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Opinions of Friday, 22 November 2013

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

NPP to Stop Bickering and Move on

– Supreme Court Has Reaffirmed Mahama as the President

“The NPP are to stop bickering and move on. I hate to see them always criticizing President Mahama and the Supreme Court verdict. No matter what they do, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the election of John Mahama as the President of Ghana. What then again is their reason for continually criticizing him and also, for the NPP minority caucus in parliament walking out of Parliament during the recent vote on 2.5% increase in VAT (Value Added Tax) in the country?”

The above statement out of the numerous vituperative views expressed by a London-based Ghanaian when he phoned into a London-based Hot FM radio programme hosted by DJ Valentine Do-the-Do on Tuesday morning, 19 November 2011, to contribute to the programme, forms the basis of this write-up.

It is really sad for those living in Civilized Western societies to at times behave far worse than those living in less technologically socio-politico-economically developed countries. I find the views expressed by the caller very unfortunate when interpreted in the way the Supreme Court verdict went and its dire consequences on future public elections.

Firstly, it must be pointed out clearly to fellow Ghanaians with the caller in mind inclusive, that laws and regulations are made to be stringently adhered to. There are clauses and articles enshrined in the Ghana Constitution pertaining to the organising of public elections. Same Constitutional clauses empower the Electoral Commission to enact rules and regulations in what are Constitutional Instruments (CI) to ensure transparent, credible and acceptable public elections to all.

However, the Electoral laws enacted to ensure the sanity of Election 2012 were apparently abused during and after the elections by no less learned persons than Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission and Supreme Court Justices, especially, William Atuguba and Vida Akoto-Bamfo.

An agreed inter-party definition for over-voting spelt out by Afari Gyan before the election was, “when the number of ballots in the ballot box outnumbers the registered ballots cast”. When the election was alleged to have been rigged in favour of John Mahama, same Afari Gyan offered, in the witness box under cross examination, a different definition for over-voting altogether.

He claimed, while in the witness box, not to understand over-voting himself but endeavoured a definition when compelled by Justice Baffoe-Bonnie. He volunteered a classical definition that was, “Over-voting occurs when the ballots in the ballot box outnumber the number of registered voters on the voter register for that particular polling station”.

His definition later to be concurred with by Justice Atuguba in his final verdict declaration makes it all nonsense the Electoral laws and inter-party agreements for Election 2012.

If say, twenty voters turn up to register to cast their vote on an election day at a polling station of hundred voters on the voter register, but eighty ballots are found in the ballot box at counting, it is acceptable, in the view of Atuguba and Afari Gyan. Atuguba says it is not over-voting but ballot stuffing and to him all such ballots are genuine and acceptable. Kwadwo Afari Gyan is of the same view. Where did the extra sixty “stuffing” votes come from?

Secondly, the government spent a huge capital outlay on biometric verification machines with intention to curtail, if not totally remove, multiple voting by voters during public elections. The machines ended up not being value for money because Afari Gyan and the Supreme Court judges condoned instances where voters never went through biometric verifications but did cast their vote. Have Ghanaians sooner forgotten about the “NVNV” – No Verification No Vote –“If I say NVNV, I mean No Verification No Vote and if I say Verification, I mean biometrically” said Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan.

Have we seen the dangerous precedent set by both the Electoral Commission and the Supreme Court for future public elections? How then can NPP cease bickering and move on in the stare of such ghastly electoral situation? We need to discuss it, inform the public about the impending dangerous situation and educate them on what to do or expect in future.

Any country that does neither remember its history nor revisit her past to be redirected cannot progress to expectation. Does the caller agree with Atuguba and Afari Gyan on their sycophantic dangerous views?

Finally, why should the Minority caucus in parliament sit around when the “stealer” NDC MPs do never vote exercising rationality but along unflinching loyalty to party lines? The NDC feel they are in majority; can easily outnumber the minority to pass any law at whim and therefore, do not care a hoot about the NPP MPs or anyone in Ghana except their kind.

The caller had wanted them to sit around but not voting to justify their salary for the day. By walking out, to him, means, they did not work for the day and hence the obligation to dock their salary by one day. Who cares? How would the ordinary Ghanaian know the NPP were against the increment of the VAT which was not brought on to the floor for discussion but only brought to vote on in haste?

Would Ghanaians please refer to my publication on Modernghana and SpyGhana under their Feature Article of 3 September 2013, titled, “The Repercussions of the Supreme Court Verdict”, to be aware of the dangers ahead of Ghana in future public elections?

The NPP cannot stop bickering until the NDC have stopped their corruption, thievery and disrespect for Ghanaians, that caller had better take note.

I dedicate this publication to all intelligent Ghanaians who have the love of Ghana at heart.

Rockson Adofo