Ghana: The NPP’s ‘Tale of Two Cities’ is too sweet for belief
By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
We continue to focus attention on the NPP at this point in the post-election assessment of our national life. The threat to national stability posed by the riotous behaviour of its members still persists.
Likewise, the public posturing and churning out of inconsistent claims by its leaders has reached an alarming level to warrant further analysis. It is too ridiculous for belief that these people just can’t settle on any convincing lie to tell the whole world to back their rejection of the outcome of the Presidential elections.
All they have been doing so far is giving us conflicting figures and ratcheting up their thirst for violence.
We acknowledge the fact that they haven’t so far included the Parliamentary elections, which goes a long way to make their claims lopsided and woefully unpersuasive, at least, if their main beef is about the outcome of the general elections.
Why leave out the Parliamentary elections? How certain could they be that in this climate of “skirt-and-blouse” voting, anybody who voted for a Presidential Candidate would automatically endorse the party’s Parliamentary candidate or vice versa? The results speak volumes.
But the NPP leaders have focused on only the Presidential elections, and are expending energy and resources combing the constituencies and prowling for anything they can grab as evidence to support their wild allegations of rigging. They have come up with figures and assumptions that are not worthier than the efforts put into getting them.
While insisting that they are democrats who would use laid-down legal procedures to seek redress, they have been quick to mobilize their supporters to visit mayhem on Accra.
After attempting to paralyze life in Accra without success, they have shifted grounds to their own stronghold, Kumasi, to demonstrate their anger and frustration at the outcome of the polls. Let’s take note of the two emotive words—“anger” and “frustration”—catalyzing their protests.
The NPP leaders are angry at the election results and have been quick to blame the EC and the NDC for colluding to rob their Akufo-Addo of victory. Their conduct shows that they are frustrated as well. And they have so far managed to spin all kinds of yarns to get the backing of their followers.
I don’t see why they should be angry because there is no cause for it. Their defeat at the polls was self-created, which they should have come to terms with to tone down on their sentiments. When self-created problems cause electoral defeat, there is no need for anger. It falls for sober reflection and better planning for another day.
Furthermore, those entrusted with the responsibility of organizing, superintending over, and winding down the elections reported that the elections were free, fair, and transparent. The Electoral Commission Headquarters received certified results and announced them as the true reflection of the voters’ will. What is the justification for anger?
I can accept the fact that the NPP leaders and their supporters are genuinely frustrated because their dream of putting Akufo-Addo in power has ended up in smoke. It vaporized, leaving them with no option but the tailspin into which they have spun themselves ever since. Their venting of vengeance on innocent party rivals and threats to seek redress at the Supreme Court are the logical manifestations of that frustration, misplaced though it is. The sharp disappointment at losing the Presidential elections is too much for them to contain.
As they continue to swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, coming out every day with new brands of lies, they water down the force of any arguments they may be advancing at this stage to support their intentions. At least, the vacillation is so glaring as to make me wonder if these people really know how to fight their cause effectively. One lie here, another there, doesn’t speak well of them.
So, did they have any substance in hand before rushing to accuse the EC, the NDC, and the media of manipulating the election results to favour President Mahama? It was after making the allegation to justify their rejection of the results that they were began looking for data to proceed to court. So, if they didn’t have the data, how could they conclude that the election results were fabricated?
A friend of mine who chanced upon what they were bandying about as evidence of rigging told me this: “I got hold of a copy of their contrived evidence and couldn’t stop laughing at the preposterousness of the whole plot. Having seen the so-called evidence on whose merit they intend to pursue their case, it should be shocking if they actually proceed to court.”
I wouldn’t have regarded my friend’s viewpoints as worth my bother had the NPP leaders themselves not already given me cause to doubt their integrity.
When they came out with specifics to confirm their allegation of rigging, they wavered to the extent as to confuse the public. Beginning with the claim that as many as 15,000 votes were found to have been added to President Mahama’s tally, they upped it subsequently to 36,000, then to 100,000, and then over one million (as the General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie) insisted yesterday.
As if that’s not enough to confirm the NPP’s inconsistencies, the Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has added more. According to him, the party’s findings have so far revealed that over 150,000 votes were added to the fortunes of President John Mahama.
Not to be outdone in this vacillation, the party’s Communications Director, Nana Akomea, says the party has completed gathering figures from 20,000 polling centers out of 26,000 across the country, and it is confident that its claims of electoral fraud would be vindicated. Thus, “evidence gathered so far could change the outcome of the elections.” The party is currently auditing the results of the presidential elections in order to challenge its outcome at the Supreme Court, he said.
Alright. Our ears are now stopped to all these wild claims. We are waiting for nothing else but the move to the Supreme Court. But wait a minute. That may not happen so soon because the NPP has added a new twist to its case.
The NPP says it has contracted two IT experts from Kumasi to probe the Parliamentary results as well. I have a hunch here. Too many attempts to either complicate issues or just to obfuscate them. There seems to be an adroit means to put too many issues out there with which to either buy time or confuse the public. It is an exit strategy, I daresay.
Will the NPP first proceed to court with the suit on only the Presidential elections or will it add that of the Parliamentary elections too? Or go it one after the other? If it is now hiring IT specialists to process those results to know what happened, it may take more time than expected for the party to begin its legal battle with the EC. Is anybody trying to hide behind technicalities here to outwit the public?
Here is another aspect of what I consider as an intricate exit strategy. According to the NPP, “the stage is set for its massive demonstration on Tuesday during which a petition will be presented to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.”
A petition to be presented to the Asantehene? What for? In protest at the party’s own acts that have destabilized public order and peace in contravention of the Kumasi Peace Pact? Or will that petition be on the party’s findings concerning the alleged rigging of the elections? Why the Asantehene?
What do they expect the Asantehene to do with their petition, anyway? Forward it to the government or to the international community? What for?
Or, read it and use it as the basis for an invitation to the NPP leaders for a meeting at which to appeal to them to rescind their intended court action—in the interest of national peace and stability?
I consider this last part as a possibility, and the main objective that the NPP leaders are chasing. With the Otumfuo’s intervention, they will then find good reason to drop the matter and save face. More importantly, hiding behind the Otumfuo’s intervention will provide enough justification for them to escape the anger of their own followers.
They seem to be preparing the grounds for a good, cunning defence. This is where the Otumfuo has to be circumspect in his dealings with such frustrated politicians. He has a lot to gain from not associating himself with them than from becoming the shock absorber that they want to turn him into.
History tells me a lot about why the NPP leaders will gravitate toward the Otumfuo, which I will explore in my next opinion piece.
Till then, we wait for more yarns to be spun by these NPP leaders as they put up new smokescreens behind which they will hide to manipulate their unwitting followers. For the majority of Ghanaians who gave their mandate to President Mahama, there is nothing to worry about but to sit back and watch this “Concert Party” performance by the fallen human elephants. In times like these, the circus could provide a good respite.
I shall return…