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THERE CAN BE NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE
We, members of the NPP UK Communications Team, on behalf of members of the New Patriotic Party in the United Kingdom, have called this press conference today to tell Ghanaians in the United Kingdom and across the world and members of the international community about the current state of affairs in our beloved country Ghana after the 2012 elections.
Despite the plaudits and the backslapping from some parts of the international community, we of the NPP believe that it is an attempt by others only to paper over the cracks that currently exist in our political situation on the ground. Some people want us to accept that the elections were peaceful and made in heaven despite the fact that there is fear, anger, anxiety and frustration due the continuous efforts by current leaders in our country to suppress truth, accountability and justice.
20 years ago in November 1992 the country had its first democratic elections after 11 years of military rule under ex-President Jerry Rawlings. That election was characterized by massive fraud which prompted the NPP to write the Stolen Verdict which documented acts of grand orchestrated theft of votes and the stealing of ballot boxes.
20 years on we are facing the same conditions from the same leaders and their allies masquerading as electoral officers, presiding officers and electoral commissioners who are once again attempting to inflict the same stolen verdict on Ghanaians.
Ghanaians are known for being very peaceful and religious as well as forgiving. But how long will we tolerate leaders and persons who hold public office, who abuse this culture and think that by colluding and engaging in fraudulent acts they can get away with it and go scot free?
We believe it was premature for certain countries and, in particular, African Union member states to rush to congratulate the candidate of the NDC, Mr John Mahama, who was declared winner of the election when three key opposition parties had alleged massive fraud and these opposition parties have since rejected the results. The main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party, has decided to go to court as a result to contest the results declared by the Electoral Commissioner whose conduct over the last 12 months have left much to be desired.
Is it not telling that supporters of the National Democratic Congress cannot even bring themselves to celebrate their alleged victory and that their General Secretary and National Organiser have had to force them to go and hold victory rallies in the regions?
Can we allow a stolen presidency to flourish? Can a President govern and implement programmes successfully if a good number of Ghanaians, almost half the voting population reject him and refuse to recognise his presidency because there are major questions about the election that declared him winner and consequently his legitimacy?
We are particularly disappointed in the conduct of Mr Yayi Boni, Chairman of the African Union who displayed such partiality and premature judgement by trying to get support from certain Ghanaian politicians and the main opposition leader Nana Akufo- Addo to concede without hearing their side of the story. We are particularly surprised that the CODEO and other organisations such as the IDEA called this election free and fair when verification machines were used in some parts of the country and yet in some other parts they were not used at all. In some parts of the country eligible voters were refused the vote because they could not be verified whereas in other parts eligible voters were allowed the vote without being verified as such. How can an election be called free and fair when the results declared are disputed and 3 political parties have rejected the results with incontrovertible evidence? How can it be free and fair when the Electoral Commissioner who stood before Ghanaians on national television and told the world that there will be no hitches yet elections did not even start in some constituencies till 1pm, with malfunctioning polling equipment and wanton disparity of interpretation of the rules by electoral officers?
We welcome the comments from the founder of the NDC, ex- President Jerry Rawlings, who has shown leadership by putting his political differences with us aside by telling the African Union Chairman that our decision to go to court was a right that could not be denied us. We are also grateful to former party leader and ex- President John Agyekum Kufuor for his leadership and his backing of this cause which is crucial for the defence of democracy in Ghana and for our party. We also thank the leaders of the Progressive Peoples Party for their calls for wider electoral reform and their rejection of the results. We have also noted with interest that the leadership of the National Democratic Party who until recently were members of the ruling NDC have also rejected the results and have gone further to call it a “419” fraud on the people of Ghana.
We fully support the decision of our Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo Addo, the vice-Presidential candidate and our national Chairman to petition the Supreme Court for redress.
Those who call for peace must first ensure that justice reigns supreme. The real and express wish of the majority of Ghanaians who voted on 7th and 8th December 2012 must be respected and made clear to all Ghanaians and not be subverted by any official to please a desperate bunch of individuals who see holding on to power as a means to an end.
Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that because Ghanaians are peaceful, law-abiding and God-fearing they will just sit down quietly and allow theft and manipulation of the system to become a way of life. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to build strong, credible and reliable institutions that will secure our vote and protect our freedom and democracy. It is the only way to keep the peace and unity in our country.
There cannot be peace without justice!
God Bless NPP. God Bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong
Nana Yaw Sarpong, Communications Officer, NPP UK, 07983302369
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