There’s a quarrel at the market square. It has to do with the request by the counters of our thumbprints to open a new book in which every member of our chiefdom who has witnessed up to 18 yam festival would have their names written.
Not surprisingly, this issue has been brought to the shade of the big baobab tree and put in a box which the various political clans have been viewing from their very partisan eyes.
You see, the elephant clan, whose members, in the past, formed a group called “let my vote count”, but more of whose votes were counted at the last thumb printing festival in 2016, appears very excited about the proposal for a new book of names of thumb printing festival participants. I don’t know why anyone would be excited about changing the book that got them counted more than their opponents. But what do I know?
On the other hand, the umbrella clan does not endorse the proposal to develop a new book to replace the existing one. The chief of the umbrella people says that they do not support the compilation of a new book of names of thumb printing festival participants because there are not enough grounds for it.
But the counters of thumbprint have explained that the current system is weak and outdated hence the need to compile a new register before the 2020 polls.
Nyaba, just under a market day ago, I got the privilege to stand face to face with the woman in charge of the counting of our thumbprints. I asked her “madam chief counter of our thumbprints, you counted thumbprints in 2018 when we voted to decide if we wanted to create six new regions. At that time, you didn’t tell us that the book of names was outdated. When you counted our thumb prints when we wanted to decide who should become our assembly men and women, you did not tell us that the book of names was archaic. Why now? ”
The chief counter of thumbprints cleared her throat, swallowed a little saliva and told me that the weaknesses in the current system were not exposed because not too many people of our chiefdom came out to thumbprint during the 2018 referendum and the 2019 assembly thumb printing festival.
The counters of thumb prints have explained that the current
biometric system is faced with challenges and must be updated. They say
with the current book of names, a lot of fingers of the people of our chiefdom will not be recognised by the biometric system during the 2020 thumb printing festival. According to them, a lot of people’s fingers are failing to be recognised. So, with the new one that they want to introduce, they will add facial recognition, so that if the fingers fail they can use the face to verify.
Nyaba, this letter is to let you know that even as I write, I don’t know why our clans are quarelling over this. Tomorrow, I intend to eavesdrop on conversations that took place when the umbrella clan travelled to Tamale and Kumasi to do “chooooboi”. After that, I shall tell you what I think.