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Feature Article of Monday, 10 December 2012

Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea

Will Nana Akufo-Addo Ever Concede Defeat...?

Feature Article, by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

Will Nana Akufo-Addo ever concede defeat? The time for the answer to the one billion dollar question is now! Unfortunately, those of us who know better are aware of the fact that over the years, one thing that has figured very prominently in Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's political career is the impression he gives of himself as being someone who loses in a fair competition but whines about it on a constant basis, blaming everyone around him for his loss except himself! This single-headed determination to rule Ghana “at all cost” is completely alien to any democracy anywhere. Ghana is far too big than the childhood ambitions of a son of a former president to become a President of Ghana before he dies, whether he is fit or not, whether the majority of Ghanaians agree or not!

Who Needs “A President At All Cost”?

It became evident, as soon as the opinion polls continued to favour the incumbent, President John Mahama, Presidential candidate of the NDC, albeit by “a hair”, the Akufo-Addo camp intensified their rhetoric of violence and suspicions of the ruling NDC. Akufo-Addo knows he is going to be defeated at the polls, but that did not stop him from fighting to the bitter end in 2008, and it is certainly not stop him from still putting up a desperate fight in his last bid for power. What even makes the 2012 election even more tensed is heightened by the fact that some contenders only see the price of the race, but not the electoral means. The only explanation which needs to be explored further was given by Mr. Asare Otchere-Darko as simply being that “the stakes are very high”! What does that mean? Isn't it simply amazing how these aristocrats-turned democrats still manage to keep their contempt for the masses intact?
Nana Akufo-Addo has made up his mind that he needs to be a President in 2012, “at all cost”, otherwise he faces the unpalatable prospect of kissing a painful good-bye to a cherished dream to become President like “Papa” was, and it looks like not even our democracy can stop him! For him, it does not matter who won, so far as he is not the one! An NPP activist actually mounted a podium during a recent rally to proclaim that “As for me I have closed my ears, and I have made up my mind that anything other than a win is a fraud!” There have been other more subtle forms of the same message. The speech delivered by Nana Akufo-Addo at during the signing of the Kumasi Peace Accord is another.
Getting Ready In Case He Lost?

A careful reading between the lines indicate clearly this was a major pre-occupation at the back of the mind of the writer of the who recently went through a great length to argue that:

“Unlike Nana Akufo-Addo, John Mahama has no track record of adopting the gentlemanly course of gracefully accepting defeat after losing an election, simply because he has never tasted defeat at the highest level of political competition where the stakes are most high. Given his recent implied complicity with the aggression upon his fellow Ghanaians, how can we trust that John Mahama’s rhetoric calling for peace will match his action when the votes are tallied and he comes up short? The record so far shows that he and his government are unable to carry out their duties as elected officials in a professional and nonpartisan manner. We cannot afford a ruling party whose key leaders stick their heads in the sand or look the other way while others are brutalized by violent supporters of his own party.” [1]
It has been sometime that the NPP candidate for Ghana's Presidential elections that was just held on the 7th of December 2012, has been carefully building an image of, as put recently by his right-hand man, Mr. Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute recently, “gracefully accepting defeat after losing an election”. It might be useful to first discuss that before we go on. The first time Nana Akufo-Addo made reference to that was his speech at the 2012 Oppenheimer Lecture in London on 'The future of democracy in Africa and the Arab Spring' at Arundel House, 29 February 2012, that Ghanaians heard for the first time, a clear concession to defeat by Nana Akufo-Addo, in an election that took place almost four years before! The refusal by Nana Akufo-Addo to concede defeat in the 2008 Presidential elections nearly plunged the country into a political turmoil. Yet he would say at the Oppenheimer Lecture:
“Those of you who know me also know how deeply I believe that democratic values are the only way forward for all Africans – be they north or south. I was the candidate of the ruling party in Ghana who, in 2008, accepted defeat in the last presidential election, without demanding a recount and without spilling a single drop of blood, without seeking power-sharing or forcing a constitutional crisis, in an election which I lost by the narrowest of margins in the history of elections in Africa.”

“That margin was 0.46 percent, some 40,000 votes in a poll of some 9 million voters. I had spent the previous three decades of my life fighting against military dictatorship and for freedom and democracy. Democracy should not be subject to individual interpretation, and it should not be a negotiation between elites and stakeholders.

“I was not prepared to put my personal ambition before the principles that made me a politician in the first place. Democracy is best established when institutions are trusted, the rules of the game clear and political actors are prepared to win and lose,” [2]
Then again he repeated the same lie on a BBC HARDtalk Programme! It has since been his mantra at every opportunity, including the most recent one at during the signature ceremony of the Kumasi Peace Accord. So this makes those of us who know what happened in reality, vis-à-vis the carefully yarned spin coming from Nana Akufo-Addo, have been wondering why such a truncated rendition of a history in which the whole nation witnessed! What even made Nana Akufo-Addo's attempt to frustrate the will of the people, are the facts which later emerged, clearly indicating that Nana Akufo-Addo even knew in advance that he was going to lose the elections, as his own pollster, Professor Larry Gibson was reported to have made known to him in a special report.

Did Akufo-Addo Refuse To Concede In 2008 Albeit He Knew In Advance He was Going To Lose?

