The NPP’s junk politics scares the electorate

Thu, 21 Apr 2016 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Folks, we know that there is junk food, which endangers human health if eaten. In politics, too, there is much junk, which endangers national security. Much of the politicking being done by the NPP camp qualifies as nothing but junk politics for as long as it entails intimidation, threats, bullying, physical harm to human beings, street demonstrations, arm-twisting tactics, and everything negative all rolled into one just in a vain attempt to achieve the objective of placing Akufo-Addo in power “at all costs”.

Even before the dust settles on our concerns about the kind of rogue and book---best qualified as JUNK---politics being done by the NPP, more messages, threats, and useless venom continue to be poured forth by those misleading the NPP.

We have on countless occasions drawn their attention to the fact that Ghanaians are peace-loving people who know how to exercise their franchise to elect leaders. They've been doing so over the years, especially in this 4th republic when every opportunity exists for those who qualify to join the queue to vote.

Electioneering campaigns are held throughout the country and those seeking the people's mandate speak on wide-ranging issues to attempt wooing the voters. Those who choose intimidation and use unproductive electioneering campaign methods fail to win voter goodwill and lose the polls. No matter what they do, their vituperations and legal actions cannot turn the verdict of the voters.

What characterized Elections 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 are glaring examples of how the electoral process in Ghana could be challenged at different levels but remain strong. I left out Election 1996 because the NPP was roundly whipped beyond belief and no one did anything untoward against the system, even if the losers wailed, wept, and gnashed their teeth.

Elections 2000 and 2008 produced run-offs that were won without any disturbance. Although the NDC protested against the outcome of Election 2004, it didn't resort to unruly behaviour to disturb national security. It condemned the rashness of the late Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey in declaring Kufuor the winner, usurping the legitimate responsibility of the Chairman of the Electoral Commission. Even then, it allowed the Kufuor government to have its way.

At Election 2008, Akufo-Addo failed to win the run-off and the NPP sought to use the backdoor to subvert the people's will as its lawyers (led by Atta Akyea) dashed to court on a Sunday to seek an annulment of the results. But for the sane intervention of the late B.J. da Rocha and Kufuor, much would have happened to threaten life and limb in the country because of the intransigence of Akufo-Addo and his backers.

That intransigence would re-surface at Election 2012 when Akufo-Addo refused to accept the verdict of the electorate and sought to use the dark chamber of the Supreme Court to put himself in power. We still haven't forgotten the negative impact of that petition hearing, which held the country to ransom for slightly over 8 months. The repercussions are still hanging around.

Thus, for the NPP camp to begin beating the war drums again as we approach Election 2016 is more than reprehensible. Despite all the agitations by its surrogates and its own leaders, the status quo remains intact: no new voters register will be compiled; neither will the existing one be validated. Indeed, the EC is adamant that all the paraphernalia for the elections are admissible and relevant to the polls. It is gearing up to begin a limited voter registration exercise and to clean the existing voters register for Election 2016.

Even before anything serious happens to challenge the EC's efforts, what do we hear from the NPP camp? Wailing and flexing of muscles. Just take, for instance, this latest threat from Fraudie Blay (Acting NPP Chair):

"the party cannot guarantee the outcome of a stolen verdict in the November general elections." (See https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/We-can-t-guarantee-what-will-happen-if-verdict-is-stolen-NPP-432295).

He is calling for a "level playing field", saying that inasmuch as they want to win the elections without any blemish, they do not want to be cheated. That is not all from him.

"I cannot guarantee what will happen, the party cannot guarantee, we the executives, we who are at the top, the Presidential candidate cannot guarantee, if the ordinary people get angry, God forbid if they decide that they won’t agree to what is happening, and some people take the law into their own hands, what can we do?… Don’t rule out things could generate into something that we all don’t want..." he said.

Folks, if this kind of junk politics isn't anachronistic in contemporary times, then, I don't know what else is. Talking about cheating makes Fraudie Blay and the NPP really out-of-touch with reality. In the first place, are the NPP people so DUMB as to sit down to be cheated (By whom and at what point in the electoral process, anyway)?

Does the cheating occur at the polling stations, where voting is done in the open after eligible voters have gone through the verification process and moved on to exercise their franchise once and no more?

Or does it occur in the counting and collation of results in the full glare of publicity? With the active involvement of the NPP's polling agents and everybody/institution so mandated to oversee operations?

Or are the results tampered with on the way to the constituency, district, regional, or national offices of the EC? How is that done when records exist everywhere to discount any such tampering? Or are the results falsified by the Chair of the EC and his team? How inconceivable!!

Folks, the tone being set by the NPP reveals nothing but abject desperation and plain laziness---if not paralyzing stupidity. It is a tone that scares voters instead of wooing them.

At this time that the NPP needs to send out messages to correct the negative impression about it as a violent political camp, one hardly expects the issuing of threats. In need of better means to sell its candidate, issuing such threats will only do more damage to Akufo-Addo, the Commander-in-Chief of the NPP's wayward private security arm---"Invincible (or is it "Invisible"?) Forces".

Ghanaians won't brush aside his "All-die-be-die" clarion call and many other happenings bordering on violence and lawlessness (especially in the immediate aftermath of his losing Election 2012 and the internal feud in the NPP, all of which are being traced to him). The reality exists that unless Akufo-Addo changes his dark spots, he will continue to lose traction. Seeing him as a scarecrow alone is enough to turn the scale against him.

Now that Fraudie is on the loose, threatening hellfire and brimstone--- even though the Elections are 6 months away---the obvious implication is that the NPP is too paranoid to be tolerated. Such threats won't win it any goodwill; instead, it will distance voters from its cause. Then, at the polls, the impact will be felt.

By issuing such vain threats and failing to go down to the people to seek their support, Fraudie Blay and the NPP are really lost in the political wilderness. They will not succeed in their manouevres and should be ashamed for choosing the wrong tool with which to do politics in this 21st century.

This kind of junk politics has lost its value worldwide. Sticking to it will only turn the NPP against itself; and the voters will confirm everything at the polls. How much more do these NPP people need to be told before they stop chasing the mirage that they have constructed and set their eyes on?

A good thing sells itself. If Akufo-Addo is that good thing, he doesn't need to bully anybody to attract customers so the highest bidder can make him good at the polls. Branding President Mahama as incompetent and splashing mud on him won't turn him into a monster to be feared by the electorate. He is known for what he is and will continue to be in his element to attract voters.

Only those who are wearing masks are afraid of being unmasked. He is not. That is why the negative politics against him by the NPP isn't washing with anybody. Isn't it long past the time for them to sell their Akufo-Addo? It is the voters' market forces that will determine everything for or against him.

Threatening to turn Ghana upside down if he is rejected again is impolitic; it is unwise; and it is the height of stupidity. I hope the NPP leaders are not that much daft as not to see things properly. Self-righteous as they are, they won't; neither will they listen to reason to make amends.

As they continue to alarm the voters, we will also continue to monitor the situation and comment on it for Ghana's good. There is no more room for their kind of junk politics.

I have spoken!!

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.