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Opinions of Thursday, 16 May 2013

Columnist: Appiah, Papa

Bawumiah – The Last Stage of NPP’s Humiliation

Maybe the election petition hearing should have been held in Egya Atta’s shrine in my village, with libation offered, a chicken slaughtered and an oath sworn before the gods. This is where a man’s yes is yes and his no, no. Every man’s voice would be heard and there would be none of the legal technicalities that mean one could conveniently select which evidence to dwell on to advance one’s case. There would be none of this I hope so - I am not sure-maybe so- I made errors but check my analysis and strike off 4 million votes kind of nonsense.

Ghanaians take their elections seriously. People got up at dawn, in the rain and in sunshine to queue for hours to cast their vote. Some walked for miles, crossing rivers and mountains just for the opportunity to vote. For that is one day in four years when they get to have a say in who manages their affairs, when their thumbs get to make a difference and their voices truly heard. So if one seeks to so impudently slash off 4 million of these votes, then the least one could do would be to provide a credible witness who would by word and by deed, show some respect to the innocent Ghanaian voter caught in the centre of all this.

On the evidence of the hearing so far, I would hardly consider Mr Bawumiah for a job as my taxi driver, never mind my banker and least of all my vice president. The guy seems obsessed, either by fear of his master or by a personal ambition to be president someday, as unlikely as this may be. His smile is so false I sometimes wish someone would go knock that smirk off his face.

The guy just does not seem to get it. We are talking here of a possible democratic coup d’etat where a duly elected president is kicked out of office at the say-so of Dr Mahamadu Bawumiah. In so doing, the votes of 4 million Ghanaians, who probably queued all night for the opportunity, and who have done nothing wrong would have to be simply wiped off the books. This is serious business and one that needs to be addressed as such. There should be no place for this waffling I-made-an-error, simply-mislabelling and look-at my-analysis kind of rubbish!

Dr Bawumiah has the audacity to sit in the witness box in the Supreme Court and attempt to patronize all Ghanaians with a claim to having unravelled some sophisticated mechanism employed by good old Afari-Gyan to rig the election with some duplicated serial numbers. And it turns out, that Dr Bawumiah had actually programmed computers to churn out duplicated serial numbers and other administrative errors in NDC strongholds while glaringly avoiding similar infractions in NPP strongholds. His counsel of course jumped on some legal technicalities to stop the NDC delving into the Ashanti region. You see, this is the kind of thing that would never happen in Egya Atta’s shrine, lest a man be struck dumb. What have they got to hide?

The guy’s almost robotic interpretation of rules beggars belief. I am sorry Mr Bawumiah; there is nothing so extraordinarily sophisticated in elections in Ghana. Elections are won by people going to the polling station to be verified and voting. Elections are won by party polling agents, as per instruction in CI75, ensuring that the conduct is as by law, and certifying the results as openly counted and declared are right. They are won by agents protesting officially if they have concerns. They are won by collation of results in the presence of party agents at collation centres and in the Electoral Commission’s strong rooms. They are won by Afari-Gyan checking to see that all polling agents have signed, that there are no outstanding protests and announcing the results. This is simple and even Dr Bawumiah, as daft as he appears to be, should be able to understand that.

He must be daft, if he cannot appreciate how badly his credibility as a witness has been so severely dented. Does he not realise, that right from his waffling re-definition of the role of the Polling Agent even in the face of clear guidelines in Ci75, his refusal to answer questions directly and the sheer unreliability of his assessments that his credibility has been thrown to the dogs? How then does he expect anyone to rely on his analysis of anything to deny 4 million Ghanaians of their vote?

In the end, Bawumiah’s analysis is nothing sophisticated as he would like us to believe. It’s merely a collation of the results on the pink sheets he would like to be annulled and subtracting from the whole. And yet these pink sheets have been derived from faulty premises and deceitful intents. The very basis of this analysis is in question. Were there 11,000 pink sheets or 8000? What are we going to do with all those duplications and “quadriplications” and Commissioner of Oaths errors and mislabelling of serial numbers. Are they all going to be annulled as per the petitioner’s robotic interpretation of issues? Why would anybody care about his analysis? His analysis is not worth the paper it is written on. He cannot be trusted.

In the midst of all this is the eerie silence from people in the NPP who should know better. Why are they keeping quiet and allowing their party to be drawn in mud by fools? Where are the great minds of the NPP? Where is Tarzan, where is Konadu Apraku and where is Frimpong Boateng? Are they in agreement with this pitiful attempt at analysis or have they merely been cowed into eternal silence by these tyrannical imbeciles parading as democrats?

Papa Appiah