Monday, December 17, 2012
The road in front of the NPP is indeed winding and long. It fits into what the celebrated Ghanaian poet, Atukwei Okai, has rightly captured in his imagination as “Lorgorligi Logarithms.” Will the NPP leaders move their supporters along this road to reach Canaan? To claim what they are clamouring for as their electoral crown? I wonder.
As they insist on having their day in court but continue to give conflicting/contradictory explanations day-in-day-out about where they are in the process of gathering evidence for that purpose—or even on the exact quantum of votes allegedly stolen for President Mahama—they give misleading impressions about their true intentions.
All that noise about their research office being raided or the office of the leader of their legal team (Gloria Akuffo) being broken into are part of what makes the journey truly lorgorligi in nature. Too many different tastes will confuse the tongue; not so?
They seem to be stuck at three points now: mustering enough bravado to take on the EC, the NDC, and the media at the Supreme Court; persisting in demonstrating their displeasure through physical acts of mayhem; or presenting a petition to the Asantehene on Tuesday (after a public demonstration in Kumasi), then, prevailing on their supporters to end the street bedlam and return to normalcy to wait for further directives from them.
The expectation at that point will be that they themselves will abandon their hot-headed protests and follow the due process in seeking redress, as is expected of those calling themselves democrats!
Any of these lines of action has its own consequences which, I hope the NPP’s followers will factor into whatever they decide to do henceforth.
Let me briefly tell them that the intention to go to court is well registered on the minds of Ghanaians and they will expect it to be carried out for us to know what they think they know.
In this light, we are thrilled to hear from Nana Akomea, Communications Director of the NPP, that the party would file its case at the Supreme Court within 21 days, as stipulated by the Constitution, and that the hearing of the case could start in full by January 15, 2013.
But there seems to be a snag waiting for them already. All of a sudden, voices opposed to this court action have started emerging from within the NPP’s own fold. Initial reports that the NPP supporters in Kumasi were divided over the issue seem to be given substance by Dr. Yves Charles Wereko-Brobby, a founding member of the NPP. The Tarzan has bared his teeth at those gunning for court action or street protests, which he sees as useless.
In a statement issued in Accra yesterday, he objected to the court action and suggested that the party should let sleeping dogs lie. In other words, “As far I am concerned, those who watched things happen then, instead of making things happen, and are now straining their credentials to prosecute stolen verdict simply have no case. Their time would be better spent ensuring that the will of the people of Ghana in election 2016 will be manifested in a victorious outcome.”
That’s a bombshell, coming from Wereko-Brobby. Not only is he taking issues with the party’s organizers and polling agents for not playing their roles properly to put Akufo-Addo in office but he is also bold enough to dismiss the intended court action as a waste of time.
Wereko-Brobby is pessimistic of the outcome of this court case and wishes that the party will concentrate efforts on re-organizing itself for the future. The reasons he cited aren’t different from what I have been harping on all this while to alert the NPP leaders and their followers to the danger into which they are plunging their party just to serve the purposes of one person—Akufo-Addo—who is at pains to admit that his loss at the 2012 polls means the end of his political career.
The court action, as Wereko-Brobbey and I see it, won’t reverse what has already been declared by the EC nor will it help strengthen the NPP for future electoral contests. At best, it will only be for the records. And who will benefit from such a rhetorical feat? Only the Ghana Law Reform Commission or those in charge of preparing legal reports to serve as reference points for law students will be interested in such legal theatricals. The Tarzan has a strong argument here.
This stance has suddenly shot the NPP out of focus and will trigger more wrangling. As is to be expected, sharp criticisms of Wereko-Brobby have already surfaced.
Nana Akomea is questioning the basis for Tarzan's comments. In an analogy, he said merely because a security man failed in his duties to protect a house does not mean that the burglar should be rewarded and praised for his action. To him, given the “extensive irregularity” that characterized the 2012 elections, it would be foolhardy on the part of the NPP to let sleeping dogs lie.
