Voice from Afar: When is enough enough?

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Governments sometimes avoid the process by laws such as the Preventive Detention Act.  Such Acts may facilitate arrests without much evidence and may result in relative peace for some time. 

We know from hard experience however that the time comes when enough is enough even for draconian legislation to maintain peace and order.

Many who support the court action by the NPP are fretting about the long delay in a decision.  The NPP has to maintain the confidence of their people by certain acts such as the boycotting of some national or parliamentary events. 

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) naturally exploit their political advantage by taunts at the NPP leadership.

All this is understandable by the educated and the true politician.  But the majority of our people do not fully appreciate what is happening. 

Patience may be lost and action forced on leaders may lead to serious social and political disorder.

It is therefore time to ask whether enough has not been done to register strong distaste for the declared Presidential election results. 

Allegations of cheating at elections have been with us sine independence.  I was a Returning Officer at Yendi at the last election before independence in 1954.  I was not aware of any cheating or unfair practices then.  But when I look back perhaps there were incidents but we did not look hard at them.

Since then doing anything to win elections appears to have become normal.  I remember an MP assuring Dr. Nkrumah of 104 per cent  victory.  There were 104 parliamentary seats then and what he meant was that the CPP would capture them all.

We have come a long way since those days.  Of course things are not perfect and we have to improve the electoral system and procedures. 

The courts cannot do this.  Only the people led by the political parties can improve the system.  The political parties should come together and take decisions; mindful of what has happened in the past and taking advantage of the experience of the Electoral Commission.

The time has therefore come for the NPP and NDC leadership to consult to find ways and means of improving the electoral process and procedures to deal with the problems which occurred at the last and previous elections.

The major specific allegations before the Supreme Court should be confronted and ways found to avoid them in the future.  In this way the court action would have served its useful purpose and the case might be withdrawn. 

The parties may find it difficult to initiate such action.  But we have a generally respected institution of long standing which is mentioned in the Constitution but which is not given any major assignment except the negative one of not participating actively in politics.  I mean of course, the institution of chieftaincy.

I make a bold to suggest in all humility that Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, the Asantehene, Osagyefo Amoatia Oforipanin, the Okyehene, Na Professor Nabila and Togbe Afede IV and Nana Dr. Oti Boateng, may invite the two leading parties and the Electoral Commission to meet and initiate measures to ensure that election procedures are improved so that what happened to necessitate the court action by the NPP does not happen again. 

Naturally legal postures that there was no case for going to court and arguments that malpractices were so serious that the election results could not be accepted would be abandoned.

The aim would be to use recent experience to improve election procedures and strengthen democracy and promote that national consensus on which rapid social and economic development depends.

The learned and clever can puncture many holes in the arguments and suggestions made.  But too much talking and clever argumentation can destroy this country or at best make it move backwards and forwards without purpose.

Ghana deserves better.  It is time we agreed in the interests of Ghana that enough is enough!

Article by K.B. Asante