Feature Article of Monday, 31 December 2012
Columnist: Agobre, Justin
Elections are the life-blood of a democratic system. It is the oxygen that makes it possible. Shut off or in a way limit that oxygen and democracy is faced with death. It may be as Churchill once note “messy” but it is the best we have and even when he was faced with defeat immediately after the end of WW 11(in which he led his nation so inspirationally), he did not resort to sabotage/or subterfuge to prevent this and so strengthened British democracy. Britain will forever be indebted to him and rewarded him soon after, by making him Prime minister again in 1951.
Ghana’s democracy is under attack. The legitimacy of the current NDC government is been called into question. The NPP and their leader Nana Akuffo Addo have successful filed suit at the Supreme Court challenging the validity of votes. Over 1.3 million “stolen “votes have been identified. If indeed this is true, then voter suppression is an attack on democracy. Cheating and breaking the law to win an election is criminal. Harassing and misleading voters, in order to deny them the right to vote is anti-thetical to our democratic values. Using fraud to win an election makes it illegitimate. If it is identified that, what took place was the systematic denial of voter’s right to a free and fair election, then it is dangerous to our democracy and those guilty of these deleterious actions must be found and made to pay.
The truth though is that the NPP and its leadership have a habit of trying to cow opponents in loud language, and trying to impugn their integrity. This is the tactic of the ignorant and the bully and it must stop. Ghana electoral Commission is charged with ensuring that elections rules are respected, and it is their responsibility to investigate and reveal wrongdoing. This is one of the ways to ensure free and fair elections. To attack them for doing their work is dangerous and unproductive. Apparently Nana Akuffo cannot avoid the limelight. He loves the camera and all the media attention. It was first an emergency meeting with his inner party caucus, a visit to the Trade Union Congress leadership, the religious leadership and then the media houses (the latter is where his ego gets stroked the most). The camera might not stop rolling even at the Supreme Court but when it is finally over; there goes the downfall of another "Adu Boahene”.
Public faith has been shaken in our electoral system, but this is the only way to ensure a fair and open investigation and it must be done now. No dilly-dallying, no trying to ride it out. No convenient “fall guys”, or “over zealous “miscreants, working by themselves. Nana Akuffo Addo will go as far as he is allowed to by the media and it would seem that they have given him a long rope and he is using all of it. There have been some fact-checks by Myjoyonline and other reliable sources but little else. As such NANA Akuffo continues to operate at the borders of the truth and allowed the various pro-Npp media distributing lies, playing upon the ignorance of the voters and appealing to their emotions. Nana Akuffo Addo has made it very evident that he will do whatever, say whatever and allow his supporters to indulge in whatever is necessary to illegalize the Mahama Presidency. This should also serve as a wakeup call to the electoral commission to be more vigilant and more attentive in future election coverage’s. Their so-call inefficiency will be nipped in the bud and strengthen our democracy despite the resultant dirty washing of our linens when the dust settles in court.
In democracy, you always get the government you deserve. The Ghanaian electorates have spoken and the result is a majority for the NDC. The wind of change that has swept across the Ghanaian landscape has ushered in a new era. There will be a majority government, and those who have long held the belief that John Mahama is a “shashe wowo” will have an opportunity to see where this goes. While his leadership is been challenged, he has spared no time for honeymoon. He has already embarked on a trip to Nigeria to facilitate the West African gas pipeline deal. He has assured teachers of better housing facilities and in the improvement of their conditions. He intends to improve the quality of education in the country, to tackle the poor sewerage system in the country and Ghana’s image abroad; as a leader for peacekeeping missions. This is a clear feat of leadership and one that is clearly willing to lead. Machiavelli, in the prince, advised that “the first impression that one gets of a ruler and of his brains is from seeing the men he has about him." Let's see who Mahama will surround himself with after 7th January.
So here we are. The people have spoken, now let the governing begin.
Submitted by: JUSTIN AGOBRE.