Kufuor Is As Guilty As Kibaki ...

Kufuor@kenya 01.08

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 Source: The Catalyst

... But Mills Saved Ghana In 2004

President John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana is in currently in Kenya trying to solve the electoral dispute currently raging in that country after an initially intended trip to the war-torn country as part of a joint AU-Commonwealth mediation effort had had to be cancelled because the Ghanaian President and the African Union (AU) did not first consult the Kenyan authorities before announcing the president's trip. The Kenyan government turned him down, saying the issue confronting the country was an internal matter and the Ghanaian President was not needed in any mediation effort.

That President John Agyekum Kufuor would be involved in mediation efforts at solving electoral disputes in another country is interesting. It is not for nothing that Kenyans are accusing him of arm-twisting. The man is simply a hypocrite. Mwai Kibaki is generally believed to have stolen the mandate of the people of Kenya in the just-ended general elections in that country, which observers say saw the ruling party taking a nosedive in what has been described as the most keenly contested elections in the history of the Horn of Africa.

To the amazement of the world, after slowly trickle-in results put his rival, Raila Odinga ahead, Kibaki held the world spellbound as his fortunes suddenly sprouted up into a most questionable victory declaration for him by the Electoral Commission of that country. As if that was not enough, he was within minutes suspiciously sworn-in as President in the State House, his residence.

The Kenyan opposition has responded angrily to the President’s action resulting in that country being in flames. Several hundreds of lives have been lost already and still counting, all in the name of democracy- some kind of strange democracy that is being practiced in parts of Africa in recent times.

This weird democracy manifested itself in Togo several times during the reign and after the demise of the former Togolese despotic ruler, Eyadema. Laurence Gbagbo tried it in Cote d’Voire but ended up having only a fraction of that country under his rule. In Ghana in the 2004 elections when the Kufuor-led NPP government rigged the elections, that was enough to have set the country ablaze but for the maturity exhibited by Prof Atta Mills, the flagbearer of the opposition NDC. Again, the whole world saw President Olusegun Obasajo’s rigging machine in full force during Nigeria ’s 2006 elections for his handpicked successor Musa Yar’adua. And now, it is the turn of Kibaki to tread the despotic route at the expense of the lives of the suffering poor masses of the people of Kenya .

One significant feature that runs through the behaviour of all these African election thieves is the excessive use of the security forces against the people in an attempt to clampdown on them in a bid to make them succumb to their imposition.

In exception of Ghana where the opposition NDC let go without sparking any violence for the sake of peace in 2004, hundreds have been cold-bloodedly killed in these countries in the process, a clear case of using the stolen mandate against the legitimate owners of state power.

It is worthy of note that after stealing the mandate, these pseudo democrats quickly get sworn-in and then begin ringing the legal bells, asking their victims to seek redress in the law courts which incidentally are at their beck and call. The victims thus end up never getting justice. Another ploy that these election stealing leaders apply is the use of foreign missions and respected local and international bodies to exert pressure on the cheated opposition leaders to accept their fate and that of their parties and let bygones be bygones. It is thus no longer a question of winning the mandate of the people by these incumbent presidents and their political parties, but daylight robbery of polls and using diplomacy to coerce their victims to accept the stolen verdict.

Enter former President Rawlings. In 2000, President Jerry John Rawlings, who had been President of Ghana for nearly 20 years, 11years of which was in military rule, to the admiration of the world handed over power peacefully to the Kufuor-led NPP when the latter won the elections. The irony of President Kufuor, who is touted as a democrat, refusing to emulate the shining example of his predecessor in 2004 is thus hard to fathom and goes to show which of these two leaders and their political parties are indeed committed to Ghana ’s democratic process.

Representing the NDC’s philosophy of democratic practise as against NPP’s theoretical democratic behaviour, Prof Atta Mills saved this country from bursting into flames when President Kufuor and his NPP stole the mandate in 2004 and went ahead to declare themselves winners 4 clear hours before the Electoral Commission’s (EC) declaration.

Prof Atta Mills took a wise decision in refusing to be provoked by the undemocratic conduct of the Kufuor-led NPP into demanding an immediate return of the stolen mandate like the Kenyan opposition leader has done.

What has changed? Prof Mills has for the umpteenth time since 2004, in a stern warning to the now Kufuor cum Akuffo-Addo-led NPP and the (EC), said on the eve of the New Year that this time round, his party, the NDC, will not under any circumstance accept any flouting of the rules of the electoral game. That is the difference between 2004 and 2008. The NDC has now properly put its house in order and is ready to face the NPP squarely in this year’s elections in December. In that case, it will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the NPP to steal the people’s mandate yet again in 2008.

Having the current breed of election thieves ruling over some African States, one can only weep for democracy on the Dark Continent . They call it democracy in Africa . But one wonders what kind of democracy is this that manifests itself in the situation of the war of the jungle where survival is reserved only for the fitters, where these so-called democratic leaders and their ruling parties always misuse state power in stealing elections to entrench themselves in power and then turn round to tell their victims to respect the rule of law. This does not make sense and must not be allowed to happen again in Ghana .

Columnist: The Catalyst