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Proceed to court or hold your peace

Sun, 13 Dec 2020 Source: Sylvester Nuama-Mensah, Contributor

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama and his party are disputing the results of the 2020 Elections. In their words, they reject the election results as declared by the Electoral Commission (EC).

Fair enough. That is within their rights. Of course, if John Mahama and the NDC genuinely believe that they have been robbed, they have every right to express their grievance and to seek redress. But John Mahama and his NDC party must understand that they cannot merely make claims of vote-rigging without substantiating the same.

It does not merely lie within the mouth of one party or the other that it has been cheated for it to be true or believable. You have to support your claims with credible, verifiable evidence.

Think about it. President Akufo Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) could also start making noise; claiming that the elections were rigged in favour of the NDC, that the NDC did not get the 136/137 parliamentary seats, and that the NDC presidential candidate obtained less than the 47%+ of the votes, contrary to the EC's declaration.

Which party should we believe? And by the way, would the NDC sit for the NPP to make such wild claims without substantiating their claims? Or would the Ghanaian people sit for that? Should the Ghanaian people sit for that? Hell no!

If John Mahama and the NDC truly believe that they have been cheated, and if they truly have the evidence to support their claim of vote-rigging, it's a simple matter of going to court and providing the evidence in their defense.

John Mahama is reported to have stated that, "data available to his party across all the 16 regions of Ghana shows that he had won the 2020 Presidential Election and that any other pronouncement by the EC was evidence of manipulation of figures." (Source: Ghanaweb.com)

WOW! I want to believe that John Mahama did not make that statement. How can pronouncement by the EC be evidence of manipulation of figures when we have no contrary figures to compare that to? Rather than provide verifiable evidence to confirm the alleged manipulation of figures, John Mahama wants us to swallow this incomprehensible logic?

Ei! As?m ni?! That argument is so flawed that it's not even funny.

John Mahama should do Ghanaians a favour. He should proceed to court and provide the evidence he has. After all, he has told Ghanaians that 'data available to his party shows that he has won the Presidential Election.' That suggests that the NDC has already collected and compiled the relevant data to back their claim. It suggests that their evidence is ready. So, proceed to court and prove your case.

According to a Ghanaweb report, some Ghanaians are asking whether John Mahama would get justice if he goes to court (see "Will Mahama and the NDC get justice if they 'go to court'?"-- Ghanaweb, 12 Dec. 2020: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Will-Mahama-and-NDC-get-justice-if-they-go-to-Court-Manasseh-asks-1131662)

Funny! It is not as if this would be the first time in Ghana that a Presidential Election result would be challenged in court, should John Mahama and the NDC decide to go to court.

We all remember the 2012 Presidential Election petition when then-candidate Akufo Addo went to court to challenge the results as declared by the Afari Gyan Electoral Commission. The question one might ask then is, Did Akufo Addo get justice when he went to court in 2012? Go figure.

In that 2012 election petition, Akufo Addo and the NPP and their legal team provided mounting evidence of election irregularities and vote-rigging antics by the Afari Gyan EC at the various polling stations. Yet the verdict went against Akufo Addo and the NPP.

It was because of this credible, verifiable evidence provided by Akufo Addo and the NPP in the 2012 election petition that "pink sheet" gained notoriety in Ghana. Indeed, the evidence provided by the petitioners was so monumental that it took the Supreme Court eight (8) good months to arrive at a verdict against Akufo Addo and the NPP.

Needless to say, like Akufo Addo himself, most Ghanaians did not agree with the verdict and could not make sense of it whatsoever.

But the man Akufo Addo, statesman par excellence, even though he categorically disagreed with the verdict, nonetheless accepted the verdict as he put Ghana's interest above his personal interest. That singular act by then-candidate Akufo Addo saved Ghana from war.

Yes, Ghana was on the brink of war. The country was on tenterhooks as angry supporters of Akufo Addo and the NPP were ready to hit the streets any day and protest with their lives. But the man Akufo Addo put Ghana first and calmed the nerves of his enraged supporters.

Thank God for leaders like Akufo Addo in Ghana!

No one needs a reminder that, when then-candidate Akufo Addo disputed the 2012 Presidential Election results, he did but one press conference only; to tell Ghanaians why he was disputing the results. Then he proceeded to court with his evidence. That is what you do when you truly have evidence to support your claims.

Now, even though the verdict went against Akufo Addo and the NPP, Ghanaians saw the monumental evidence he provided. So, the supreme court verdict notwithstanding, the Ghanaian people have their own verdict: Akufo Addo was robbed in the 2012 Presidential Election. That was and still is, the overwhelming verdict of the majority of Ghanaians.

So, if John Mahama truly has evidence of vote-rigging in the 2020 Presidential Election, he should do the needful; petition the Supreme Court and provide his evidence as Akufo Addo did in 2012.

Ghanaians are discerning people. So, if indeed John Mahama has credible, verifiable evidence to back his claims in court, the Ghanaian people would be able to discern the truth for themselves, regardless of the Court's verdict.

So, go to court and show us the evidence. Or forever hold your peace. We are watching. Ghana is watching. The world is watching!

May God bless our homeland Ghana!

Columnist: Sylvester Nuama-Mensah, Contributor
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