A post-mortem of the NPP petition hearing

Sat, 31 Aug 2013 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

So, good friends, all the hullabaloo about Election 2012 has come and gone with President Mahama still at post, despite the cacophony and litany of weird allegations concerning his “illegitimacy” (according to the Gospel of Akufo-Addo). And with this turn of events, the setting of Akufo-Addo’s political sun is certain.

Having lost the case at the Supreme Court he must now be set to lick his wounds lest they fester into what will have a heavy physical toll on his 69-year-old body. Here is the substance that floored him:

1. Duplicate serial numbers of pink sheets: 9–0 [UNANIMOUSLY DISMISSED]

2. Duplicate Polling Station Codes &Names: 9–0 [UNANIMOUSLY DISMISSED]

3. Unknown (Ghost) Polling Stations: 9–0 [UNANIMOUSLY DISMISSED]

4.Voting without biometric verification: 6–3 [MAJORITY DISMISSED]

5. Over voting: 5–4 [MAJORITY DISMISSED]

6. Non-signing of Pink Sheets by POs 5–4 [MAJORITY DISMISSED]

Certainly, the NPP people marshalled all their lethal forces for political purposes but failed to achieve their objectives—making the country ungovernable, being the linchpin. They put together all that they needed to be in contention—a legal team of mainly Akufo-Addo-trained lawyers, moneybags, town-criers singing the NPP’s praises in the media, and apologists in the Christian religious domain—all equipped with nothing but the spirit of rabble-rousing, threatening, and browbeating as if that was all they needed to bring down hell and brimstone to consume President Mahama.

And all these were purposefully identified, selected, groomed, trained, and expressly prepared to fight the NPP’s battle in all domains, including the Supreme Court (those described by Sammy Awuku as “sympathizers”); so equipped with their verbal arrows and seeing some of us as the bull’s eye to shoot at, they took it upon themselves to shoulder the responsibility of installing Akufo-Addo in office through the back-door. But they lost ignominiously.

I want to touch on some issues that may shock or annoy some of you, depending on where your sentiments lie and what excites those sentiments, in the first place. Plainly put, the petition placed before the Supreme Court by the NPP was an insult to the Ghanaian electorate for which the NPP will pay a huge price in the future.

This hoax, call it so if you may, is the culmination of the arrogance, duplicity, and mischief that characterized the NPP’s electioneering campaign posturing. We won’t go into details but suffice it to say here that even after spending years campaigning for the elections, Akufo-Addo couldn’t defeat President Mahama, who had spent only 40 days reaching out to the electorate. Why so?

Not because anybody rigged the elections. The Supreme Court made it clear today. It was also not because anybody prevented the NPP supporters from voting or that there was a shortage of ballot papers anywhere in the country on the day of the elections. Everything went according to the EC’s plans. That was why basing the allegations on “pink sheet” entries came across to me as very absurd, politically unwise, and legally vacuous. Didn’t Tsatsu Tsikata confirm it in his oral submission to the Court?

There must be something more than “pink sheet” errors to explain this irony of Akufo-Addo’s campaign efforts and his fate at the polls. We recall his door-to-door campaign stunts on which he interacted with the ordinary people whom he won’t naturally want to mix with, eating their food and drinking bottles of iced water, sweating profusely under the sweltering tropical sun. All in his bid to prove to the prospective voters that he was one of them. But the people knew him more than he thought he knew them. They knew that his was a hypocritical move to lure them into his political trap at the polls.

In truth, President Mahama won the elections because he connected with the electorate at several levels, basing everything on his own personal streaks of character and popularity as an “affable” and genial politician. Wherever he went, his good image preceded him and drew many toward him; and wherever he couldn’t go, his good deeds and self-effacing qualities spoke volumes for him to be endeared to the hearts of the people.

Now, let’s flip the coin over to see Akufo-Addo. Too many personal problems to repel many people. What President Mahama lacks, he has: arrogance, incontinence, self-adulation, and pomposity—which all combined to paint a very bad picture of him in the eyes of those who won’t fall for his theatricals. We are not even talking about how the numerous allegations of immorality or drug abuse tore his character into shreds.

The electorate knew very well how not to put in office someone operating on the basis of “All-die-be-die” or “Yen Akanfuo”, not to mention the violent outbursts and speeches loaded with threats. To worsen his plight, he surrounded himself with people whose past no one would be proud of. From a distance, others (Kennedy Agyapong as a perfect example) were pouring forth utterances that would widen further the gap between the man leading them and the people whose mandate they would be seeking at the elections.

Many factors separate President Mahama from Akufo-Addo, which would be evident at Election 2012, but which Akufo-Addo would be too proud to accept. Positioning himself with the mindset to win the elections and rule Ghana “at all cost” turned out to be his undoing. Even after losing the elections, he couldn’t descend from his high horse of self-fulfilling prophecy to learn why his second attempt to bite the cherry failed.

Instead, he chose to mobilize all the forces at his disposal to confront the establishment on the basis of legal technicalities, not the votes cast at the elections. We don’t want to recall such an issue but we just want to use it to wonder why a “legal luminary” like him couldn’t know that relying on “pink sheets” alone to fight his cause wasn’t the right approach. But obviously, he won’t do so because he needed a way to drag the belligerence and rely on mere technicalities to stay afloat.

Behind all that manouevring, however, lies the actual fact, which I identified the very moment he hinted of seeking justice in court. I discovered that his petition was going to be a ruse, a mere opportunity for him to drag matters and eventually hide behind the Supreme Court’s verdict to escape the wrath of his followers. To all intents and purposes that must be an intricate exit strategy.

Of course, having hyped the expectations of the NPP members that he would win the elections “one-touch”—and mobilizing pastors to preach this gospel for him—there was no way he could escape the wrath of those followers if he didn’t set the petition up as a smokescreen behind which to hide.

Now, the veil has been removed and he is left exposed like a boil on a man’s bald head! What next for him but to recoil into himself and do serious introspection? Self-discovery at this stage will do him a world of good. After a long rest, what he will have to do is to retire from active partisan politics and write his memoir. Anything short of that will grate hard on his reputation and torment his life till Nature calls for its due from him. He can console himself that he has fought the kind of battle that his Fate designed for him, even if he lost; and, then, he can give way for others to take over the battle.

The Moses in him couldn’t take his followers to the land of milk and honey; and he will be remembered (for good or bad) if he yields to the Joshua who has already emerged to play his part. Probably, the tide may change one day when that Joshua and Aaron team up properly to steer the NPP’s ship to shore.

So far, under Akufo-Addo, it has all been a series of shipwrecks. How many more pounding does he want before he quits? Adieu, human rights activist and “legal luminary”. Obviously, Akufo-Addo’s forte lies outside politics and he must hang on to it. He needn’t blame anybody but himself for his political woes.

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.