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Who said losing an election was easy?

BY: Emmanuel Ankra-Badu
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo & Former President John Mahama

After all the campaigns — crisscrossing the country; after all the spending — cash, goodies, and their kind (which are unnecessary, though); after all the sleepless nights, coupled with the self-imposed fastings of all kinds…

Losing an election, like losing a crucial penalty, can both be painful and subjectively unpardonable.

As such, no one should blame the National Democratic Congress (NDC), after all it is equally therapeutic to express such an emotion than to suppress it.

The NDC should rather be congratulated instead of vilified, as far as this election goes. They were truly the underdogs by every indication. And to have come up from behind to chalk up such a feat as equalising the number of seats in the parliamentary election and giving the incumbent President a ride for his money, cannot be trivialised under any circumstance.

Before the election, almost all the theories pointed to a massive win for the ruling government, giving the way they handled the pandemic; the Free SHS had the potential to have won the day for the ruling government hands down.

Congratulated!

This is where the opposition party needed to be congratulated and not vilified, because, while their counterparts, on the other side, were behaving like the hare in the proverbial hare and tortoise race and were patting themselves on the back as having already won the election, they were working. They employed every trick in the book to punch holes in every move the ruling government thought was a strong point to win the masses to their side.

They ensured their message reached the grassroot and, as such, were on every community radio. No other party in the country matched their community presence. Not even the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).

Their efforts were paid back in full. And after the elections, as the results were being returned, all the theories that pointed in the direction of an NDC win were rife — Greater Accra was won by the NDC; parliamentary seats were equalised; and independent parliamentary candidates won.

They all point to an NDC win, but providence had it the other way and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo won. To have lost the ultimate — the presidential — with all these indicators can be nothing less than painful, and very painful indeed.

Thus warrants the “celebration” of their loss. Maybe, what is not going very well with their “celebration” is how they want to draw everybody into it.

Advice

 With the prevailing dynamics and how sophisticated the Ghanaian voter has become; it could have been anybody’s waterloo. And seriously, to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs, most of them should rather bow their heads in shame.

It is now obvious that most of them were just riding on the back of the President’s initiatives and goodwill. They themselves were doing nothing on the ground. I hope the lesson is for all to learn.

To the losing party, yes, they cannot afford to be quiet. No not at all, but they must not throw caution to the wind.

We still have one country, and if anything, the Jinapor brothers, with both winning their seats in Parliament, should teach us that we are all brothers (and sisters). After all, there are worse things than losing an election.

The worst thing, according to Aldan Stevenson, is to lose one’s convictions and not tell the people the truth. And what is the truth, as far as the 2020 Ghana Presidential and Parliamentary elections are concerned?

Does anybody care to know? The truth is that, as Ghanaians, we have done well. The truth is that this election was organised under very difficult conditions.

The truth is that, we must not be that ungrateful to providence. We have had elections. But this was an election. We are maturing.

EC

Most important of all mention, must be made of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the monumental work they carried out under these conditions and within a very limited time.

Maybe apart from Dr Vladmir Antwi- Danso, who has come out publicly to praise the EC, all others are eloquently silent and muffling some lame congratulations, undertone, to the commission for the decent work produced.

The conditions under which they worked required our commendation rather than our condemnation. And the sad thing is that the attacks are coming from both sides of the political divide. That tells you how bitterly painful losing an election could be. It takes away all the reality.

Socrates must be right when he said: “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”

The one slip of mispositioning of figures in a general election may be deemed a monumental slip, but that cannot take the shine away from the huge sacrifices landmark strides the commission chalked up under the circumstances.

The writer is the former Director, Pentecost Men’s Ministry.

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