POST ELECTION PETITION BLUES
By Tetteh Ahumah Bosco, Accra, Ghana.
In the wake of the verdict on the historic Election Petition before the Supreme Court of Ghana, a lot has transpired.
One can talk of the good, bad and the ugly in that period from the day Justice Atugubah dropped the gavel upon pronouncing judgment.
Immediately, some folks in the courtroom appeared fazed by the judgment. A friend, Sister Becky Gad who was watching the proceedings on TV told me that till she saw the N.D.C folks waving their white handkerchiefs, she didn’t know who had won the case…
So the Supreme Court of the land had given its verdict.
Bottom line, the Supreme Court had adopted a position similar to that held by the Florida Supreme Court, in the famous judgment on whether Al Gore or George Bush had won the American election of 2000 when the Florida Supreme Court noted, “We consistently have adhered to the principle that the will of the people is the paramount consideration. Our goal today…[is] to reach the result that reflects the will of the voters… The laws are intended to facilitate and safeguard the right of each voter to express his or her will in the context of our representative democracy. Technical statutory requirements must not be exalted over the substance of this right”.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo then did the most honorable thing he could in the circumstance, he called President John Mahama and congratulated him on the verdict then held a press conference where he indicated his displeasure with the verdict but indicated his acceptance of it and urged the numerous N.P.P. members to accept the verdict so that Ghana could move on.
Speeches by Nana and John
Nana Addo: “As I said earlier, whilst I disagree with the Court’s decision, I accept it. I accept that what the Court says brings finality to the election dispute. We shall not be asking for a review of the verdict so we can all move on in the interest of our nation. Everything in my bones, in my upbringing and in what I have done with my life thus far makes it imperative that I accept a decision made by the highest court of the land, however much I dislike or disagree with it.
I am saddened by the verdict and I know that many of our supporters are saddened too. However, for the sake and love of our country, we must embark on a path that builds, rather than destroys, to deal with our disappointment”. By his statement, many were of the view that Nana had transcended partisan politics to the realms of statesmanship. A gentleman during one of the numerous discussions on the matter actually said he has joined the ranks of ex-Presidents Rawlings and Kuffour.
On his part, President Mahama noted, “The political maturity with which we have received the verdict announced today by the Supreme Court coupled with our ever-‐present patriotism will ensure that Ghana is the ultimate winner, not any one individual or political party.
Victory must always speak to the success of our nation. Victory must always be for the people of Ghana.
The challenge that was issued to the Supreme Court, and the discussions, debates and even disagreements that it has inspired can only strengthen our institutions. In a democracy, fair, compassionate and decisive leadership must operate within a framework that is fully functional. Strong institutions are the bedrock of strong nations. We must allow this exercise, this experience, to move us forward”. Words of wisdom and a display of magnanimity as expected of a President in a time like this.
Commentary on the matter
Then the commentary began. One of my favorites was by the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the N.P.P. who was enraged because Nana Addo hadn’t consulted before making his announcement. Then there’s been Tsatsu Tsikata and Gabby Otchere Darko.
Tsatsu went to town and actually mentioned the name of a judge claiming the judge was consistently anti N.D.C. and la la la la….wow, the backlash that statement has attracted is enough to fill tomes.
Gabby on the other hand actually dared the Supreme Court to invite him to explain what he means by his description that the verdict is corrupt and farcical. Charlie, loads of big English have littered the airwaves with President Mahama finally calling a truce.
My comment is that this conversation isn’t going away anytime soon. Folks should be decorous in their comments and not react emotionally, taking a cue from Nana Addo who was magnanimous in his comments on the matter. As a matter of fact, Nana followed his head in the matter and not his heart.
Edmund Burke the Irish statesman and political theorist has this advice for all those moaning about the evils of the system: “To govern according to the sense and agreement of the interests of the people is a great and glorious object of governance. This object cannot be obtained but through the medium of popular election, and popular election is a mighty evil”.
Way forward for the great N.P.P
The N.P.P is set to elect its leaders over the next few weeks in preparation for 2016. That process will culminate in the party electing its Presidential candidate for 2016.
The ebullient General Secretary of the party, Sir John has indicated that Nana Addo will certainly lead the party to victory in 2016, a view shared by the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the party. This position has however been roundly condemned by folks like Kwaku Baako who have described it as opportunistic and self-serving. In a matter of fact statement however, Kwesi Pratt has described Nana Addo as the most popular person in the N.P.P. right now and the man for them in 2016.
Others are of the opinion that with the stature Nana has assumed post-Election Petition; he should take a bow from partisan politics. This school of thought is pushing an Alan-Bawumia ticket for the party’s assault on power in 2016.
My take is that the party should simply wait till its members decide who to lead them; the earlier this is done the better so that they can go about preparing for 2016. This should be its position instead of wasting time on unnecessary infighting which looms down the bend.
After all the famous British leader Winston Churchill concludes, “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened”. After all, all die be die…