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Opinions of Thursday, 5 September 2013

Columnist: Akaho, Felix Junior

Se asa

Everything as stated by the holy book of the Christian faith has a time, a time for its commencement and that of drawing down of curtains to mark its climax.

The title of this article for no reason gain prominence during the untimely departure of our beloved the then sitting President, Prof John Evans Atta Mills, though the current of situations I aim at describing differ, I think the title befits it perfectly as it was then. The title literally is a sarcastic query in the Ghanaian Twi dialect which means, *is it not finish?*

Let me borrow the words of the Presiding Judge who sat on what has become a Landmark case in the annals of our nation, *the 2012 election petition*, Justice William Atuguba during the very climax of the then epic period of presentations of evidence, and its subsequent cross examinations, “At *long last the long period of* *…”,* fortunately for us this time, it is not only the period of presenting evidences that have come to a climax, but its end product, which is the outcome those evidences sort to elicit, *JUDGEMENT*.

We all for now might certainly know who did carry the day, and might need no witnesses’ briefings on it. Therefore, I rest my case on that for now.

Whether rejoicing or taking time to brood over our expectations that never was, thus whether the pendulum did switched to your favour or not. We all have nothing to lose because Ghana indeed has won, and we all us Ghanaians deserve some parting at back, if not for anything at all, at least for proving the stream of speculators, and their speculations of war wrong.

I believe by now the Ghanaian’ U.S embassy would have known that there was no need for calling on her nationals to be on red alert. “Hmm! Indeed, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh”

Individuals, the security agencies, corporate, and other notable institutions of state have as it may rip the best of dividend out of their investments made into the peace process. As it was their expectations, nothing untoward did happen.

The best of commendations equally goes to the Supreme Court Justices for their strict adherence to the best of practices. They for once have pinched some unscrupulous personalities who under the cloak of being members of a party’s communication team, prey on the ignorance of their *“little or none Knowledge seeking”* dependant sycophants to put the life of a whole nation in fear and panic. Political talk shows have for once in the annals of our nation gained the sanctity it deserved. I just hope it did continue.

Talking of commendations, I believe the petitioners on the hand also deserve to be commended. Their time spent in gathering the needed evidences for proving their case in court did not only benefit them, but the entire nation. The greatest beneficiary apart from the nation is the Electoral Commission I guess.

From a personal point of view, the benefits are that enormous. It has not only restored the once dwindling trust had in the judiciary of the state, but over the period, i have had a perfect view of what really goes on in the court of law. In short, I have had a perfect grasp of judiciary proceedings.

The petition hearing if critically analyse have had it fair share of effects on the affairs of the state, though we have refused to admit. Lots of productive hours both privately and publicly have been lost to the wind. It again in my opinion slowed the wheels of governance. The most devastating effect is that it has encouraged a “wait and see attitude” in the economy, a situation whose resultant effects need no argument.

Disputably, the Presidency was at a standstill. But who is to be blamed? Since nothing could possibly thrive under the *“move or do not move”*environment that came into being with the commencement of the petition hearing.

But as the axiom goes, “what does not kill you only strengthens you” it has strengthen the nation for times ahead. A situation I believe calls for the changing of notes, especially from the fold of the electoral commission. As former President Kuffour once said, the nation has invested much into their activities; therefore they must live up to expectations. Whatever be the case, we all have our fair share of lessons to learn.

*LESSONS LEARNT*

*POLITICAL PARTIES*

Lessons learnt on the side of political parties are a straight forward one. The business pertaining the organisation of elections is as serious as managing the affairs of the nation, and a such must not be toyed with.

Going forward parties the next time round ought to ensure that the hands they contract to manage issues concerning elections of any kind on their behalf are that competent and up to the task. The mere creation of a seasonal job of a sort for the so called party foot-soldiers or faithful’s should be given a second look.

In my opinion, the nation could have been spared the hustle and bustle of the election petition if all the political parties were vigilant as they sort to portray prior to the elections. Frantically, the assertion that *“you and I were not there” *which is now synonymous to Dr. Bawumia points straight to the fact that parties did compromised on quality in their recruitment of not mere a people like polling agents. Because in any case such people were recruited to make up for the absence of their recruiters since they cannot be at everywhere at a go.

Therefore its only cogent they did perform the task that was assigned them by reporting contradictions and affirming rights as their recruiters would have done if they were they in person. Leaving no room for doubts as to whether they were up to the task or not, and it subsequent challenging of the legitimacy of the elections in the court of law.

*THE MEDIA*

Like the two edged sword, they build and equally demolish. Why do you give the voice to after all some irresponsible voiceless entity like the politician to put the peace process on the brink, and turn to blame them for being reckless with their utterance?

*“opanyi a otinafie ma mofra wre naka nu, ye bunaka wrefua okahobi”*

If a mere phone call did caused a genocide somewhere in Africa, precisely a certainly R-WAN-DA, anything at all can equally happen to us if we fail to jealously protect the peace we enjoy as a nation. In an era where the nation virtually depends on the media for anything news/ information it tells us but one thing,

*The life of the patient at a point in time is in the hands of the physician *, *the passenger’s, the driver*, the nation’s peace, the media, though the ultimately sustainer remains the Almighty, *God*.

The argument over the years has been that the national media commission has failed to bite, but it should not be the yardstick for not upholding to the best of professional ethics that binds the media profession. Trading the nation’s peace for the meagre tokens from our alleged pay-masters, the politician would be a great misdeed.

*FOLLOWERS*

Irrespective of our entitlement of association, and joining a party of our choice, we ought to desist from being mere followers of political parties, personalities and the kind to being followers that seek the holistic good of the county. I mean *nation followers*.

In so doing, we become people who can reason independently and analyse situations for ourselves without having to at-all times depend on the so called Communication team members who have within this short spate of time proven to be people who are paid to do their masters will, thus only defining situations only to make up for their parochial interests of a sort.

I believe its only *party followers* other than *nation followers* that would fall prey to such unscrupulous communication team members.

*ELECTORAL COMMISSION*

As the only body of state constitutionally mandated to overseer issues pertaining to elections, the commission ought not to only appear sacred and fit for such an honour, but indeed, must be.

With its recruitments, the commission’s dealings with third party institutions must go through the mill to ensure that rooms are not left for compromises.

The petition hearing has certainly done the commission a lot of good by exposing major loopholes in its system of operations. Frantic measures I think must be taken to make sure such occurrences become a thing of the past.

The commission ought to in partnership with the appropriate quarters ensure that such loopholes as might exist in relation to the laws governing elections in our country is done away with.

Any employee of the commission identified, or implicated for negligence should not be considered for any future engagement. Again, activities during election periods should not be an avenue for recruiting people only to fill their pockets, but to get the best of hands to manage the process leading to the decision making of the nation.

In short, the commission ought to ensure that it does not in the future bring its integrity into question.

“elections in our nation would certainly not be the same again”

Though we did not burn, Let us as a nation deeply immerse ourselves into the rivers of doing good, so that anytime in the future tendencies of a type erupts again, issues of the nation burning would never be a thought.

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