7 observations from the 2016 #Gh elections

We are grateful to God for a successful and peaceful elections. Elections in Ghana is associated with lots of drama as we all know and it’s nothing new to any Ghanaian. In fact we would have been shocked to the bones if there was no drama. My personal favourite is the adverts run by the various competing parties, they just make my day anytime!

This was my second time voting in the #Gh election and these were my observations:

1. Get your home chow before setting off!

This is very important!!!!! I set off to work as it was a half day with my boss madam in tow. I packed only snacks knowing we would get some lunch in town to eat together. I left the office around 12:30pm to my lunch base and they were closed! They were not the only ones, I thought some might take this advantage to enjoy some temporal monopoly in the provision of food during the elections. Even the waakye and Koko sellers were on break that day…….very well aware that these would sell any day anytime provided it was tasty. I was really starving at this point and needed something to eat before getting to the polling station to cast my vote. The hunger was so extreme to the extent that I could have killed my sister for suggesting I cast my vote before getting something to eat. I was lucky enough to later get some waakye around airport or else we would have starved……..So I have learnt the hard way to always pack lunch on election day.

2. No need to rush, the road is clear!

On average getting from Amasaman where I live to Dome (where I work) and dropping off madam at her school around WestLands takes between an hour and a half to two. On this day it took us about 30minutes!!!

A neighbour even joked that he stopped for about 2 minutes and no car even drove past him. That was how free the road was. You can only appreciate this, if you are always caught up in traffic on a daily basis. This was a luxury to myself and my Amasaman neighbours. You could even drive to work and drive back home to start journey and you won’t even be late for work on 7 December 2016 .

For the Amasaman community our wish was that every day should be an election day.

3. Everyone seems to be in hiding

I don’t know if anyone realised this, but all of a sudden only a handful of people could be spotted during the day and at night. I didn’t also see any long queues at the polling stations. So where did everyone go to? Probably indoors collating results.

I started harboring thoughts that peeps were properly taking it cool in their underground homes.

4. Everyone becomes a comedian or develops a good sense of humour

Ghanaians love to make light of everything including serious matters. This year was no different. Ghanaians can really tease! and the comments……I would prefer not to talk about them. I became a silent observer reading and laughing at the comments appearing on my social media feeds, from #onaapo to funny tweets and videos.

I guess that might have managed the election jitters whilst we waited for the official results from the EC.

5. Hawkers are more business minded than we credit them to be.

All of a sudden I realised that most of the hawkers were displaying only NPP paraphernalia for sale. They were certainly adapting to changing market trends. Out of nowhere, NPP branded items were in high demand from boxers to any item you possibly can’t think of. I wonder what happened to the stock of NDC and the other parties’ paraphernalia. Did they keep them in stock till when demand for it was back in season?

6. Ghanaians even the uneducated are currently voting based on issues.

In my opinion this is the best change in Ghana’s democracy, no more tolerance for any deceits from politicians. This is good and citizens would not be taken for granted anymore.

I am however looking forward to the day when we would have another party winning to eventually put an end to the two-party system we have. Will that day ever come?

7. Everyone becomes a data analyst and polling agent.

Most people suddenly develop the skill of analysing data and predicting results. It was interesting reading the various comments and analysis on Social media.

.……….it’s what we sell as Ghanaians that is bought by the outside world. Let’s therefore work together to sell QUALITY and GOOD.

OMT

At the end of it all, I believe our elections was peaceful and well organised. I spent about a minute and a half to cast my vote compared to the hours spent in queues last 4 years. One interesting thing I noticed is that although there were disagreements and arguments on the political front, we still managed to put aside those differences to stick together as Ghanaians to defend the country. Ask CNN and they will tell you how Ghanaians got them to correct some misrepresentations of the Ghanaian election (#cnngetitright)…..

Through all this one important lesson picked is for ghanaians to learn to tell their own story and sell the positives of Ghana to the outside world. It’s what we sell as Ghanaians that is bought by the outside world. Let’s resolve to sell the good and not the bad and avoid blaming the customer for complaining or reporting on the poor product sold.

What were your observations during the election? Share your stories with us in the comments section or email omtsdigest@gmail.com.

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