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Opinions of Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Columnist: Jackson, Margaret

Can You Base Your Winning Assessment On “Glorified” Agents?

Ask Margaret Jackson

August 12, 2013

I strongly believe that Ghanaians have soon not forgotten about the jubilating mood of the NPP supporters throughout the country, especially in Accra and Kumasi on December 8, 2012, a day after the polls opened for millions of Ghanaians to exercise their constitutional mandate of voting for their preferred candidates.

It was on a Saturday and due to glitches on some of the biometric machines, the Electoral Commission (EC) was forced to conduct elections in the affected areas on that day. But in spite of the fact that polls in all the 26,002 polling stations have not yet closed, and less than 50 percent of the votes declared by the EC, the NPP folks were still confident, jubilant, too sure, over the board and marching towards the gates of political power.

Not long after, the ubiquitous General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, who also calls himself Sir John, made a startling and dangerous announcement that sought to usurp the powers of the EC by declaring that the NPP has won the elections so all members, supporters and sympathizers of the party should clothe themselves in anything white and go to church the next day.

The unguarded statement by Owusu Afriyie even ticked off the Ghana National Peace Council which released a statement condemning that act. Millions of Ghanaians who were taken aback by that criminal and treacherous statement by Owusu Afriyie wondered where he got his figures from, and how he was able to collate those figures to arrive at that hasty conclusion.

Others wondered why Owusu Afriyie has taken over the responsibility of the EC Chair, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, and announced the results of the election, when the whole country was still waiting for some few polling stations to finish with their voting while results were still trickling in.

Even though the whole results of the country have not yet been tallied, the EC at the time announced results from some constituencies, mostly NPP strongholds, and that gave the party which has never accepted anything other than victory, the false hope that they were comfortably coasting to victory.

But like a thunderbolt, the dynamics of the day suddenly started changing later in the evening when the NDC overtook the NPP based on the results that were called by the EC. This situation continued till Sunday afternoon when the NPP realized that the die was cast. That was when they started putting unnecessary pressures on the EC to postpone the announcement of the results because they have evidence of malpractices. That was then.

In the Supreme Court where the NPP has filed a petition challenging the results of the 2012 Presidential Election, a very interesting question was bounced off Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, the star witness of the NPP and the second petitioner of the case.

Dr Bawumia was simply told that the NPP was very buoyant on Saturday December 8, 2012, and this compelled Owusu Afriyie to go on air to announce that the party has won the presidential election. Bawumia, was afterwards asked on what grounds did the NPP base their winning assessment on that day? The respondents wanted to know if the NPP relied on the pink sheet results or what.

But to the amazement of all, Bawumia released the bombshell and told the Supreme Court that the NPP winning assessment has nothing to do with pink sheets but everything to do with the assessment from their polling agents across the country. Did you hear me mention the NPP polling agents across the country?

Dr Bawumia told the SC several times that on Saturday December 8, 2012, when Owusu Afriyie commandeered the powers of the EC and announced that the NPP has won the election, he relied solely on the reports from NPP’s polling agents scattered across the country.

But do you remember the same Dr Bawumia telling the SC that the NPP polling agents who acted as “glorified agents” did nothing at the polling stations other than sign on to irregularities and malpractices committed by the EC and President John Mahama?

Can we in one breath have glorified polling agents who do not know their lefts from their rights and signed on to malpractices that cost Akufo-Addo the elections now becoming credible sources that provided the NPP the initial numbers that pumped them up to a victory party that never was?

Somebody help me out, because I am completely losing it. Bawumia claims the NPP polling agents were scumbags who are nothing to write home about. But this same Bawumia painted a rosy picture about these same polling agents as the gang who provided the NPP with the so-called ‘credible’ information that made them issue a statement to their supporters that they have won the elections, therefore they must be in all-white and attend church services on Sunday December 9, 2012.

Curious minds would like to know where the NPP glorified agents got their figures from? Was it not from the polling stations? And if the NPP folks have gone on to win eventually; will they have considered the administrative errors by some presiding officers?

You don’t give thumps up to somebody when things are going good in your direction and later slam that same person as naïve, dummy or a nonentity when your great expectations turn into disillusionment, nightmare or defeat.

Dr Bawumia made a lot of pronouncements while in the witness box. And this two-faced comment on NPP’s polling agents is something that the justices of the SC will look into because there seems to be a serious discord. The two statements concerning Bawumia’s glorified agents do not add up. And I bet you, Bawumia will not get away with it.