Feature Article of Monday, 7 January 2013
Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
I resent two breeds of Ghanaian citizens, namely, crooked politicians who apply methods of criminal complicity to breach the democratic rule of law in order to illegitimately entrench themselves in the seat of power, on the one hand, and self-righteous men (and women) of the proverbial cloth who use the name of Divine Providence and the political benefit of bribery to play mischief with the inviolable rule of law and the salutary search for justice in a democratic culture such as Ghana’s robust, albeit fledgling, Fourth-Republican dispensation.
On both preceding counts, two names readily come to mind, namely, that of President-Elect John Dramani Mahama and the Rev. Samuel Agyei, who is the president of some nondescript association or organization called the Christian Friends of Democracy. I prefer to first take on the case of Rev. Samual Agyei who has been widely reported by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to be urging the executive membership of the main opposition New Patriotic Party to drop its pending lawsuit before the Supreme Court of Ghana, righteously challenging the legitimacy of the declaration of Mr. Mahama as winner of the December 7-8, 2012 presidential election.
What rankles me about such call is the fact that Rev. Agyei so cavalierly and flippantly ignores the fact that the NPP legal challenge is first and foremost about justice, fair-play and the democratic rule of law. And for a man who claims to be a Christian and an ordained minister of the Christian Church and liturgical persuasion, one would expect that Rev. Agyei would privilege ethics and justice over and above all else. In this instance, however, the leader of the Christian Friends of Democracy appears to prefer to play fast and loose with the very principles of which he publicly claims to be an avid devotee (See “Drop the Court Action and Re-Strategize for 2016, NPP Urged” Ghanaweb.com 1/2/13).
Does it, in any way, occur to Rev. Agyei that unless the routine and complicit breaching of electoral protocol and laws by the Afari-Gyan-chaired Electoral Commission is promptly and thoroughly resolved by the highest court of the land, no number of elections can be guaranteed to be conducted in a democratically apposite manner? In other words, how does any formidable and law-abiding political party “re-strategize” for an electoral system that has yet to be credibly rigged up to ensure that the constitutional mandate of the Ghanaian electorate would be respected?
In the case of the New Patriotic Party’s legal suit, of which most Ghanaians are already aware, the ruling National Democratic Congress is widely known to have colluded with Dr. Afari-Gyan and his Electoral Commission to ensure that voting tallies were deliberately skewed and/or massaged to favor the widely presumed loser in the lead-up to Election 2012. The latter state of affairs, of course, resulted in nearly 1.5 million excess votes being presumably cast in favor of the presidential incumbent and his so-called ruling National Democratic Congress. And on the foregoing score must be promptly pointed out that we use the adverbial term “presumably” because the lawyers for Nana Akufo-Addo and the main opposition New Patriotic Party have yet to forensically sustain their contention before the Supreme Court of Ghana.
The fact that Rev. Agyei would heartily congratulate Mr. Mahama, knowing fully well that the latter’s position was being constitutionally and legally contested in court, means that the president of the so-called Christian Friends of Democracy cannot be taken seriously. Rev. Agyei can in no way be taken seriously because the man archly hides behind the Scriptures – or the Christian Bible – to thumb his nose at Ghanaian society, democracy and the rule of law. Philosophically and morally speaking, Rev. Agyei is worse as a human being than any of the NDC crooks who evidently colluded with Dr. Afari-Gyan to take the Ghanaian electorate for a ride.
For Mr. Mahama, one word sticks up like the proverbial sore-thumb in my mind – and that word, of course, is “insolence.” At a sham victory party reportedly organized at the Obra Spot, near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, for instance, the now President-Elect was reported to have said that “Ghana is the winner” of his fraudulent declaration by Dr. Afari-Gyan as the victor of Election 2012. And as if to quizzically and/or mockingly seek the mandate of his political opponents, in a lurid bid to declaring the country a one-party state, as was done in 1964 by his late father’s political mentor, Mr. Mahama was quoted to be exuberantly gushing as follows: “So I wish to welcome my fellow candidates to join me now as partners in the project of nation building and of creating a better Ghana.”
Maybe his “fellow candidates” could do even better by nudging Mr. Mahama into confessing to the Supreme Court panel of jurists how he and Dr. Afari-Gyan so shabbily colluded to criminally violate the mandate of the Ghanaian electorate. See you in court, “Mr. President”!
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Jan. 2, 2013