Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Fake Election Prophecies And Opinion Polls

It is interesting how religion is playing in Ghana's body politic. Apart from parties and candidates organising prayer and worship sessions to seek divine blessings, some so called prophets and prophetess are making declarations and pronouncements in respect of who shall emerge victorious in the elections. In other words, these men and women of God have become pollsters and seers and are able to predict the outcome of the election. The irony of the whole situation is that, they all claim they have revelation from God yet their prophesies and predictions are different. The question is how can the same God tell different things to different prophets in respect of the same thing? What is clear is that these men and women think they are wiser or smarter than the rest of the population. They are aware just like everyone else is that in this year's election, one of the two main parties will win, so they go about stating the obvious, pretending to be prophesying. At the end, when one party wins, they can claim, they told us so. What is worrying is that, in the same vein, those who prophesised in favour of the losing candidate would have succeeded in making God, a liar. Those involved in this enterprise have the Biblical injunction that Believers should "not make God a liar" as contained in first John chapter one verse 10. They could not discern between the wishful figment of their imaginations and Divine manifestations.
At the same time when the prophetic claims are being propagated, all manner of groups are also releasing supposed opinion polls purporting to give indication as to the outcome of the elections. Opinion polls can be scientific and close to accurate nut some can be engineered and manipulated to achieve a certain outcome. Periodically, Research Institutions, Media houses and individuals conduct interviews by sampling or selecting a representative number of people to answer relevant questions on issues under discussion or enquiry. The responses are documented, collated, analyzed and interpreted for public information and/or decision-making. For Election purposes, documents and records obtained from Government offices, essentially the Electoral Commission, are the critical first point of contact, but the National Archives, Parliament and such-like institutions can be appropriate. Data about previous elections are matched against prevailing exigencies and occurrences, in order to arrive at future prognostics. Objectivity is always essential in assembling and interpreting such statistical information.

Just like fake prophets, fake opinion polls just give fake hopes to those who swallow them hook, line and sinker. We cannot run away from the fact that, in Ghana, many factors come to play in an election. It is an accepted fact some people vote along tribal, religious, and party lines. These people cannot be swayed by prophecies and outcome of opinion polls. These are people who are not moved by manifesto promises of opposing parties and candidates. In this year's election, it does not matter how many prophecies, predictions and opinion polls are conducted. What is key is for everyone to play his or her role diligently and objectively in order to ensure an incident free election come Decenber 7. May the most convincing team win and losers honourably accept defeat, in the true spirit of dignified sportsmanship.

GOD BLESS OUR HOMELAND, GHANA

BY ANTHONY KWEKU ANNAN, A RETIRED CIVIL SERVANT AND SOCIAL COMMENTATOR.

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