On Thursday, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) withdrew from the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections, following what they described as security concerns.
“Armed security men besieged our candidate’s home and we can no longer guarantee the security of our people and our polling agents,” Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo on the Joy Super Morning Show moments after the attacks unfolded.
He added “We have conferred with our candidate, Delali Kwesi Brempong and he is traumatized by the incident. We also do not believe a single life should be lost in this by-election so we have withdrawn from the process.”
The elections nonetheless went on and a winner has been announced by the Electoral Commission even though a Member of Parliament was slapped and seven others injured from gun wounds.
Clearly, neither the government nor the EC has accepted responsibility for the chaos. Not even the police.
“At the end of the by-elections at the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, the Electoral Commission is pleased to announce that the conduct of the polls in all 137 polling stations was peaceful, smooth and orderly,” said Mrs. Jean Mensa, EC Chair, addressing the media at a press conference in Accra Friday.
“The EC staff and as well as the security agents at the polling stations conducted themselves in an orderly and professional manner,” she added.
Obviously, the losers truly lost. They lost both the elections and the fight. Perhaps if they also had enough vigilante groups to march what they met, then they might have fought back. They might not have won the election, but not the fight. They could have inflicted equal wounds on their opponent.
That is what Ehsan Sehgal meant by might is right.
“In a personal, domestic, official, believing, politics, love or any kinds of daily affairs in our life, the truth is that, and we should be fair and bold to accept, might is right, ” he said.
Niccolò Machiavelli put it better: "The ends justify the means."
Yet Ghana is a democracy, a country governed by the rule of law. So has it been since the 4th Republican Constitution. And so was it even for the first. Where there have been interruptions in the rule of law, Ghanaians, being at the receiving end of the repercussions, have been quick to revert to civilian rule.
Unfortunately, it does appear the Constitution has become a mask, the kind which the security guys wore at the by-election to inflict all kinds of assault on the people.
While those who have profited from this arrangement should enjoy their stolen glory while it last, Ghana may want to make a choice to either give room to “conflictpreneurs” to profit from the prevailing unguarded democracy or decriminalize every sector of our democracy, which seem held hostage by men in fine suits, whose only claim to democracy is meaningless rhetoric while indeed tearing it apart behind a mask.
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