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Opinions of Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Go-Way-You, Gbevlo-Lartey!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

The mischievous attempt by the director of Ghana's National Security Agency (BNI?) to referee a game in which the agency is also a major player, constitutes an unpardonable insult to the intelligence of all democracy-loving Ghanaians. In essence, we are told that in the wake of counsel for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) vehemetly disputing the number of pink sheets officially stated as having been presented to the Atuguba-led panel of Supreme Court jurists hearing the Election 2012 petition, personnel from the National Security Agency (NSA) approached the Registrar of the Supreme Court and demanded to be handed copies of keys to the vault holding the pink-sheet exhibits (See "National Security Denied Access to Pink Sheets" 5/10/13).

And on the preceding score must be quickly pointed out the fact that the pink sheets hold the key to the integrity, or the lack thereof, of Election 2012. They hold the key because the pink sheets contain the polling-station-by-polling-station record of exactly how many eligible, or registered, Ghanaian voters actually cast their ballots; and also whether, indeed, an anomalous situation of over-voting had occurred, as well as the deliberate refusal and/or failure of presiding polling-station officials to append their authoritative signatures to these electoral documents.

We are also told that the reason given by the National Security agents for demanding copies of keys to the vaults holding the pink sheets was to safeguard the integrity of the latter. Laudably, the Registrar of the Supreme Court is reported to have flatly spurned this National-Security "gift-horse" with a "Thanks, But No Thanks!"

What makes such feline-like offer utterly outrageous is the insight which it provides into the psyche or mindset of the key operatives of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress. It clearly appears as if Lt.-Col. Gbevlo-Lartey, the National Security Director, and his henchmen have rather erroneously convinced themselves that the ongoing petition hearing challenging the political legitimacy of President John Dramani Mahama is a game of chess or checkers in which the sole determination of the winner was pretty much based on who was capable of outwitting the other, rather than being dependent on sustainable forensic evidence. In other words, the NDC operatives still do not get it.

What is both equally amusing and annoying is that the National Security Agency sat duck and complacent in the wake of the Election 2012 impasse while several biometric voting machines went missing or, reportedly, could not be accounted for. Then also, several pink sheets were reported to have been deliberately withheld by polling officials, several of whom were allegedly caught in the process of appending their forged signatures to the same well after the December 7 and 8 polls had closed.

What I am trying to point out here, as even the Registrar of the Supreme Court clearly appears to have fully recognized, perhaps even to his great ire, is that the Gbevlo-Lartey-led National Security Agency is effectively a part and parcel of the ruling National Democratic Congress and thus cannot, in any way, be trusted to play the role of a neutral party to the ongoing Election 2012 petition hearings.

Anyway, we take this opportunity to congratulate the Atuguba Court's unusually expeditious petition to the globally renowned accounting firm KPMG, to commence auditing the hotly disputed pink sheets as soon as practicable. But, here again, I vehemently disagree with Mr. Yaw Buabeng-Asamoah, the New Patriotic Party spokesman, that KPMG has any unique "corporate responsibility" to facilitate the development of Ghanaian democracy at its own expense.

Why not ask those NPP parliamentarians who were recently awarded those fat gratuitous "gratuities" to chip in and help foot the cost of the KPMG's auditing of the pink sheets? Of course, the same question goes for the NDC-MPs.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
May 10, 2013