Ghana: The Rigging Mentality. By Brig-Gen J. Odei
In the political history of this country, no political leader has been subjected to insults, humiliation, abuse of his human rights etc. than Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the President elect of the Republic of Ghana. Losing an election is very unpleasant but losing two or more elections can be a very devastating experience and it takes courage, humility and the grace of God to endure it.The President elect had demonstrated in 2008, 2012 and after the Supreme Court ruling that he has what it takes to be a leader. On several occasions, the President elect has been ac- cused of being “desperate for power” but what hap- pened during the 2016 elections left no one in doubt as to who was more desperate for power. In fact for a sitting President to use money and vehicles to plan the destruction of the image and personality of his main polit- ical rival is far below the belt and beats all ethical standards. President Ma- hama brought this defeat upon himself because the President and his government consistently lied to the people of Ghana without scruples and became very arrogant, deceitful, insulting, corrupt and incompetent to the extent that many Ghanaians felt enough was enough. President Mahama earned the Presidency on a silver platter after the death of President Mills, suc- ceeded in rigging the 2012 elections and believed he was impregnable and consequently was careless with his utterances and decisions. If only he had experienced a quarter of President elect’s misfortunes, he would have been humble and given Ghanaians some respect. How could a President who inherited the slogan“I care for you”adopt a policy of “yentieobiaa” on assumption of power?
The NDC knew very well that they were going to lose the elections but they were not prepared to release power to the NPP without a fight and consequently hatched a diabolical plot to push the elections into “one touch victory” for the NDC or a run off. The plan focused on presidential elections and major ingredients were, the use of STL to transmit results, thump printing of cloned ballot papers for President Mahama, the use of the military to intimidate and create mayhem, publication of fake poll results to counter the ones published by creditable pollsters and lastly the use of media and propaganda to create confusion in the minds of Ghanaians.
As a prelude to the imple- mentation of the plan, series of actions were initiated which included the Presi- dent’s use of Usain Bolts’ victory sign with a strange prediction of winning over sixty (60) per cent of the votes, Ben Ephson’s predic- tion of fifty-two (52) per cent for President Mahama and forty-two (42) per cent for the President elect, Kwesi Pratt’s bogus predic- tion and a suggestion that ambulance vehicles must standby to convey NPP eld- ers to the hospital,Dr.Omane Boamah’s ungodly com- ments that “Nana can never be a President of Ghana …” and many others all geared towards preparing the minds of gullible Ghana- ians for the impending rigged victory . Having prepared the minds of Ghanaians, the next ac- tion, it is alleged was for the Electoral Commissioner (EC) to set the plan in motion by issuing results which would have been inconsis- tent with the actual results declared at the polling stations. This would have obviously been vehemently rejected by the NPP and with the tension in the country, your guess would have been good as mine, the whole country would have been set on fire. The President elect as usual would have been accused by Koku Anyidoho and his ilk for being the cause of the disturbances and would have loudly repeated their accusation of the President elect being a “violent man”. In the midst of the confusion the EC would have ordered a recount of the ballot especially at the NPP strongholds especially the Ashanti Region. Unknown to the NPP, the security of the areas where most of the ballot boxes had been kept had already been compromised and infested with cloned ballot papers of President Mahama. These ballot papers would have mysteriously migrated into the ballot boxes. The EC would then have been offered an opportunity to release already prepared results, some which are al- ready circulating in the social media that would have given President Mahama the much needed majority or some results which would have sent the elections into a run- off. To meet the NPP’s demand for fairness, the EC would have once again told the NPP to go to court.
To support this diabolical plan, the security forces had been prepared to crack down on all forms of violence and protests in the country. Unfortunately, due to the divine intervention, the electronic system which would have been operated by STL personnel from Israel and South Africa to massage the results was seriously disrupted and the diabolical plan could not be implemented. Koku Anyidoho’s accusation of over voting in more than two hundred polling stations in Ashanti Region, was all part of the abortive scheme. The NDC lost the elections because of its “RIGGING MENTALITY” and thus failed to plan effectively and rather concentrated on wild forecasts which were aimed at preparing the minds of Ghanaians for the impending rigged results. NDC has never won any election on merit in the past and had always colluded with the EC to rig past elections they won, namely 1992, 1996, 2008 and 2012.
The NDC’s message of“infrastructure” was ambiguous and even the literate community did not understand let alone the illiterates. The justification by the EC for not releasing any results because it was com- paring manual figures with electronic ones, eight hours after the close of the poll, badly exposed its intentions. The EC’s failure to release the results until after the President had conceded de- feat cast doubt on the Chair- man’s integrity and if she has any conscience should resign now. The NPP won because of the good leader- ship by the President elect and his Vice, effective planning, good messages for the campaign, selection and training of competent polling agents, manual and electronic systems of collecting and collation of pink sheets and the last but not the least, monitoring and provision of security in all polling areas. Whilst the NPP was busy with dry rehearsals to collate its results, NDC was busy sharing monies they have stolen to buy 2016 elections. In addition, the enthusiasm, support and determination by many Ghanaians who wanted a change was overwhelming and could not be simply ignored. For example, at the end of the poll, when EC’s vehicles to convey Presiding Officers were late in many polling stations, many good citizens of this country volunteered and conveyed the Presiding Officers, Polling Agents and the ballot boxes in their own vehicles to the various collation centres and in effect helped speed up the collation of the results.
The lessons learnt from these elections were many but it will suffice to mention a few. Firstly, insults of the elderly who are old enough to be the fathers and grand- fathers by young men “with sharp teeth”offended many Ghanaians.
Secondly, propaganda, lies and deceit, the hallmarks of NDC’s politics have been very detrimental to the progress of our society and many Ghanaians cannot discern the truth from the lies of the NDC. For example, at the latter days of the election when it was very obvious that the NDC was losing the elections, their supporters ignored the figures on the TV screens and believed the lies of Asiedu Nketia and Koku Anyidoho which suggested they were comfortably ahead of the NPP. Lastly, Ghanaians have proved that they do not have short memories and that they have wised up and have sent a clear message that the use of money to buy votes cannot work and that their franchise is not for the highest bidder. The celebrations that followed the NPP’s victory throughout the country sent a clear message to the major political parties that Ghanaians can no longer be taken for granted. To the NPP, Ghanaians do not have short memories and will not take kindly to unfulfilled promises. Secondly, corruption in Government must be curbed and the protection of the na- tional purse must be guaran- teed. Thirdly, Ghanaians deserve some respect and Government officials must demonstrate humility and not be arrogant and insulting. The last but not the least, Government needs to instil some discipline in the society especially the youth. To the NDC, firstly, they must take the defeat in good faith, stop the blame game, remove the “rigging mentality” and reorganise well for 2020. Secondly, the party must be more patriotic and stop the practice of importing other nationals to vote in our elections. Lastly, the use of propaganda, lies and deceit as a way of doing politics should give way to some decency in dealing with the electorate.