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Opinions of Sunday, 2 June 2013

Columnist: Abdul-Hamid, Mustapha

Re: On The Face of the Pink Sheets

*Re: On The Face of the Pink Sheets or At the Heart of the Matter*

*Mustapha Abdul-Hamid*

I have read the article written by Dr. Wereko-Brobbey and published in the Daily Guide of Friday May 31 2013 with the above heading. I write this response as an ordinary party member who feels insulted by his belief that “NPP loyal followers” are “fatally unsuitable and incompetent to understand let alone analyse.” I did not consult anybody in writing this response. Indeed, I did not feel obliged to do so. This is not therefore an official response from Nana Addo’s office.

It is clear from the article that Dr. Wereko-Brobbey has an exaggerated understanding of himself and his competences. I do not intend to insult his intelligence as he has done to the entire NPP and especially Dr. Bawumia and Nana Addo. So I will go straight to “the heart of the matter.”

In the very first paragraph of his write-up he claims to have “called one of the leading lights in NPP’s elections machinery and asked him whether he had been involved in or been consulted in the preparation of the deposition.” He did not state what response he got from this faceless “leading light.” But we can infer that he got a negative response. There are two ways by which we know anything: empirical verifiability or logical feasibility. He does not provide a name for this faceless “leading light” so we cannot empirically verify the truth or falsity of his claim. So we go to its logical feasibility. The decision to go to court and challenge the election results was a decision of the highest bodies of the NPP. If indeed, this fellow is a “leading light” there is no way this person would have been left out of the consultative processes towards going to court. Secondly, a “leading light” in the prosecution of election 2012 would not have to wait in his bedroom to be consulted. I am therefore suggesting to Dr. Wereko-Brobbey that he never made any call to a “leading light” of the NPP’s election machine. He cooked up a premise on which to proceed to berate and insult the intelligence of Dr. Bawumia, Nana Addo and the NPP.

Then he brings in the matter of STL. It is not clear in his article what he wanted to achieve with the STL bit. But if it is to suggest that the NPP made a mistake in not including the STL matter in its deposition, then he has a totally wrong understanding of the basis of our challenge. Indeed from the title of his article, it is clear that he thinks that the pinks sheets are not at the heart of the matter in dispute. However, he does not show in his entire article what the heart of the matter is, except to say what CIs he has read and has not read. Granted that he has read all the CIs that have to do with elections in this country and by that reading he is a guru in election matters, how were we supposed to know that and to consult him in our deposition? Secondly, if indeed he considers himself a member of the NPP, need he have waited for us to consult him? In any case, I don’t see how reading CIs make him an election guru. It is his imagination.

He questions why this his imaginary “leading light” who was supposedly part of the NPP “election management” was not chosen to be part of the petitioners. If the National Chairman of a party, its standard bearer and vice presidential candidate are not “leading lights” in a party’s “election management,” then I don’t know who is. Perhaps he is suggesting that his “leading light” is more knowledgeable in election matters than the three petitioners. Again how are we supposed to know that if his “leading light” does not own up to that knowledge? Besides, what is at the heart of the matter is not knowledge of and about election systems. What is at the heart of the matter is that, the primary documents (pink sheets) whose cumulative effect made John Mahama president show on their face value, that the declaration was contrary to the law governing the conduct of the election. He can convince himself that the pink sheets are not at the heart of the matter. So far, none of the respondents’ lawyers, including the judges have suggested that the pink sheets are not at the heart of the matter. Indeed the fetish that is being made of the pink sheets in court should tell him that indeed, they are at the heart of the matter.

Dr. Wereko-Brobbey also goes on about “election managers” and “leadership” and how the “election managers hollered and the “leadership” did not listen. Again, this distinction between “election managers” and “leadership” can only exist in Dr. Wereko-Brobbey’s mind. Primarily, the 2012 election and for that matter all elections from 1992 have always been managed by “leadership” of the party with the assistance of people carefully selected and sometimes elected to assist leadership in the prosecution of elections. So let Dr. Wereko-Brobbey tell us who were the “election managers” and who were the “leadership.” Perhaps I am “fatally unsuitable and incompetent” to understand his logic.

It is very interesting that Dr. Wereko-Brobbey is such an ardent admirer of Asiedu Nketia. We cannot all perceive phenomena in the same way. But I can challenge Dr. Wereko-Brobbey to go on the streets of any town in Ghana and ask for an off-the-cuff assessment of not just Asiedu Nketia’s performance in the dock, but his overall performance as General Secretary of his party. This is not about Asiedu Nketia, so I won’t labour that point. Suffice it to state that Asiedu Nketia was a bundle of contradictions; a witness who swore from the start to deceive the court. His own tape that was played to him amply demonstrated that point. But we are all not competent to judge the value of Asiedu Nketia’s testimony. The judges will do, when they deliver their judgment.

But to claim that “two NPP colleagues who had worked with the General and the EC through IPAC” confirmed their “grudging admiration” for Asiedu Nketia is the height of dishonesty. It is either this is another of Wereko-Brobbey’s concoctions or if indeed it is true, then those NPP operatives did not deserve to be at the EC and IPAC. If indeed these faceless NPP operatives confess that they are unable to match Asiedu Nketia’s wit at the EC and IPAC, then they must be the reason we are where we are. Granted that these “two NPP colleagues” really exist, are they different from the “leading light(s)” and “election managers” that Wereko-Brobbey has been referring to? If they are not different then it collapses Wereko-Brobbey’s argument that “leading lights” and “election managers” were not consulted. For what more consultation can one desire beyond being asked to represent the party’s interest at the EC and IPAC? If they are different, then Wereko-Brobbey will be hard pressed to convince anybody about the truth of his claims. For how could a party prosecuting such an important matter, not consult “leading lights” and “election managers” and “representatives at EC and IPAC.” We must indeed be a party of “fatally unsuitable and incompetent” people.

Dr. Wereko-Brobbey states that Dr. Bawumia put out “a lot of assertions, superstitions” and “personal interpretations of law” which he avers will be wickedly exposed when the final verdict is delivered. Of course we are in court to assert. We have gone to court to assert that the wrong person was declared president. So Dr. Bawumia’s assertions were according to script. I don’t know about Dr. Bawumia and superstition. As a grandson of the custodian of the Gambaga witches’ camp, I am full of superstition. So I know superstition when I hear somebody utter it. I didn’t hear Dr. Bawumia utter superstitions. “Personal interpretations of law?” Why not? Dr. Bawumia has not said that he has studied the law of interpretation. So it is within his right to engage in personal interpretation. Whether that interpretation accords with law or not will indeed be exposed when the judgment is passed. I don’t know if that exposition will be wicked.

Elizabeth Ohene once remarked in a casual conversation with me, that we must be wary of marital advice from people who have been thrice divorced. Dr. Wereko-Brobbey has been at our throats since this case started, sometimes chastising us, sometimes offering us advice. But we are wary of election advice from an energy expert who got chased out of VRA where he was supposedly doing what he has been certified to do. We are also wary of election advice from the founder of a political party that didn’t survive beyond one election. Physician, heal thyself.