Three months after Election 2020, Ghanaians could still have been removing dead bodies from the streets, the air filled with the stench of putrefaction as flies and vultures hover over dead bodies. Those bodies could have been yours, mine or your children’s.
Remember Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Cote d’Ivoire: men, women and children, civilians and soldiers, without limbs; people being hacked to death by political and tribal enemies.
Ghana was at the very tipping point in 2020.
As tyres burned and tear gas exploded in the streets of peace-loving Ghana, I am told that pastors, Imams, Council of State members and diplomats were begging Mahama to call off his party supporters and go to law.
How our hearts were in our mouths!
Remember those who lost their lives. By their deaths, the bread has been snatched from the tables of their wives and children.
Without the social security of the extended family system, their children will soon be in the streets (out of school), begging for bread, pushing trucks and learning street survival tricks that turn teenagers into vicious killers, rapists and thieves.
Totally avoidable, if you ask me. Avoidable because all we have needed all these years is a government (President, Parliament), in consultation with Council of State, Trades Union, religious bodies and civil society, deciding that the 1992 Constitution should be amended to stretch the period between the election and inauguration.
Because of the shortness of the period between result declaration and the inauguration of President, aggrieved candidates fear that even if they take their petition to court, the judges, out of consideration of certain appointments made by the sworn-in victorious candidate, might not want to upset the apple cart and would, therefore, call on technicalities of the law to confirm the results.
Three Fridays ago, I advocated that there was hope for such aggrieved candidates, citing the outcomes of election petitions in Kenya and Malawi that went in favour of the petitioners, against sitting Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta (2017) and Peter Mutharika (2019) respectively.
There is hope. Among Ghana’s Supreme Court judges, I can put my two hands in the fire for Justices Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Samuel Marful Sau, Gertrude Torkonoo and Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi — the few whom I have known personally, some of whom I have laughed with, fellowshipped with and some of whom I have personally tracked their personal badge of integrity.
But not everybody has faith in personal character, and we are not all sane men, not even when they go riding a V8 or gleaming limousines. If you think I am exaggerating, just cast your mind back to the night separating January 6 and 7, 2021 inside Ghana’s Parliament!
We can no longer afford to postpone the critical and urgent amendment of the 1992 Constitution. While at it, we should dare to also take out ‘winner takes all’ from our politics. It feeds our greed.
Remember, God does not have a soft spot for our country. Just remember that Liberians were once rated as the most God-fearing people in Africa.
I repeat that John Mahama’s tongue-lashing against the judges was unjustified. I am convinced that he lost the case. Like him, I was disappointed that Jean Mensa did not testify. But that was not fatal; after all, ECs account to Parliament, not court.
The moment Johnson Asiedu Nketia ended his testimony, the outcome of the election petition was clear. Without presenting NDC figures to contradict the EC’s, how else do human beings prove an accusation that a candidate in a Ghanaian election did not meet the
Article 63 (3) threshold of crossing 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast?
Unless the court’s calculator was faulty, Asiedu Nketia’s own calculation showed that Nana Addo won 51.59 per cent of the votes.
Granted there were vote padding and other errors, the only way to show that they affected the outcome of a presidential election result was to bring evidence of it to court. NDC’s samples? That was laughable. Courts don’t work with samples: that’s for academic research.
I agree with the majority verdict that “the petitioner did not demonstrate in any way how the alleged errors affected the validity of the (results)”.
Dear reader, is it reasonable to accept as true, the allegation that the EC chair instructed a “hard man” like Rojo Mettle Nunoo?
Is it reasonable to accept that Jean Mensa could trick an NDC member, any NDC member, when from her first day in office, the party had withstood her every step of the way and for every (I repeat, every) decision she took?
John Mahama owes President Akufo-Addo a concession phone call.