Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) has once again played ostrich by ignoring the many shooting incidents which have left people injured and others dead, as a result of electoral irregularities at the just ended general election, to focus on ex-President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
According to Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, ex-President Mahama, is rather destroying his international standing, following his refusal to accept defeat after the December 7 elections and also failing to indicate whether or not he will go to court to seek redress.
The IDEG boss, one of the 13 members of the Advisory Board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration set up by President Nana Akufo-Addo, was part of the recent Presidential Elections Peace Pact (PEPP) convened by the Office of the National Chief Imam, the NPC and the National House of Chiefs.
Dr. Akwetey, thinks Mahama’s refusal to concede, is not good enough for his reputation as ex-President.
Mr Mahama, had condemned the widespread use of the military, policemen and militia to shoot and kill unarmed civilians at various collation centres across the country, leading to about eight deaths and several injuries.
One of the shooters, Collins Kwaku, alias Kola, per his lawyer, Faisal Cisse is employed as a National Security Officer at the Operations Department of the Office of the President, Jubilee House manned by ex-National Organizer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Lord Commey, but currently the Director of Operations at the Presidency.
The Police have given the names of those killed so far as, Zakaria Samira, 12, Musah Fuseini, 14 Botwe Tackie, 16, Abdallah Ayarek, 18; Tajudeen Mohammed, 41, Dompreh Emmanuel, 36, and Abass Ibrahim 30 years.
About 15 other electorates also received various degrees of injuries mostly from gunshots.
Dr. Aketwey on the Key Points programme on TV3 Saturday, December 19, did not condemn the killings, but rather focused his argument on Mr Mahama’s refusal to concede although the ex-President, had described the 2020 election as flawed and the result declared by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) Jean Mensa, as fictitious.
But Dr Aketwey is not alone in playing ostrich, as many religious leaders, politicians, civil society organizations, chiefs and other opinion leaders, have remained silent on the shootings, injuries and deaths, but rather pushing John Mahama to concede defeat and move on in accordance with the Peace Pact he and Akufo-Addo signed to commit themselves to a peaceful and violent-free elections ahead of December 7.
The Presidential Elections Peace Pact (PEPP) was on the theme “Eradicating vigilantism: The role of political parties”, the contenders need to show commitment to follow electoral rules and ensure that Ghana stays peaceful after the election.
The 2020 PEPP follows the National Peace Council facilitated dialogue on eradicating vigilante violence which led to the NPP and the NDC adopting the code of conduct and the road map for eradicating vigilante violence in Ghana.
The signing took place at the Movenpick hotel in Accra where the two main political parties were present. The objective was to get a firm commitment of the candidates to work for a peaceful and open electoral process.
Ahead of the signing, tension had been heightened going in the elections as the opposition NDC has declared that it will not accept the results of a flawed election with Mr. Mahama warning the EC that its credibility was at stake and must put in place measures to ensure the 2020 poll was fair to all stakeholders.
Even though Mahama acknowledged that the NDC had exhibited restraint since the electoral process started, he stated that the party will not allow the EC to usurp the people’s mandate.
Addressing the nation on Thursday, September 24, Mahama noted “we in the NDC have exhibited restraint at all times in this electoral process, even now we are committed to doing so. But we will not accept the result of a flawed election.”
But remarkably, although the election has not been “peaceful and violent-free elections” those behind the peace pact namely; the Office of the National Chief Imam, the National Peace Council (NPC), the National House of Chiefs and IDEG which coordinated the signing even want the incidents including the killings swept under the carpet.
According to Dr. Akwetey, Mr Mahama, was able to build a good image for himself within the international community when he accepted the results of the 2016 elections and also helped the Gambia and other West African countries to deal with issues affecting elections and outcomes and acceptance, but, in his view, the conduct of Mr Mahama after the 2020 elections is eroding all these gains.
He told host of the programme, Abena Tabi that “The call on members of the NDC to demonstrate must be recognized and respected but it also has to be exercised within the law so that the Police will provide them with the protection they need and agent provocateurs won’t get in and so on.
“In demonstrations, you always have people who may not even be related to the NDC getting in to cause havoc. That is what I mean by the agents of provocation who might get in and create all sorts of problems. They might come from vigilantes, so you stop going onto the streets.
I think at this stage, from what I am gathering the demonstration without notice to the police and the reactions and the constant refusal or the delay in saying, we are going to court and calling your members out onto the streets especially after you sign a peace pact I think is damaging.
“It is damaging to the international standing of Former President Mahama especially because in 2016 he conceded and in spite of all his reservations, he led ECOWAS to go to the Gambia and deal with issues affecting elections and outcomes and acceptance.
“He was very critical in Burkina Faso when the army intervened and he was highly commended for that. Based on that stance, his international standing as a man who in spite of everything would hold on to the democratic principles, peace and stability, he has been leading one mission after the other.
“So this time has confused many. There have been calls from friends who are saying what has led to this? This is the man we looked up to.”
For his part, a Deputy Attorney General, Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, said on the same show that the street protests by the main opposition NDC against the results of the 2020 general elections which the party lost, will not achieve anything.
He explained that the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, spells out what an aggrieved person in an election should do in the event of the person disagreeing with the results of an election as declared by the Electoral Commission.
The outgoing Member of Parliament for Tempane, told host Abena Tabi that “The argument of the NDC is that the winner should have been His Excellency former President John Mahama. That was not granted by the EC. The EC went ahead to declare what were the set of facts to them after collation of all the 275 constituencies across the country.
“At that stage, when you are aggrieved by the conduct of the Electoral Commission and you want the results overturned, the streets will not assist you to overturn the results. Let us get that fundamental right.
“If they think that genuinely they have a case that is why everybody is saying if you want the election results as has been gazette to change in your favour, the only forum where you can state your grievances and get the issues dealt with will be the Supreme Court properly constituted.”
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has said the means by which the party will go to court to challenge the results of the presidential and parliament elections are being blocked.
He told TV3’s Komla Klutse in an interview that the party is being denied access to some pink sheets, the primary documents upon which the election results were declared, to enable them to put their case together for possible court action.
“We have to secure the means of going to court. Even the means of going to court and having the chance of winning is still being blocked by the tyrant.
“So why do you want to go to court when the person who knows that when you go to court you will need A, B, C and so we are blocking your means of getting there so that you cannot go to court. And then sycophants will be sitting outside and shouting go to court.
“If we have to go to court about Techiman, we can only go to court to challenge the results of Techiman as declared. We are being denied even the opportunity of sighting what results were declared when the law gives us an entitlement to a copy,” he said.