On the appointment of Electoral Commissioner: Why is the NPP paranoid?

Wed, 15 Apr 2015 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

On the appointment of Ghana’s Electoral Commissioner: Why is the NPP paranoid?

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Monday, April 13, 2015

Folks, let me be brazen to say upfront that elections are won at the polls, not by any manipulation by an Electoral Commissioner, which reduces to absurdity the useless apprehensions being expressed by the NPP leaders regarding the procedures for Election 2016.

The illustrious son of the Brong-Ahafo Region and Ghana, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has served Ghana with sterling performance and is to retire in June, having chalked the ripe age of 70 years in this wretched, troubled, and sickened world. He has contributed hugely toward Ghana's stability and deserves tons of commendation and appreciation from anybody who knows the checkered history of Ghana.

I have had the occasion to interact with him, which happened many years ago when I was in Cape Coast at the time that he was going round on public education programmes to give us this 4th Republic. The man is worth what he is and no amount of vilification by his critics and opponents will reduce him to stubble.

As he retires in dignity, I wish him all the best that he deserves and pray that the Good Lord will cap it all for him with a peaceful and enjoyable post-office life.

To Ghana, he hasn't bequeathed any problem. Those who think otherwise can go and burn the sea!!

Within this context, it is worth saying that choosing a replacement for him lies on the shoulders of President Mahama as constitutionally mandated. He has the mandate to choose whoever has the acumen to sustain the system of governance, even if we have problems with this system itself because it is not helping us solve Ghana's systemic problems to improve living standards for the citizens.

The 1992 Constitution enjoins the President to choose the Chairman of the Electoral Commission and he will do so without intimidation. That is why all the ugly noise being made by those opposed to President Mahama and the NDC deserves maximum attention.

Within the context of the useless noise that Akufo-Addo and his gang of NPP tribal politics made when they were genuinely rejected at Elections 23008 and 2012 and their useless petition hearing at the Supreme Court, there is every reason to urge President Mahama to go for whoever has what it takes to move Ghana forward politically.

We have already heard the ugly noise and empty threat being made by the NPP that if President Mahama goes for someone whom they don't accept, there will be mayhem. They think that they can call the shots, even in opposition, having been denounced and renounced by the Ghanaian electorate that have the power to make or unmake leaders.

The latest threat has come from the irritant called "Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA)" that is nothing but a weakling formed, funded, and nurtured by the NPP and its Akufo-Addo to carry out their useless agenda of making Ghana ungovernable for the Mahama-led administration.

In a rather annoying statement (see https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=354115), this NPP cry-baby has issued threats that the government must respond to strongly and pout measures in place to counteract as soon as it rears its ugly head.

There is no reason for such threats. The NPP and its amorphous and childish offshoots shouldn't be allowed to take Ghana and Ghanaians for a ride. They shouldn't be given any elbow room to behave as if they have the mandate of the electorate to determine how governance should be effected. If they know what being in the opposition means, they should behave properly to change their circumstances.

I wish that I were the President of Ghana to use all the powers vested in me by the Constitution to keep them where they belong. How can they be allowed to behave the way they do, to attempt calling the shots, and to create the impression that they have any voice at all in this matter? How do they think that the candidate for the position should be chosen at their call or that whoever is appointed must necessarily have their blessing?

By the tone and tenor of their nonsense, one can tell that they are gearing up to resort to street demonstrations and gross stupidity if the President chooses someone that they think they have to reject. Stupid people acting stupidly.

President Mahama needs fear nothing in this bid. He should go ahead to appoint whoever is qualified because of political and administrative capabilities and then position the apparatus of state to take care of those NPP malcontents.

The Ghanaian tax payer pays tax to sustain the apparatus of state in the hope that the apparatus will be used to provide security and support so he/she can live his/her life in peace. If for political jingoism any political front acts to threaten that peace, nothing prevents the government from deploying that apparatus to deal with it.

President Mahama should be bold and act decisively. Let the NPP and its useless political mischief manifest, and let the government tackle it decisively. It will have my support in doing so!! Clearly, folks, the path toward the current political dispensation in Ghana was walked by those who struggled to carve it and will be walked successfully by those who know the ropes. When Rawlings took over in December 1981 and led Ghana, those opposed to him either ganged up to destabilize his administration or to make things difficult for the country as they opposed everything initiated by that government.

Then, when Rawlings made moves to usher Ghana into the 4th Republic by establishing the National Commission for Democracy (thanks to the good work of the late Justice DF Annan) and the Constituent Assembly to draft the 1992 Constitution, those now spearheading the NPP's anti-Ghana politics distanced themselves from everything.

After everything had been done to smooth the ground for constitutional democracy, they sprang into action, deceiving themselves that they could win the 1992 Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Trounced, they refused to accept reality and have continued to be foolishly adamant ever since, behaving as if Ghana belongs to them.

My friends, this new threat about the appointment of an Electoral Commissioner will usher Ghana into a different phase of politics. I encourage President Mahama to remain resolute and to make the choice that Ghana (and not the NPP) deserves. If he does so, we will have what it takes to move the country forward.

Of course, President Mahama is not so daft as to settle on a committed and unswerving NDC operative, known to all and sundry as such, to head the Electoral Commission. He will go for someone who has what it takes to make Ghanaian politics admirable as Afari Gyan has done. His critics can go to blazes!! They will burn in the hell-fire of their own causing!!

Those deceiving themselves that making public pronouncements means prevailing over the people will be shocked; and they should prepare for that shock and its after-shock effects.

There is nothing to lose by getting rid of those irritants!!

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.