John Mahama, NDC presidential candidate

In the aftermath of the 2020 elections, the main opposition National Democratic Congress has at its various press conferences presented monologues of allegations of electoral fraud. One by one officials of the party have laid into the Electoral Commission for declaring President Akufo-Addo winner of the election. The party’s communication to its supporters across the country has mainly been that John Dramani Mahama won the election but has been denied victory.

The Electoral Commission is the only institution mandated by law to declare an election in Ghana. The commission did so after the 2020 polls in an election international observers have described as free and fair. This election year, the EC’s structure was designed to be transparent, inclusive and very open. Results from polling stations were sent to constituency collation centres and regional collation centres before transmission to the national headquarters.

At each step of the way, representatives of the party signed the pink sheets after collation. 

But amidst the barrage of claims the NDC has sunk into the marrows of its supporters, the party has failed to provide any evidence whatsoever to show that there was indeed voter fraud. The failure of the party to publish evidence to back its claim makes it easy to regard the statements as spurious and a waste of the nation’s time.

Ghana has over the last two decades earned the brand position as a stable democracy through the successful conduct of mostly peaceful elections every four years. We’ve been a shining example of what every African country should be.

The nation has built a strong and respectable Electoral Commission and a judiciary with a high credibility rating. The Electoral Commission has delivered elections since 1992. The courts have been the platform for resolving electoral disputes.

It’s against this background that the NDC should not be allowed to push an agenda that seeks to discredit these institutions. We cannot continue to allow one political party to make claims that affect the soul and spirit of our nation without evidence, all in the name of pushing for fairness. 

The violence

The violence that followed the declaration of the elections in parts of the country was rather unfortunate. We watched on television the NDC general secretary Peter Otokunor asking members of the party to mass up at collation centres to “resist” attempts by the EC to steal the “verdict of the people.” They were to go and face the heavily armed military and police personnel deployed to these centres. This was on election night, even before the declaration of the results.


The general secretary John Asiedu followed up with similar calls to action to supporters of the party to protest what appeared to be attempts by the EC to steal the election. 


John Mahama, considered the leader of the NDC, also announced on a night he was expected to concede that “we will resist” it.

A few supporters were very obedient, they believed their leaders’ claims of electoral fraud and gathered at the headquarters of the Electoral Commission, clashing with security.

Whilst this went on, I was expecting to see any of the pretty daughters of Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia on the frontline. I was looking around to spot any of the fine sons of John Mahama holding a placard and chanting songs, his little daughter, Farida, who campaigned for her father on Instagram was home, cocooned within the four walls of the elegant edifice.

None of these people was there. It was obvious those fighting this cause on the ground were not the people close to the politicians asking them to go fight soldiers with guns. They were individuals who might never benefit directly even if the man they were fighting for became president.

But why such instructions from the NDC hierarchy? Why ask your supporters to go to places you won’t go yourselves.

Five killed 

It saddened me that these followers would take such instructions hook, line, and sinker and risk their own lives. These killings must be properly investigated and the perpetrators brought to book.

But for the supporters who end up at these places because your leaders have said so, don’t forget that the politician asking you to hit the frontline is sitting at home, enjoying piccadilly biscuit and Coke on ice with their families.

They only watch you on television and push the air in support. None of them will risk their lives or those of their families for the party. They love their families. Don’t be the chicken with which the crocodile is trapped. Your life matters, too!

Attacks on the media 

The NDC’s attacks have not only targeted the Electoral Commission of Ghana, they’ve also been directed at the media which did it’s work.

From plain insults to caustic sarcasm, supporters of the NDC have attacked journalists on social media and called them names.

But why this? Throughout the period of the election, collation and declaration Ghana’s media houses reported everything. While the EC collated the results at the constituency, regional and national levels, the media houses including JOY NEWS, CITI TV and TV3 did their own collation. It’s amazing that all these platforms (perhaps except TV3) reached the same verdict that Nana Akufo-Addo would win the election.

Every media house which got it’s prediction right and projected an Akufo-Addo win has become an enemy of the NDC.

The future

The NDC should not flood the airwaves with just allegations without proof. Our current media proliferation has created a well-informed citizenry, people who analyse everything before acting. It’s therefore not surprising that not many people poured out on the street to protest even when Peter Otokunor, Johnson Asiedu Nketia and John Mahama were asking them to “resist” and “fight”.

When an election result has been confirmed by independent bodies including the CODEO, the NDC’s only salvation will be the courts. John Mahama must call his people to order and stop spreading allegations when he’s showing no evidence.

Christmas is just around the corner, let peace prevail.

 

Author: Kofi Afedzi