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I kept an appointment with my physician and his stethoscopes a couple of days ago and told the good man to check me out carefully from toe to skull: Body mass index, protesting muscles, creaking joints, blood pressure, cholesterol level,  heartbeat, brain beat, lung beat, the whole physiological works.

 

After binging nonstop on an appalling daily diet of fried potato chips, jumbo sausages, fried eggs and salted bacon during an extended period of study in Abrokyere years ago, I returned to Ghana to find that I had piled heavy layers of bad cholesterol on the inner walls of my blood vessels and sent my blood pressure peaking levels that all but broke the blood pressure measuring machine anytime the doctor tried taking a reading.

 

A life-threatening Ghanaian diet incorporating vast seas of cooking oil and mega-tons of salt and fats probably laid the foundation long before I set off. I now propose to fire a letter to the Food and Drugs Authority asking if the republic has national dietary laws and what maximum limits are prescribed for oil, fats and salt.

 

Anyhow, after screening, I sensed that the doctor was appalled even if he did not say it. What  messy junk had I been stuffing myself with while I was away? I told him, whereupon he condemned me to a daily cocktail of medications. Now, if there is one thing I hate more than noise, dust and uncouth people, it is the popping of pills.

 

Sensing his disappointment with the readings, I proffered an unsolicited pledge to take my medicines with greater clockwork diligence and get some physical exercise into the bargain.

 

At the hospital pharmacy, they went click, click, click on the computer, calculating the cost of the medicines prescribed and came up with a sum that would have made someone without a National Health Insurance Scheme card tumble over flat on his face in sheer shock, but I had my NHIS card.

 

I brandished the almighty card triumphantly expecting them to reach up the shelves and stuff all the medicines into a plastic bag for me without a fuss.

 

Sorry, old chap, but most of the drugs prescribed are not on the NHI list. You will have to pay hard cash. That is what the chaps at the pharmacy told me.

 

If your cholesterol level is healthy, you will do well to keep it that way. Medicines for the management of such aliments don’t come cheap at all!

 

On my way out of the hospital, I overheard one of two gentlemen declare to other the other, that there was no way he as going to vote at the 2016 Elections:

 

The man said the chronic power outages that have persisted throughout much of 2014 and 2015 had all but ruined half his business. I felt pretty much the same way until the other gentleman chuckled and came up with a remark which brought whole new perspective to the issue of not voting.

 

“…Don’t mind them. I won’t vote in next year’s elections.”

“That is impossible.”

“What is impossible?”

‘Not voting.”

“What do you mean?”

“By not voting, you have voted against the candidate you would have voted for had you exercised your civic right and responsibility and gone to vote.”

 

To my surprise, a smile broke on his face and he appeared to wink and grin and I told myself that chronic power cuts or no cuts, very few including our friend, will decline to vote in 2016 and how they will vote can only be matter of conjecture and speculation.

 

Refusing to vote may make a citizen look appear unpatriotic but you have the right to withhold your vote as a form of civil protest against a failed policy, an unfulfilled campaign promise or other specific civic grievance but the “dumsor crisis” is not likely to result in such a decision in a country where electoral politics is rabid.

 

With the fierce electoral contest that Election 2016, promises to be, and with many voters often voting along ethnic {no one wants to admit that} extreme partisan political and even religious lines, it is uncertain what impact the long-running electricity supply crisis is going to make on the outcome of Election 2016 if any.