If the National Democratic Congress wins or loses the December 7 presidential election, would it reject the result because the Electoral Commission announced it within 24 hours; that is, on December 8?

In the news last Wednesday afternoon, I was expecting the media to ask this question at the news conference at which NDC opposed the EC’s intention to declare the results within 24 hours. NDC’s reason was, “It has not been done before.”

Unbelievable! Technology available to Afari Djan and Charlotte Osei has leaped since their time.

I listened to the EC media briefing at which its promise was made, and my understanding was that though no law required it to do so, it had, having, thus far, perfected its act, projected that all things being equal, it would be able to make the official declaration within 24 hours; that nothing, however, was cast in stone and that in the event that all things are not equal, the status quo-ante MAY prevail. 

Elections in Ghana being what we have known them to be, I think it is imperative that the NDC be compelled to make certain declarations ahead of the poll. Its flagbearer has poured scorn on the integrity of the process in words that could signal millions of the party’s supporters to mass up with violence in the event the result doesn’t favour him.

I think it is not fair to Ghana that a week to elections, such statements are coming from a party that has won elections in this country organised by this E.C. Did the headship of Charlotte Osei make a difference? So why should Jean Mensah’s?

I know that the NDC has God-fearing men and women, from flagbearer et al. In their integrity of heart, I challenge them to raise one hand to God, take pen and paper and list all its accusations and suspicions against the EC from Day One of Jean’s assumption of the position. If they do, they will realize that their worst criticisms of Jean Mensah have proved unfounded. Every step of the way, Jean’s performance has won the nod of both Ghanaian and international observers.

Except the NDC.

Declaring, “The incompetence of this EC is legendary,” John Mahama, on September 22, announced that “I am cutting short my tour of the Bono Region to return to Accra because of the increasing reports of challenges with the voter register and the exhibition process. We’ll address a major press conference on the issues in due course”.

He rushed to Accra, saw the truth, but forgot to admit he spoke without the facts.

Election 2020 is upon us. God will not forgive us for using millions of dollars of donor and borrowed funds to sponsor media peace campaigns, proclaiming 21-day fast, praying 24/7 for peace, but do nothing when people are writing on walls, alphabets that spell violence.

Remember the recent skirmishes at Odododiodoo. Before anybody could say “Kofi”, the thin line between peace and war was gone. On TV we saw someone fire a shot from a pistol.  Come December 7, there could be more pistols, more machetes and more stones in other parts of Ghana by supporters charged by fiery language from party leaders speaking from the chest.  

Saw Republicans in democratic America massing in the streets to protest Joe Biden’s lead? How did it happen? Simple: Donald Trump tweeted.

Trump first got Republicans to believe that he had won the election. For a time, the numbers confirmed his claims. By November 4, when the tide started to turn, he got them to believe that everything was going to be fine. In his mind, he was hoping for a repeat of 2016 when, in spite of Hilary Clinton’s lead (65,844,954 votes to his 62,979,879), he was declared winner, via the Electoral College system.  That was in 2016.

In 2020, even when, by mid-November, he could read his doom on TV screens, he tweeted, and got Republicans to believe that there had been massive and pervasive fraud.

Power is not only sweet, it is intoxicating.

That is why we must leave nothing to chance. Nothing will happen if Mahama wins: we know NPP will go to court. But from the frightening sound of war drums, is peace guaranteed in case Mahama doesn’t?

Peace pledges are good, but they are not enough. All candidates must be made to swear, live on TV and radio, that in the event of a controversial loss, they trust the court to decide.

Mahama could be the next President of Ghana. Eternal vigilance by his party and every party is key. But does he want to be President of a country in flames?