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Opinions of Saturday, 15 December 2012

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

The Road to Kigali – Part 2

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

The title of this segment of the series ought to have been “Steer Clear of Ghanaian Politics, Mr. Yayi Boni,” since it is based on the widely reported courtesy-call conference between former President John Agyekum-Kufuor and President Yayi Boni, of the Republic of Benin, who also doubles as chairman of the African Union (AU) – (See “EC Not Above the Law – Kufuor” 12/10/12).

And on the latter score must also be quickly pointed out that Benin was one of the countries which the now-President John Dramani Mahama officially visited as part of his so-called Thank You Tour of the West African sub-region, in the wake of the death and lavish funeral for the late President John Evans Atta-Mills. One does not, therefore, need a college or university degree, or certification, to fully appreciate the devious import of Mr. Mahama’s sympathy and alliance-forging “post-funeral tour” of the West African sub-region.

Indeed, at the time of his so-called Thank You Tour, I personally confided to a friend that the tour smacked more of a well-calibrated military alliance prefabricated by a pathologically determined President Mahama to both subtly intimidate his most formidable political opponents as well as to perpetuate his political domination of the country. And the stark fact that it had been forged in preparation for the massive rigging of Election 2012 by Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), in favor of his National Democratic Congress (NDC) paymasters could not be controverted.

Consequently, it comes as absolutely no surprise, whatsoever, that Benin’s President Yayi Boni should be trying to pressure Mr. Kufuor to prevail on Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), to rather unwisely concede defeat in an election that most Ghanaians are convinced was handily won by Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, as well as former Foreign Minister.

At any rate, in his aforesaid conference with the Benin leader, Mr. Kufuor is widely reported to have bitterly accused the Electoral Commission of having “acted as though it was above the law, a position which should not be tolerated.” And, needless to say, the two-term premier thoroughly knows what he is talking about; for not only is Mr. Kufuor, himself, an Oxford-trained lawyer and economist, he has also been in the proverbial eye-of-the-storm as a formidable opposition leader who, like Nana Akufo-Addo, was at least once cheated at the polls by the Rawlings-led National Democratic Congress and the Afari-Gyan chaperoned EC.

But that former President Kufuor would bluntly fault the Electoral Commission for having blatantly rigged Election 2012 in order to guarantee the criminal imposition of an integrity-challenged President Mahama on Ghanaians, is all the more to be vehemently protested and vigorously challenged in a legitimately constituted court of law. And on the latter score, I also take this opportunity to sternly caution key New Patriotic Party stalwarts like Messrs. Obetsebi-Lamptey and Akomea against unwisely attempting to police, or rein in, disconsolately aggrieved NPP supporters and sympathizers who have allegedly taken to the streets in a legitimate bid to rectifying the unpardonable travesty that is the EC’s declaration of Mr. Mahama as the victor of Election 2012.

Instead, even as the two NPP leaders counsel non-violent levelheadedness among their party’s supporters and sympathizers, it is equally imperative for them to constructively harness the robust energies of these NPP loyalists into a formidable and strategic pressure group even as they prepare to battle the NDC Thuggocrats in court. Needless to say, the National Democratic Congress remains the most violent and extortionate political party in Fourth-Republican Ghana and must be unreservedly engaged on its own term. What the latter observation means, of course, is that the NPP ought to be willing to use whatever means that it deems necessary to fulfill the legitimate aspirations of the illegally deprived Ghanaian majority.

In short, we must be willing to travel the hallowed trail of Otumfuo Osei-Tutu I, Daasebre Tweneboa-Kodua, Dr. J. B. Danquah and, of course, Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey.

In his conference with President Yayi Boni, Mr. Kufuor is also reported to have alleged that “in one of the constituencies, as many as 16,000 votes were added to a political party’s candidate to shore up figures [in order to] guarantee victory in the election.” Needless to say, if the foregoing allegation has forensic validity, then there is absolutely no reason for Nana Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party to concede defeat. Rather, the gratuitously giddy President Mahama ought to be prepared by factual reality on the ground to concede defeat.

At any rate, the leader of a dubious democracy like Benin has no business presuming to lecture a cheated Ghanaian democracy-loving electoral majority on how to respond to their assailants.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Dec.14, 2012