ignorant of his role, if not arrogant or maybe, just maybe, his affinity towards the extra honorarium which comes with the conduction of the vetting process, clouted his sense of judgment, which led to the abdication of his chief role of impartiality and neutrality.

He goes on to make a mockery of himself by exposing his ignorance of the law in a failed attempt to justify his indefensible goof. We were alarmed at the speedy development of irregularities.  We petitioned the Dean of Students to seek redress, only for our concerns to be watered-down. While he admitted that we had a good case, he hurriedly sacrificed our grievances at the altar of cost. We never agreed, but the next line of action for us was to seek redress in court; a line of action we could not pursue due to financial constraints.

While at the Dean’s Office challenging the vetting results, the EC chairman met candidates to ballot for their positioning on the ballot screen. We reported this to the dean immediately in the presence of the EC chairman. His immediate reaction was to call for re-balloting, but this was never done even though the previous balloting was canceled. The EC chairman, against the directive of the Dean, used the disputed vetting results for the positioning of candidates on the ballot screen, since it puts Safo Kantanka at the top spot.

We got some reliefs when some concerned students sought court action to right the wrongs. But unfortunately, the harm the court action brought outweighs the merits. None of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff was ever granted but it succeeded in evoking university management to postpone election day to Saturday 27th April 2019. This news came as shock to everyone. By now it had become so apparent that the rigging machinery was stronger than we had estimated. Safo was the only person in a jubilant mood at the hearing of the news.

No amount of reason was enough to convince the Dean of students that the forthcoming election would not be the true representation of the people, should it be held on Saturday.  The excuse given for the selection of Saturday falls flat of support when one looks at the days SRC elections are held at the traditional universities. The University of Ghana, the University of Cape Coast and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology have more weekend than regular students yet their SRC elections are held on weekdays.  But of course, we did not have the financial finesse to face them in court, so we had to abide.

On the day of the election, according to my agent in the strong room, we were leading in the poll until the software froze at around 4:30 pm.  At that point, there was not any increment in the votes obtained by other candidates except for Safo Kantanka. To say that all those who stood in the line at about 4:30 pm voted for Safo Kantanka is too ridiculous to merit mentioning. Eyewitnesses have it that there were people who were busily trying to hack the system used for the voting exercise. There were also reports of people employed to assist voters on the computers directing the latter to vote for Safo Kantanka.

The most hilarious moment came when it was time for the declaration of results. The EC claimed they were tallying the results. They said this boldly as if to say the voting was done manually.

The deafening silence that ensued after Safo was declared President-elect says it all. To us, it was the most certain rejection of the results. There was disillusionment literally written on the faces of the lots. It was as though Asamoah Gyan had lost a penalty that would have seen Ghana Black stars progress to the grand finale of the World Cup. It was more than obvious that the will of the people was not what was declared.

How we wish we could challenge the outcome of the election but to do so under the current dispensation of the internal structures of the school is only a waste of time: the only one thing you are sure to get is pacification of words. Nothing material would ever be realized.  The only realistic option so to speak is to proceed to court, but as I said earlier, we are too financially strained to consider this option.

Having been a product of illegality, if guilty consciousness does not get the better of him, we wonder how the President-elect would get the strength to execute his stolen mandate. Sometimes, one cannot help it but ask whether or not the President-elect has any conscience at all?

Nevertheless, we pray he does not engage in acts that will constitute contravention to the pursuance of the greater good for the students of KTU, for if he does, we are sure to mount stiff resistance.

3 COMMENTS

    • I know how it feels. But we should be decorum in our choice of words inasmuch as we are furious. Don’t forget you also wanted the overwhelming students mandate. This same students engaged in what you called “a piece of joke”.

  1. This displays a directive example of Neo-colonial creatures eager to make the wrong seems right in the sight of the vulnerable masses(students) because they have no say in regards to rebuking errors mandated by the EC… nevertheless our legacy never dies …Long live the struggle!

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