Nana Akomea said the NPP owed it a duty to Ghana and her young democracy to challenge the election results at the courts. “We have a duty to expose these irregularities so they don’t happen again,” he added.
Two troubles one God already! Ghanaians are not perturbed at the NPP’s decision to go to court nor will they lose sleep at the ebb and flow of the court proceedings. To the majority who endorsed President Mahama and the 151 NDC Parliamentarians, what is written is written: the NPP is still in opposition.
So also is it with all the foreign institutions and heads of state who have already congratulated Ghanaians for holding free, fair, and transparent elections to elect President Mahama for a full four-year term. None of these congratulatory messages gave any indication of fraud as the NPP is alleging, which means that Ghanaians will care less how the NPP resolves its own internal conflicts in readiness for this legal tussle.
What fascinates Ghanaians, however, is Nana Akomea’s claim that “the hearing of the case could start in full by January 15, 2013.” Ghanaians know that by constitutional demand, the President-elect should be inaugurated into office on January 7, 2013. The NPP’s court action, notwithstanding, they expect that the inauguration will take place to legitimize President Mahama’s administration.
This is where a fine line of treachery appears. And it alerts Ghanaians to the hidden subversive agenda of the NPP, assuming that they manage to file their case within the 21-day period. The overarching question, then, is: Does the NPP expect that once they file their case before January 7, the Supreme Court will place an injunction on the inauguration of President Mahama?
We acknowledge that the Transitional Team has already begun preparing the ground for the switch from the care-taker administration under President Mahama to a full-fledged one to be led by him for the next four years.
In view of the NPP’s intended legal action, one might be tempted to assume that the Supreme Court will decide that the inauguration be placed on hold until it determines the case. That may be the faint hope that the NPP leaders may be nursing so they can thump their chests in self-congratulatory judicial success.
Unfortunately for them, I don’t see anything of the sort happening. Our constitution is silent on what happens after January 7 if a stalemate of the sort that any decision of the Supreme Court stopping the inauguration will create.
There is no provision for the President to continue in office while a case challenging his election is being tried. We don’t want to assume that the Supreme Court will place such an injunction to create not only a constitutional crisis but also a governance problem. But in our kind of democracy where state institutions are weak and manipulable for political purposes, we won’t rule anything out. But Ghanaians will resist anything of the sort because of its negative impact on governance. That resistance can be fatal.
At this point, we can say with a measured certainty that the NPP leaders may be aiming at this objective. Once they’ve made up their minds to destabilize the Mahama-led administration, they will go for anything at all that can be used for that purpose.
In the long run, though, there is every cause to believe that the NPP will go nowhere with its manouevres. Neither the street demonstrations nor the presentation of a petition to the Asantehene will solve their problems. So also will their court action not reverse their sad fate. I foresee another defeat waiting to hit them in the face, which will worsen their plight.
As Wereko-Brobby has rightly put it, all that they are doing now has the potential to deepen their woes. The best thing to do is to re-appraise the situation and re-strategize for the future. Anything short of that will further erode public confidence, respect, and trust in the NPP.
The truth is that Ghanaians who voted against Akufo-Addo didn’t just wake up in the morning of Election Day to do so. They had had enormous opportunities to assess each of the Presidential Candidates and made electoral decisions that favoured President Mahama. They will not be expected to turn against him, even if the NPP succeeds in working for a run-off to be held between him and Akufo-Addo.
From what has happened so far, I am certain that Akufo-Addo will not get anything close to the 47.71% of the votes that got him somehow close to the outskirts of Canaan but not helped him access the milk and honey flowing there. We foresaw it long before it happened and pointed it out only to be condemned as vile tribalists.
Now that one of their own kind has begun singing the same refrain, I hope they will listen to reason. Truly, the truth hurts. Or better still, an insult is not more painful than when it is true. We wait for the lorgorligi movement to begin in earnest. Interesting times ahead!!
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