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Opinions of Monday, 11 August 2014

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Akufo-Addo won, but was Cheated so why Change?

Instead of showing respect to NPP supporters by rendering unqualified apology to the fraternity for taking the party from government to opposition for eight (8) years, supporters of Akufo-Addo still have the wrong belief that, the 2012 elections were won by their idol, Nana Addo, but the verdict was stolen for his main competitor, John Mahama. I, for instance, was "fooled" into siding with them, especially when Sir John came out publicly on December 8, 2012 to urge all NPP members to make their white clothes and handkerchiefs ready for the following Sunday's church services. Having expanded the NPP's Electoral College from 2,300 to over 140,000, changed the entire party leadership from Mac-Manu-led team to Jake-led team, embarked on tours of listening, restoration of hope, and thank you, coupled with the demise of a sitting president just six (6) months into a crucial election, who would have thought that the NPP's Akufo-Addo would obtain less that 54% of the total valid votes? If we factored in the hardships inflicted on Ghanaians by the Mills-Mahama administration, as well as, the corruption allegation and payment of dubious judgement debts, it was obvious to any doubting Thomas that, Akufo-Addo would chalk a landslide victory over Mahama. The NDC's campaign message of "Edey bee K3k3" as against NPP's free SHS proposal made such prediction easier.

However, when the 2012 election results came out, John Mahama surprisingly won eight (8) out of the ten (10) regions of Ghana, secured more parliamentary seats, and garnered 50.74% of the total valid votes cast. The attempt by Nana Akufo-Addo et al to challenge the results at the Supreme Court proved futile. This is because, there was no evidence to prove that some of Nana Addo's votes were actually taken and added to those of John Mahama as initially alleged. The Plaintiffs rather relied on technicalities such as voting without the use of biometric machine, unsigned pink sheets, and over-voting on 11,000 out of 26,002 pink sheets without recourse to the voter who stood in the scorching sun to exercise his/her franchise.

Did the NPP put in a proper mechanism to collate all the electoral results from the 26,002 Polling Stations? If so, how many votes did Akufo-Addo gain as against Mahama? Was there any difference between the NPP's figures and those of the Electoral Commission after counting and collation? If yes, how many? And if no, whose fault? As far as I am aware, the immediate past NPP leadership spent $2m worth of mobile phones for each NPP Polling Agent to text electoral results to the party headquarters for collation. Unfortunately, over half of that amount found itself in the wrong pockets. In addition, whilst most of the Polling Agents who received the mobile phones did not know how to operate them, many others had network problems. There were other Polling Agents who could not be provided with just one hot meal on the Election Day, even though Akufo-Addo had been the NPP leader for over five (5) years. How did anyone expect such people to be effective as Polling Agents on that day?

Personally, I think it is high time we set the records straight and told Nana Addo that he lost both the 2008 and 2012 elections. For him to hide behind alleged rigging and hang unto the NPP flag-bearership position is unacceptable. Every election has its own issues. The NPP therefore needs a change to ensure that the party is not cheated again. It is mind-boggling that the "thief" who "stole" for John Rawlings in 1992, John Kufuor in 2000, John Mills in 2008, and John Mahama in 2012 has not been able to steal for Akufo-Addo on three occasions. What then is the guarantee that Akufo-Addo won't be cheated again in 2016, if the NPP delegates give him the nod at the Congress?

For me, the massive changes that occurred in Tamale within the NPP National leadership is self-admission that Akufo-Addo lost the 2012 elections. If not, why did the delegates change a winning team? As you are aware, Akufo-Addo declared "All die be die" in 2012 in order to motivate party members to protect the ballot boxes. If there was no evidence to suggest that any of the ballot boxes was taken away, why does he turn around to say he was cheated? Is Akufo-Addo so weak and soft to be cheated by his opponent? Besides, most NPP Parliamentarians lost their seats to other opponents. Did Afari Gyan steal for the NDC candidates as well? Why then did the NPP abandon in midstream, the 38 Parliamentary Seats that it intended to challenge in court? We are also aware that the NPP supervised the 2008 elections as a ruling party, however, Nana Addo lost miserably. Can we also say that the 2008 elections were also stolen for Prof. Mills, especially when Nana Addo took the lead in the first round with over 100,000 valid votes?

Whilst admitting that the core responsibility of a president is to improve the living standards of the citizenry, it is equally important to blame a Presidential Candidate, especially when he loses elections on three attempts. Akufo-Addo must either throw in the towel or be kicked out instantly by the delegates to pave way for others. Alan Kyerematen will make sure that the NDC cannot cheat the NPP in 2016. Alan, as the leader of the NPP, would resource the polling agents by giving them proper electoral training and financial support. He will make sure all the votes recorded on the 26,002 pink sheets at the Polling Stations are collated. This will put the NPP in a position to challenge any vote difference that would be given by the Electoral Commission. The same strategy will be applied to the parliamentary election results.

Fellow delegate, there is no political sense in entrusting the party's property into somebody who cannot protect it. If Akufo-Addo thinks he has been 'cheated' for the 1st time, 2nd time in a run-off, and 3rd time in 2012 without any meaningful impact, the best thing to do at this crucial time as delegates, is to change him, if he is not ready to quit. The NPP delegates changed Prof. Adu Boahen even on his 1st attempt and brought in J.A. Kufuor. We won two elections under him. Let's change Nana Addo, because he cannot guarantee us victory in 2016. Alan Kyerematen is ready to deliver the needed victory for us.

A word to the wise...

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri
(Free SHS Ambassador)
Official blog: www.katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk
0202471070 : 0264931361
"Vision, coupled with persistency, results in true success"