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Opinions of Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Columnist: Appiah, Papa

Nana Addo - Statesman my Foot

Ghanaians are a forgiving people. We thrive in adversity with our sense of humour and our ability to gross over past misdemeanors of others for the sake of peace. So suddenly, Nana Addo is a hero, a statesman, so revered by the international community, that if the likes of Kwaku Baako are to be believed, it is almost criminal for anyone to attempt to criticize him. Well, I will.

Nana Addo had no choice but to accept the verdict. As a lawyer, he knew the verdict was clear and a review would be a waist of time. The best he could hope to get from a review, judging from the tone of the verdict would be a re-run of the elections in certain polling stations in areas which happen to be the strongholds of Mahama anyway. So he had no choice but to put a brave face on things and make the best of a bad situation by attempting to act like a statesman. But I am not impressed.

This is the guy who held the whole country to ransom with his All-die-be die mantra which he never apologized for. This is the hen akanfo man. This is the guy who failed to condemn genocidal sentiments by Mr Agyapong and this is the gentleman who sort to implement his all-die-be die policy with inflammatory speeches at Obra Spot aimed at driving his supporters into committing violence. And indeed, it was shortly after, that we had journalists beaten up and cars destroyed. It is this same man who, rather than imploring his supporters to go home while they looked for evidence, rather encouraged them to make their presence felt in the streets and then came up with outrageous allegations of vote rigging against Mr Mahama personally which no one has yet apologized for. And you want me to believe that he is such a statesman, he is almost above criticism?

Have the NPP wasted the country’s time? Of course they have. Electoral errors identified in court should not be reason for us to be thankful to NPP. Our electoral system is still evolving. That is how we have managed to come this far from the chaos and mayhem that was the 1992 elections. And indeed, many of the changes were suggestions of the NPP. We would have appreciated their input in making yet further changes. It is our constitutional right to go court. But we do not have the constitutional right to hold the country to ransom with distortions, deceit and the sheer lies espoused with a disdainful smirk from the lips of Dr Bawumiah. How anyone can suggest this man becomes flag bearer of NPP beats me.

How can we, as a country, ignore the absence of complaints from polling agents, the opinion of all election observers, and the shear orderliness at the polling stations and allow a few university students to sit in a room with iPods and come to try to convince us that the election was rigged because of some clever serial number ploy? Are we that vulnerable? It is so ridiculous, that I believe that without the political tension purposely created by the NPP, this case would have been dismissed in two days.

The people we have to be thankful for are Mr Mahama, who despite the insults and humiliation and careless abusive rhetoric directed at him in relation to the outcome of the 2012 election, has at all times maintained his dignity, sense of humour and humility; Mr Afari Gyan who stubbornly refused to allow himself to be bullied into fomenting chaos by going ahead and announcing the results while the NPP continued to huff and puff, wondering what hit them; our security agencies who for the first time in our history, appeared well prepared at all times and did not shirk their public relations responsibility either; the ordinary Ghanaian who has a forgiving heart, the Supreme Court judges who did their best to remain firm under the circumstances, the Peace Council and all the priests and pastors who prayed for peace.

These are the people we need to thank for the peace in Ghana, not a disappointed politician who preached violence that was cracked down immediately by our security, and who now grudgingly accepts a verdict seen by the whole world as fair. Papa Appiah