Reports that the National Elections Commission (NEC) has ordered a recount of the vote in Electoral District #4, Bong County almost two months after the October 10, 2017 elections have once again drawn into sharp perspective the need for a reliable and credible Voter Roll. It was the lack of a credible Voter Roll that contributed significantly to gross irregularities and fraud that characterized the conduct of those elections.According to a local NEC official, the recount will be done in nine (9) out of eighty-four (84) polling places in District #4. From the records, the sheer number of recounts in these elections far exceeds those of previous elections.Never since the elections of 2005 and 2011 have challenges of this magnitude been posed to the NEC in the aftermath of the conduct of elections.The complaints were first brought before a local NEC official for disposition. He ruled against a rerun of the elections, probably for fear that such would have opened a floodgate of complainants seeking redress through election reruns. And although the complaints and challenges may have been serious enough to warrant a rerun, they were instead deferred to a recount of the votes.Whatever the outcomes may be, it is an incontrovertible fact that NEC was and has since been unable to produce, for public vetting, copies of the Final Registration Roll (FRR).According to NEC officials, electronic copies of the FRR were submitted to the parties on September 22, 2017 just about two weeks shy of the October elections. This made it nigh impossible for party officials to scrutinize a listing containing over 2 million names in such a short period of time.And during the recent hearings at the NEC head office, NEC officials failed to comply with calls from complaining parties to produce the FRR. Eventually, the NEC dismissed the case put forth by the parties which was by no means surprising. Now the parties are expected to take the matter to the Supreme Court and it is not clear at this stage what outcomes will be derived from this exercise.However, it appears more likely than not that a runoff rather than a rerun will be ordered by the Court. The key question, therefore, is whether these elections can proceed in the absence of a reliable Final Registration Roll (FRR). That is a matter which, in the opinion of this newspaper, the Court cannot give a response Sua Sponte (on its own volition), except, of course, it is raised by the contending parties.Already, as though in anticipation of such a possible delay in the resolution of the matter, naysayers and prophets of doom firmly opposed to the consummation of the matter through the legal process have begun drumming up choruses of support for those attempting to torpedo the legal process for selfish reasons.As sign of their desperation, paid lobbyists, in the likes of Riva Levinson and others, including former career diplomats, Congressmen and Congresswomen, were hired to write letters to Congress imploring the intervention of the U.S. Government to derail the ongoing legal process.From all indications, their efforts are being handsomely rewarded with huge payoffs from the coffers of an impoverished nation still struggling to shake off the effects of the deadly Ebola virus disease.We must warn – and we shall not fail to keep up the tempo – for the use of a credible and reliable Final Registration Roll, without which going into the runoff election will be an exercise in futility, with dangerous implications for the future peace and stability of our dear country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Studying in a convent school is a different experience altogether. Right from hearing the school church’s enchanting bell, trying to impress the strict nuns, to singing hymns everyday in the assembly, those were the days which brings back the memories of studying in a strict convent environment, but with joy and enthusiasm. Convent schools are mostly considered to raise and nurture students in a strict atmosphere, but are also thought of as a stepping stone towards self discipline.We bring before you eight things which one can relate to, if they have studied in a convent institute: 1. Value education lessons:Every convent school had classes for value education, commonly known as ‘Moral science’. All the more, it was a proper subject which was mandatory for everyone to study and score good. There used to be narration of a story in every class held, and in the end, you were always asked about the moral of the story.2. Fascination towards the Church:School churches have always fascinated students not only because of the prayers held inside, but also due to its beautiful decoration, the gothic structure and the peace of mind one gets inside the same. 3. Four fingers above the knee rule:Yes, you read it right. If you have studied in a girls convent school, the length of your skirt or tunic was pre-decided and strictly mentioned in your school diary. Not an inch above and not an inch below, it had to be perfect four inches above the knee. Strict check regarding the same used to be kept during the assembly time, although later on, the length used to get reduced surprisingly by 6 to eight inches.advertisement 4. Musical environment:Apart from the regular prayers, Christmas was the time, when carols could be heard after every few hours in the school. There used to be Christmas carol competitions in which, the group which performed the best, used to be awarded. 5. Grammar Nazism:You cannot tolerate misplacement of punctuation marks and wrong pronunciations. English was the only language to be spoken inside the school premises and if you were found conversing in any other language, your fate would be to stand outside the class or take 3-4 rounds of the sports ground. 6. Future nuns:Almost every girl had wished to become a nun once in their convent school tenure. Visualising one in those long skirts and scarves along with the rosary used to be so alluring to the eyes. Although, after getting enlightened about the strict lifestyle rules which nuns have to follow, the reality was found to be better than dreams. 7. Haunted buildings:As most of the convent school buildings in India are old-built, stories regarding them being haunted used to scare as well as excite the students. If ever a building was found to be located at an isolated area, with giant trees all around, it used to be the favourite spot to play Sherlock Holmes or Truth and Dare.8. The sign of the cross during prayers:Irrespective of whichever faith you belonged to, you became habitual in making a sign of the cross while and after praying. You might also have tried to imitate the nuns and fathers doing the same, so as to do it with perfection. So much so that, even while passing by temples, mosques and other places of worship too, you started doing the same.