The actions of the Electoral Commission are breaking Ghana and the most unfortunate of the situation is we have state institutions like the National Peace Council seeing nothing wrong with it.
Yesterday, I read in the news that one member of the Peace Council, Rev. Adu Gyamfi alleged that members of the Peace Council went to the NDC head office and John Mahama’s house, and they were attacked by NDC supporters. I am yet to independently confirms this.
We have personalities like the President of the National House of Chief joining the NPP to derogatory tell the NDC to go to court when they know very well the NDC also knows why they are referring them (NDC) to the court.
Most devastating violent conflicts in #Africa can be linked to election disputes occasioned by lack of trust in the electoral bodies. We in #Ghana are now threading on this dangerous path as we are having an electoral commissioner who hurriedly declared the incumbent President winner of the December 7, 2020 polls in which about five people were shot dead and 16 people injured, wakes up the following day to issue a statement saying there were mistakes in the figures her first declaration and in an attempt to correct the first figures ended up making more mistakes. I will say again that this mostly happens when figures are being cooked to favor a particular person.
We also had reports yesterday that the Eastern Regional Director of the EC alleged that the Asougaman Constituency results were omitted from the results that the EC so declared but it has been added after the declaration. Like seriously, so the EC National Coalition Centre which is supposed to verify that the regional results on the Regional Summary Sheet capture all constituencies could also not detect this?
We must also remember that the EC Chair stated that Techiman South’s results were omitted from the Declaration because the results there were being contested.
I will personally not be surprised with events so far if the EC comes out today again to do more correction in the individual figures but maintains the winning percentage point for the incumbent President, Nana Akufo-Addo.
One other issue that is worrying is the collaborative conduct of many influential media houses in this development and the press statement issued by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) led by no mean person but the Shiek Aremeyaw Shiabu who doubles as the Spokesperson of the National Cheif Imam insisting that the results of the Electoral Commission are correct and reflected the verdict of the people. My question here is which of the results is CODEO affirming, the first as declared or the recorrected version or which one?
In all these, no member of the so-called Eminent Advisory Committee of the EC has seen anything wrong.
Interestingly, people calling on the opposition leader, John Mahama who has rejected the results citing fraud to go to court. The NPP Social Media army then started campaign #MahamaDoTheRightThing and instantly myjoyonline.com of the Multimedia Group powered the campaign with a news headline “Social Media User call on Mahama to do the right thing”. Which right thing do they want Mahama to do at this moment? Accepting the results before going to court or what?
Having followed and participated in political issues and elections since 2004, I have come to understand that though elections are won at the polling stations, elections are not rigged at only the polling stations but also at Constituency, Regional, National coalition Centres and even outside the Electoral system.
In the case of the Presidential results, the stage which is very vulnerable and results can easily be tampered with is the National Coalition Centre. Per our laws, whichsoever figures the National Returning Officer, The Electoral Commissioner declares become the legitimate result which gives the President-elect status and the only option left for any remedy is the Supreme Court. This part of the law is what is creating the problem. Why did I say so, with the current system, once you have a strong rigging mechanism in place to manipulate the figures during the transmission of the results from the regional coalition centers to the national coalition Centre and the EC Chair collaborates to hurriedly declared the results under the projection of heavy security, you are good to go?
This must not be the case. When you look at the way our systems work, there is the need for another open and transparent layer for all political parties to verify all results before a declaration is done in the event that one party feels the figures are tempered with in the case of this 2020 election or the Electoral Commission feels its system has been compromised in the case of the 2016 elections.
We must not also forget circumstances in which the current Chairperson, Jean Mensa, and her two deputies, Dr. Bossman Asare and Mr. Tetteh (who has long been with the EC) after the former Chairperson Charlotte Osei was put on the NPP removal list from opposition till they won power and successfully executed the agenda. I also participated in the process leading to the removal of Charlotte Osei’s two deputies – Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah. I was the petitioner.
Why Many Ghanaians like myself are worried about this development especially the manner in which the NDC is being told by the NPP #GoToCourt.?
In the last 4years, the incumbent President Akufo-Addo appointed about eleven (11) justices of the Supreme Court, the highest number of appointments recorded by a single government in its first term under the fourth republic of which many Ghanaians are of the view that all the appointees are more closer to the President Akufo-Addo. A typical example is Justice Honyenuga who faced a tough time going through the parliamentary approval process over his open endorsement of President Akufo-Addo during a public event at his home town in the Volta Region of Ghana.
These developments cast doubt in the minds of many Ghanaians as to whether the NDC can get justice if they head to the Supreme Court especially the manner in which they are being told. It is just like, “if you are a man enough, just go there” knowing well “we have our men there”. This need not be so.
I have been working as a peace advocate for the past 11years and I have come to know that PEACE is not a commodity you can find let alone buy in the injustice market and we must remember if the masses lose faith in the democratic systems, especially the judiciary and security services, and if they’re tired, they will resort to seeking justice their own way! Here is where the danger lies.
Don’t only tell #MahamaDoTheRightThing but tell #JeanMensaDoTheRightThing. We cannot gamble with Ghana’s peace and stability. Instability and absence of peace will be much an expensive commodity we cannot afford. If we do exchange our integrity with someone’s selfish interest and forget about the State of Ghana and its future, posterity if any will be left will never judge us kindly.
By: Korsi Senyo. He is the Executive Director of Africa Centre for Peace Building and Executive Editor of Awake Africa and Awake News.