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Opinions Thu, 8 Aug 2013

Nana Akufo-Addo Speaks For Voters

By Nana Akua Tweneboah-Koduah

“In emphasizing the importance of elections, it must be pointed out that the sanctity of the ballot is and must be supreme. In an election, we cast votes, then the votes are counted, the count is collated, the results are announced and formal declarations of results are made. In the entire process, we must never forget that it is the casting of the ballot that is sacred, the rest of the activities are at best, administrative duties. The count, the collation, the declaration of results cannot and should not be more important than the sacred, God-given right of a citizen casting his or her ballot. There is only one principle. Elections are about those who cast the vote, not those who count, not those who supervise, not those who transmit and not those who declare. The heart of the democratic process is about those who cast the vote”.

This is the most singular and famous statement that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the twice defeated NPP presidential candidate, made on December 28, 2012, when he and Dr Mahamadu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey filed the Supreme Court petition to challenge the results of the 2012 Presidential Election.

I wrote an article following the statement by Nana Akufo-Addo and challenged the rationale behind the petition case if indeed Nana Akufo-Addo believes that the minor mistakes during the conduct of the 2012 Elections were administrative errors, and that the most important thing that anybody has to care about is the democratic rights of voters who exercised their votes on the Election Day and definitely not about those who counted the votes, supervised, transmitted or those who declared the results.

By popular request from my readers I have reproduced the article that I wrote in April 2013, which portrayed the double standards of Akufo-Addo who seems more confused than anything else and probably thought that nobody will question that statement he made in which he boldly stated that, “It is the casting of the ballot that is sacred, the rest of the activities are at best, administrative duties.” Now read on:

Sometimes, we tend to say certain things and entirely forget about it until it suddenly comes home to roost. Nana Akufo-Addo, NPP’s Presidential Candidate for the 2012 Election is in court trying to impress upon the Supreme Court justices to throw away millions of valid votes cast across the country because in his mind there were some irregularities.

Nana Akufo-Addo is calling for the disenfranchise of those voters because he has variously stated that if those votes are thrown away he stands ready to be crowned the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces and the President-Elect.

But here is the man who strongly and passionately believes in the sanctity of the ballot that on the day that he Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, his running mate and NPP Chair, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey filed their challenge to the 2012 Presidential Election to the Supreme Court, he held a press conference where he famously stated that, “The heart of the democratic process is about those who cast the vote”.

For the benefit of readers, I would like to make available the entire quote by Nana Akufo-Addo during the press conference held on December 28, 2012.

Now Hear Nana Akufo-Addo in his own words, “In emphasizing the importance of elections, it must be pointed out that the sanctity of the ballot is and must be supreme. In an election, we cast votes, then the votes are counted, the count is collated, the results are announced and formal declarations of results are made. In the entire process, we must never forget that it is the casting of the ballot that is sacred, the rest of the activities are at best, administrative duties. The count, the collation, the declaration of results cannot and should not be more important than the sacred, God-given right of a citizen casting his or her ballot. There is only one principle. Elections are about those who cast the vote, not those who count, not those who supervise, not those who transmit and not those who declare. The heart of the democratic process is about those who cast the vote”.

These are not my words, but that of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. He strongly stated that elections are about those who cast their votes, and once the voters cast their votes, those who count the votes, those who supervise the counting and those who declare the results do not matter. According to Nana Akufo-Addo, what matters most in elections or democratic process are the voters.

Yet it is this same man who has turned round and is calling on the Supreme Court to throw away millions of votes which he now considers as no longer being sacred and at the heart of the democratic process.

I would like to present to Ghanaians the double edged face of Nana Akufo-Addo who for political expediency no longer believes in what he said almost four months ago, that Ghanaians should never forget that the casting of the ballot is sacred and that the rest of the activities are at best, administrative duties.

We went to the polls on December 7 and 8 and elected our Parliamentarians and President John Mahama. Because Nana Akufo-Addo who was expecting to win got his hopes dashed he has decided to put the whole country on the tenterhooks hence his decision to fight the results in the Supreme Court.

For the first time in the history of this country and probably the world, we have the losers of a major election seizing and pouring through every single polling station result sheet in a fishing expedition.

And what amazes many people is NPP’s adoption of their own interpretation of the electoral laws governing elections in the country. In court, Dr Bawumia who is leading the evidence in chief has portrayed on many occasions his lack of knowledge of the electoral laws by either feigning ignorance or saying flatly that he disagree with the laws.

“The heart of the democratic process is about those who cast the vote”, say Nana Akufo-Addo. Therefore, it would be unthinkable in one breath to be pitching strongly that, “Let every vote count”, and in another vein call for the votes of millions of others to be thrown away just because they did not vote for you.

I leave Nana Akufo-Addo and his team to ponder over this and see if it makes sense or if it tallies with his famous speech that he made in Accra on December 28 during his press conference.

nakuakoduah@yahoo.com

Columnist: Tweneboah-Koduah, Nana Akua