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Concede, sir!

Tue, 29 Dec 2020 Source: Theodore Dzeble

“Being an elder statesman with loads of active political years ahead, and judging by the near-perfect parliamentary contest the National Democratic Congress(NDC) has put in to reclaim several parliamentary seats from the ruling NPP, there is absolutely no reason for John Dramani Mahama or the NDC to feel too far away from being returned to power.”

Enthusiastic voters ? counting and counter counting of results ? a flurry of press conferences ?street protests ? gunshots and deaths ? police and military deployments ? posting and deletion of results on the EC website ? declaration of results ? correction and retraction of results ? acceptance and rejection of results ? and the ensuing stalemate ? this in sum, is all that is left of the 2020 elections!

It is unclear who has won more seats in Parliament or fewer seats, just as doubts exist over the legitimacy of the Electoral Commission’s mathematics, and therefore its conclusions. The signs have been on the wall that this was going to be a disputed election, but somehow we all trusted in the nativity of God as a bonafide Ghanaian, and therefore forever favourable to our peace and security, irrespective of the dangers posed by ballot box snatchers, macho men and the unlicensed vigilante youths.

Hopefully, the worst is behind us. It is a good sign that the grieving, dissenting party, the NDC led by former President John Mahama is talking and giving reasons (justifiably or unjustifiably) for his non-concession. However, the party would have served the nation better if the President had conceded, then proceeded to seek redress in the courts of justice thereafter. That would have fundamentally reduced the icy tension and anxiety associated with a non-concession like the one experienced in 2013 when then opposition leader Akufo-Addo sought redress in courts under similar circumstances.

Being an elder statesman with loads of active political years ahead, and judging by the near-perfect parliamentary contest the NDC has put in to reclaim several parliamentary seats from the ruling NPP, there is absolutely no reason for John Dramani Mahama or the NDC to feel too far away from being returned to power.

The iniquities of the Electoral Commission, and the irregularities of the trigger-happy military aside, Ghanaians have indicated their determination to make the right choice of government, irrespective of the many advantages of incumbency. The NDC rather than the NPP has the political momentum in this election, judging by the size of its parliamentary capture. The party could use this strategic spark to set a huge flame of change in government that delivers public goods for the people.

If the NDC sat by and allowed the NPP to steal the elections as the party is claiming, why should the voter suffer for the party’s lack of vigilance and vigour? The Ghanaian election climate is watertight. Although the institution responsible for conducting the elections may have credibility problems, yet, the collated figures are verifiable.

By all means, those irregularities must be fished out and dealt with in order to strengthen the electoral process even further. But this must not be at the expense of the ordinary citizen who must sweat night and day to put food on the table ? that is, if there is a table for food at all. The former president must pay the ultimate price for being a revered statesman and for this, posterity will be kind to him!

Columnist: Theodore Dzeble
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