Ghana: Will Kumasi accept Akufo-Addo?

By IndepthAfrica
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Dec 19th, 2012
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By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Gradually, the NPP leaders and the party’s supporters have boxed themselves into a tight corner. Perhaps, they have counted too much self-confidence and misplaced trust in prominent personalities, including the Asantehene, Osei Tutu II, to advance their parochial political cause. His refusal to accept their petition today must send the signal to them that they are biting off more than they can chew.

They are tempting Fate, if I may put it that way. All told, elections are meant to be won or lost and accepted as such in good faith. Not so for the NPP.

Indeed, the party has a hard road to travel. The problems that militated against it at the polls, especially in the case of Akufo-Addo, go beyond the confines of the Electoral Commission and cannot be solved the way the party’s leaders and follows think and approach issues.

What is written is written. Their rejection of it and decision to seek redress at the Supreme Court is constitutionally sanctioned and no one is preventing them from doing so. No one but themselves can take the matter to court and pursue it to its logical conclusion.

But taking to the streets and acting as if they no more have faith in the Lord (to whom they had committed the elections) is ridiculous. So also is their taking the battle out of the Lord’s hands to fight for their own betterment (if only the Lord will bless it as such) won’t salve their own conscience (whatever is left of it under the current circumstance). They are expending energy and resources, mixing water with oil.

As if they haven’t already caused enough derisive laughter with their antics, they were on the streets of Kumasi today, declaring their Akufo-Addo as winner of the just-ended polls. There can be no chief without the backing of kingmakers, right? Not so for the NPP followers.

Certainly, if the Presidency will not move to Akufo-Addo, then, Akufo-Addo must move to the Presidency. Under normal circumstances, the Presidency has to move to the candidate by an act of God. After all, we often hear it said that it is God who appoints kings on earth. Not so for the NPP followers, even though they had invoked God’s name and done all they could to seek his support for Akufo-Addo.

If God had fought the NPP’s battle for it, he would have made the Presidency move to Akufo-Addo. But he didn’t, which should influence the activists conduct. Or, do they no more trust in the Lord?

From what has happened so far (despite all the snuggling to so-called religious leaders for their anointing, sanctification, purification, and the pilgrimage by Akufo-Addo to Jerusalem to wail before the famous Wailing Wall), the results of the elections have proved that God won’t have anything to do with Akufo-Addo’s bid for power.

So, if his followers now want to appoint him as President, so be it. They seem to have taken over the battle instead of still waiting on the Lord. No long-suffering for such people of little faith.

So, announcing him as the winner is another demonstration of their penchant for causing trouble just because the election didn’t go their way.

The angry protesters had embarked on a peaceful procession on the principal streets of Kumasi to register their displeasure against the EC which they accused of discriminating against the Ashanti Region and for wrongly declaring incumbent President John Mahama as the winner of the Presidential polls.

They claim voters in the region were subjected to strict verification procedures during voting by the EC officials unlike voters in other regions who were allowed to vote without going through the verification process.

Baseless accusation again. Shouldn’t they be praising the EC for being diligent, which is needed to enhance our democracy? And how do they know how the procedures were enforced in the other regions to draw that lame conclusion?

You see the extent to which desperation can drive people? If they think that Akufo-Addo is the person into whose hands to entrust their destiny, they can go ahead to set him up as their President.

They can as well put up a government house in Kumasi for him to operate from. Unfortunately for them, it can’t happen. Ghana is a unitary state, not a federal state to be so chopped up and governed as such. Had the National Liberation Movement’s struggle for Ghana to be turned into a federal state been accepted by Britain, federalism would have been our lot.

But in their wisdom, the British colonial masters repudiated those moves by the forebears of the NPP. They resisted that instigation and made Ghana a unitary state at birth. So have I grown to see and recognize my country.

Those still peeved that federalism wasn’t accepted can do all they imagine but won’t succeed. Some are quick to claim their regions as the wealthiest in terms of natural resources and that they contribute more to the country’s GDP than others and don’t see why they shouldn’t dominate national affairs. Poor reasoning.

The survival of a country goes beyond natural resources. We need the human resources too, which all regions have. In any case, every region in Ghana contributes its fair quota of natural resources to the GDP, which debunks those claims being made by trouble-makers disguised as public-spirited people who are parading the political landscape for the people’s mandate to be in power.

For as long as Ghana remains a unitary state, no amount of agitation based on divisive tendencies will change the situation to suit the agenda of self-seekers. Ghana is taller than any individual politician’s whims and caprices.

The voters went to the polls and thumped up their preferred candidates. The Electoral Commission has confirmed that thumping up, and nobody still itching at the sidelines will be given any elbow-room to muddy the waters.

Having given us assurances that the Supreme Court is where they will go to seek redress, we expect them to be resolute and disciplined enough to chart that path. Unfortunately, they seem not to have the moral compunction to do so, not before disturbing public peace and order.

As they go about demonstrating their true nature, we urge them not to look far to see how the pond in which they feel comfortable going on protest marches is drying up. Very soon, they will be left on dry land to chafe all the more.

The string of congratulatory messages coming from foreign lands and local institutions and prominent individuals to President Mahama is enough for them to know where they stand. The refusal by the Asantehene to receive their petition should strike them not only as a major blow but also as a painful reminder of how they are losing grounds.

It seems they have turned themselves into scarecrows that every peace-loving person will not want to associate with. How many times must it be said to them that there are only two expectations in any game of chance (gambling) where choices are made by participants? It is either a win or a loss, and the stakeholders are expected to brace themselves up for either, knowing very well that they lack the clout to manipulate the choice makers in the polling booth.

For more than four years, they had the opportunity to influence these voters with convincing campaign messages and a demonstration of positive streaks of character to appeal to the voters’ conscience. What did they do? Your guess is as right as mine.

And having failed to win the confidence, trust, and support of the voters, is it the street protests and scare-mongering tactics that will reverse their sad fate? Or the persistent hurling of insults at political opponents and the continued undermining of the Electoral Commission? Now that the noose is tightening around their necks, they have only one leeway, which is to head straight to the Supreme Court.

From the rumblings going on, I have a hunch that even that lifeline may elude them. They seem not to reach a firm consensus regarding the court action, saying one thing only to contradict it the next time—all happening in one breath! I leave it to them to fight over.

In fine, let me tell them that declaring Akufo-Addo the winner of the elections won’t change anything on the ground; it only adds more zing to their “Concert Party” performance.

I shall return…

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