The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has reiterated the importance of how social media can be used to check electoral fraud on the African continent.
“Voters in Africa don’t vote on issues but on small favours and nepotism… Elections on the continent have been abused and characterized by fraud but with the social media, which provides freedom of speech,” he believed, citizens can share information amongst themselves.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II said this Monday when he delivered a lecture in the UK Parliament during the launch of two books authored by two Ghanaians, Ivor Agyeman Duah and Nana Ayebea Clarke.
The books are ‘All The Good Things Around Us: An Anthology of African Short Stories; and May Their Shadows Never Shrink: Wole Soyinka and the Oxford Professorship of Poetry.
Otumfuo’s lecture was on the theme: “Africa’s Democratic Path And The Search For Economic Development”.
His comments on social media come on the back of fears by some stakeholders that social media could be used to cause mayhem and disrupt the election process.
There was public uproar when the Inspector General of Police, in a press interaction, said blocking social media during the November polls was an alternative the police was considering in a way to prevent any mayhem.
But President John Dramani Mahama has recently stated that social media will not be banned on election day.
Meanwhile, Otumfuo observed that “challenges in democracy and competitive elections have been [the] abuse of freedom of speech on the continent.”
He believed colonialism has undermined the integrity of the traditional systems.
“Rural communities remain loyal to the traditional authorities in spite of modern democratic structures, yet these colonial masters have disregard for these institutions” he observed.