By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Friday, July 4, 2013
News reports have it that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) leaders will launch a 200-page book on “pink sheets” on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, at the British Council in Accra. Come one, come all to see “book politics” in full gear!!
This piece of news does not surprise me at all. I have known all along—and expected too—that they would carry their desperation to a whole new level of public ridicule and earn nothing but concentrated contempt. At a time that the Supreme Court’s hearing of their petition (which is based on nothing but pink sheet exhibits), what can be more unconscionable and imprudent than launching a book on the very substance of the petition before the Supreme Court? Truly, their “Concert Party” shows cannot end in midstream; not so?
Thus, this book launch is that next level of political and legal miscalculation. I expect more to follow, especially when their sad electoral fate is reaffirmed by the Supreme Court very soon. No contempt of court intended here, please!!
We are told that the book was written by Ken Ofori-Atta, William Oppong Bio, Boakye Agyarko, and Kwasi Busia. Kudos to these “revisionist historians” of the NPP political culture. After all, the late accomplished historian, Professor Albert Adu Boahen, has blazed the trail for them with his “Stolen Verdict” that didn’t take long to gather dust even at the premises of the very printing press that published it in 1992. Nobody stole any verdict; the NPP lost the 1992 elections because it wasn’t well-cut-out to rule Ghana.
Such is the story repeated at Election 2012. Thus, all this hot-headed approach to politics casts the NPP in stone as nothing but a party versed “book politics.” Ghanaians deserves better than this anachronism.
Nothing amuses me more than the title of the book: “The Election Petition: Restoring Justice and Democracy for Peace.” Who took away the “justice” “democracy” and “peace” from Ghana, which these “book politicians” want to restore through stories on pink sheets?
According to the authors, the book seeks to inform the Ghanaian public, the international community and all stakeholders of the allegations of constitutional and statutory violations, irregularities and malpractices that affected the conduct and outcome of the 2012 elections. Hoodoo!!!
We are told that the book consists of 11 chapters and “provides profiles of the petitioners, the nine empanelled justices of the Supreme Court, and profiles of the legal teams of the petitioners and the respondents.”
Really? What is particularly gripping about the background information concerning the “profiles” of all these people whom we already know for what and who they are; and what they mean to us?
Coming at this time when the heat released by the Supreme Court on those with loose tongues or making pronouncements considered as contemptuous to the court or prejudicial to the petition being heard, this book launch portends many intriguing developments. I hope and pray that no one will be summonsed to appear before the Supreme Court in consequence.
All said and done, though, this activity is nothing but a demonstration of desperation. I consider it as misplaced and unwarranted. It portrays the apprehension that has gripped the NPP camp, especially at this time when the controversy surrounding the pith of their petition (their so-called “water-tight” evidence in the form of pink sheets) is still damaging their interests. Credibility is the bulwark of litigation; and they know how they feel after the KPMG’s work.
Coming out with this book containing “a comprehensive compilation of documents, articles and pictures describing at firsthand the issues leading to and surrounding the Presidential Election Petition sanctioned by the National Executive Committee of the New Patriotic Party” for Ghanaians to read “first hand” suggests to me that something is seriously amiss.
Having followed the live telecast of the Supreme Court’s proceedings and having been exposed to the intricacies of the pink sheets and Dr. Bawumia’s over-emphasis on “analysis,” Ghanaians already have a vast knowledge of the pink sheets. What is new to tell them again in a book of “lamentations” of this sort?
I am more than convinced that two and two are not adding up well for the elephants. If, indeed, it were adding up well, would there be any need to go this extra mile to turn to the bar of public opinion on their petition? I don’t think so.
The anomalies, irregularities, terrible errors, mislabellings, miscategorizations, duplications, triplications, and many others constituting the controversy provoked by their pink sheet exhibits have done enough harm to their credibility and interests.
Let these NPP people re-categorize and RE-POPULATE their pink sheet exhibits and publicize them to the whole world. It won't change anything to favour them at the end of the Supreme Court’s hearing of their shoddy petition, which is full or more errors than what the petitioners have accused the Electoral Commission of committing.
Errors on the pink sheets don’t invalidate the genuine votes cast by Citizen Kwame Damanka or Patriot Amma Sempua who direly needed to make the choice between good (“Better Ghana Agenda”) and bad (monomaniacal one-way track politics emphasizing fee-free education at the senior secondary school level as the panacea to Ghana’s development problems).
Citizen Kwame Damanka and Patriot Amma Sempua cannot be denied the value of their franchise because of administrative (transpositional) errors on pink sheets by Presiding Officers who genuinely ensured that their votes were recorded, counted, and tallied for the winner of the Presidential elections to be declared by the Electoral Commission. Neither should anybody attempt corrupting people’s minds that the Electoral Commission failed in performing its constitutionally mandated functions.
So also should it not be that the international and local observers who monitored the elections throughout the country were completely out of their minds by concluding that the elections were free, fair, genuine, and transparent. Certainly, what all the people are saying about a particular happening cannot be dismissed as false. And they are saying so on the basis of evidence in the quantum of ballot papers.
The emphasis is on the BALLOT PAPERS that were cast as VOTES and counted to help us know how many people voted for whom and who emerged as a winner of the Presidential elections (President Mahama) and who lost (the NPP’s Akufo-Addo and all the others in those mushroom parties or standing on their own two feet as independent candidates). It has nothing to do with the after-the-fact material such as PINK SHEETS.
The truth is that we can know the outcome of the elections on the basis of the ballot papers, not the pink sheets. And that was exactly what happened on December 8 when all the votes were tallied and announced. Votes determine victory or loss; pink sheets can’t take prominence over ballot papers.
Nobody anywhere in the world wins elections on the basis of PINK SHEETS. It is only ballot papers that matter. Paradoxically, the NPP petitioners turned their attention to the shadow, not the real image standing large in front of their eyes. They have eyes but cannot see. Verily verily, I say unto you that they will continue to wail and gnash their teeth for failing to do their homework prior to Election 2012. They can’t do it thereafter and hope to gain the advantage. The horses are out in the wilderness, putting their experiences in the stable behind them. Funnily, their keepers are busily locking the stable doors after them.
Why is it difficult for these NPP people to understand simple issues about Election 2012? All these months, they've been running around in circles, disturbing our peace of mind just because they cannot see the difference between ballot papers and pink sheets. I pity them.
I shall return…
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