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Opinions of Sunday, 24 March 2013

Columnist: Sidibe, Abdul

NPP and the Boogyman Politics

If you want a party of ostriches who bury their head in the sand anytime it loses an election, look no further than Ghana’s opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). The NPP, it seems, had never lost an election in Ghanaian history. Have they?

Anytime NPP is beaten at the polls, the result were wrong, it was rigged, and the commissioner was biased against them. The party did so in 1992 when the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by former President JJ Rawlings trounced them in Ghana’s first election under the Fourth Republic. The NPP refused to recognized Mr. Rawlings’s presidency, boycotted parliamentary election, and forced Justice Ofori Boateng (Interim Election Commissioner of Ghana) to resign.

They proceeded to write a book they claim catalogs how the elections were rigged. It was a book full of unsubstantiated allegations, factual inaccuracies, and sometime outright lies. The result of the 1992 election was vindicated in 1996 when the party was defeated again by NDC’s Rawlings. Fearing a backlash from observers both local and international, the NPP accepted the result that year amid quibbling and mumbling.

After the 1996 election, Mr. Rawlings became their boogyman. He was the devil of Ghana politics. All the ills of Ghana were his doing. His every existence was a threat to national security according to the NPP. They falsely accused the ruling NDC of violence, even thought their members were the culprits. They used their allies in the press to vilified and intimidated anyone associated with NDC.

The NPP’s rallying cry in the run up to the 2000 election was very hysteric. As if some evil spirit has possessed our nation, and the NPP is the only party that can deliver us from the demon. Even As Mr. Rawlings was not on the ballot in that year’s election since he would be finishing his second term in office as president. That year NPP won the presidential election with a large majority in parliament.

They spent all their two terms in office demonizing Rawlings and his family. By 2008, Ghanaians had become tired of the endless and meaningless demonization. The strategy of be afraid because of Rawlings simple collapsed and failed. Ghanaians refused buy the snake oil. Professor Mills prevailed on basis of his message of peace, tolerance and development.

After their defeat in 2008 and attempts to use their cronies in the judiciary to circumvent the will of Ghanaians failed. President Mills then became their boogyman. The humble Prof was unnecessaries attacked, his health mocked, and his intellect belittled. Members of his family were personally and viciously attacked. Unfortunately, they were aided by some in the ruling NDC. Until this death mid last year, NPP thought they could use insult to win back power. Their plan failed.

Mr. John Mahama replaced Mills as the NDC candidate for the 2012 election. The yong and energetic Mahama won; therefore, he and Dr. Afari-Gyan of the Electoral Commission are the new boogymen of the NPP. Mahama for winning and Afri-Gyan for declaring the result. Attacking Dr. Afri-Gyan is indeed the most cynical of all. It reminiscent to beating the referee because you couldn’t win the match.

The electoral commissioner the NPP is blaming and despising since the December 2012 election was the same commissioner who declared NPP’s former President Kufour winner of two election in Ghana. First in 2000, and again 2004.

In 2004, he declare NPP’s John Kufor winner with 225 of the 230 constituencies reporting their results. In declaring the results of the election, Dr. Afri-Gyan said NPP’s Mr. J.A. Kufour was the clear winner because even if he added all the remaining votes to NDC’s tally, Kufour wins.

Would the NPP have accepted the results of the 2012 election if Dr. Afri-Gyan had declared the winner before the results of 5 constituencies? Your guess is as good as mine. Dr. Afri-Gyan, like Justice Ofori Boateng, has become one of NPP’s declared public enemy as result of the 2008 and 2012 elections because NPP had lost them both.

We have already started hearing the thunderous sound of their bomb throwning. At the head of the campaign of venality, recrimination, and outright tribalism is Dr. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, a teacher at Nassau Collage in New York who uses online articles to attack the President, members of government and of course Afri-Gyan. Then there are some NPP supporters who run around claiming their votes be counted. Well, their vote was already counted. Their party lost. It fell short of the number of votes needed to win.

Finally, the Judges of the Supreme Court largely appointed by the Kufour administration who will use the court to frustrate this government at every step. Just as they did to President Mills, and Rawlings before him.

In the process, they will the divided country in the name of one man’s quest for power at all cost. All die be die is indeed Nana Akufo Addo’s true slogan. Power at all cost; regardless of whose toes is stepped on and crushed in the process. Shameless politics, and of no values or virtues.

In the end, all this will come back to haunt the NPP. For while they are busy litigating, the NDC will be organizing and galvanizing its supporters. Nothing energies a victor than being denied his victory. In 2008 the vote difference between NDC and NPP was just over 50,000. In 2012 the margin shot up to 300,000 votes. Six hundred percent increase. This means that the NPP is losing, not gaining, support.

My only pain is that Nana Akufo Addo and his ilk are destroying one of Ghana’s great political traditions. The party of great intellectuals has become a shadow of its former self. It has became a party of vulgar language, journalist beating, and outright vandalism. What a shame!!!!!!!

Abdul Sidibe