It is one thing expecting to win an election and losing it. It is quite another, when you do not even expect to win and you lose. Akufo-Addo was supposed to be in the second category, where he was actually told in advance by his own experts, that he was going to lose, and yet when he lost, he did everything possible to reverse the decision of the Electoral Commissioner. He only abandoned his “insurrection” after the President put his feet down and other party members began to speak openly against the whole idea.
Ghana was very lucky that in 2008, we had a President from his own party who knew him very well from his own bitter experience, and was ready to put his big feet down. Akufo-Addo's political tautology of calling on the Kufour Administration to protect NPP supporters, could have been laughable, but for ominous warnings for the future. In his speech "acknowledging" the announcement of the Electoral Commissioner, he called on President J.A. Kufuor, the security forces and the law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety and security of the party's supporters, because “I am concerned that if positive steps are not taken to protect and to reassure them, they will be compelled to defend themselves.” [3]

If Akufo-Addo was already speaking like that, even under the NPP Administration, when his own bodyguards were doing most of the beatings in town,including beating the body guards of candidate Mills in public at Cape Coast during the Afahye, and in Kumasi, during the Odwira Festival, what is he not going to say next time around? Akufo-Addo was fully aware that he was bound to lose, as soon as the vote went up for a second round. That is what Dr. Arthur Kennedy tells us from his book, "Chasing the elephant into the bush". This has been unwittingly confirmed by people close to Akufo-Addo like Gabriel Asare Otchere-Darko, who claimed only five Ghanaians have set eyes on the report so far. The first time we got a hint of the Larry Gibson prediction was from his book, “Chasing the elephant into the bush”. This is how Colin Essamuah put it in his book review:
“Dr. Kennedy makes clear, line after line in his book, that the NPP as a corporate body, then and now, suffered fatally from a delusional triumphalism that electoral defeat was impossible, and therefore, unthinkable. This illogical belief affected every political decision, and every propaganda step they took during the campaign. It is delusional triumphalism which produced 18 presidential aspirants, including ALL the senior ministers in the Kufuor cabinet, including his blood brother, Kwame Addo-Kufuor, plus three sojourners in Europe and America, Boakye Agyarko, Agyei-Barwuah and the author himself. It is the delusion of victory that produced the inherent belief in party ranks that the opposition NDC was no factor, even though as early as August, 2008, the NPP had been warned that the non-existent opposition NDC could force a second round, courtesy the advice of Professor Larry Gibson.” [4]

But even more damning is the account that “Larry Gibson was so shocked by NPP's poor showing in the Central Region that he decided to take a trip to the coastal areas with one of my researchers, Ouborr Kutando, posing as researchers from the two men's old school, Harvard University. They returned convinced that NPP was going to lose about half of their seats. Three areas that were shockingly bad for the NPP were Mfantsiman East, Cape Coast and Elmina. I personally told the Regional Minister about Elmina and Cape Coast, he disagreed. Ouborr said he told Asa Bee that he was going to lose, the MP disagreed.” We all know today, that the MP in question, Mr. Asamoah Boateng, lost the Mfantseman East constituency. We also know of the presidential candidate who lost at the national level. [5]
For Akufo-Addo to pretend that he lost the elections because his millions of supporters in the Volta Region were prevented from voting for him, is to take all of us for fools! Even in his contest with Alan Kyeremanteng, the Volta Regional branch of the NPP gave 96% of their votes to Alan Kyeremanteng! Which votes was he talking about that he nearly led Ghana to the precipice of war as a result of such bêtise? Who in Ghana did not know that the Volta Region was an NDC "world bank"? The NPP was then in power, and in charge of law and order, yet these so-called "learned men" did not even know how to file a simple electoral complaint! They even confused Ghana's electoral laws with our criminal law! And they call themselves lawyers! Even though the Minister of the Interior was an NPP stalwart they chose to complain like children to the Electoral Commission instead of directing their criminal complaints to the police!

Even though his party boasts of brilliant lawyers, there was no one available to furnish the Electoral Commission following the laid down procedures of Ghana's Electoral law. As indicated by Dr Afari-Gyan, “In respect of the materials submitted by the NPP in the nature of evidence, the Commission found out that; some of the issues raised bothered on criminality and, therefore, fell outside the competence of the EC.” He went further to indicate, "In the purely electoral matters, the Commission did not find the evidence provided to be sufficient to invalidate the results. "In view of these findings about the complaints of the two parties, the results as previously tallied from the 229 constituencies remain unchanged. Accordingly the results of the run-off in the Tain constituency, which was held on January 2 2009, have been added to the national tally," Dr Afari-Gyan stated. [6]

A further attempt to throw the entire electoral process out of gear was thrown out of court, when on January 1st, a Public Holiday, an ex-parte motion calling on an injunction on the Electoral Commission to provide the electoral results was dismissed because it was secretly served on the court, and on the blind side of the principal stake-holders, namely the Ghana Electoral Commission, and the National Democratic Congress which won the elections. The court, instead, indicated that looking at the nature of the case and the exigencies, it was prudent for the interested parties, namely, Prof John Evans Atta Mills, Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the NDC to be served on notice with the pleadings to enable them to react appropriately. Even though the NPP was in power, not even the President was informed about this dirty move against our democracy!

There was also a condemnation by the legal brain and a former National Chairman of the NPP, and a member of the Council of Elders of the New Patriotic Party, the late Mr. B.J Da Rocha considered “the action taken by the party against the EC is neither in the interest of the nation nor the credibility of the NPP.” The Party Chairman Peter Mac Manu, and counsel Atta Akyia had earlier filed two writs to put an injunction on the Tain election and to stop the EC chairman from declaring the results of the December 28 run-off. Mr. Da Rocha said the "action is wrong and must be abandoned." He told Joy News on Friday, “the constitution must be allowed to play out without any interference.” He intimated “there are provisions within the constitution which allows for the party to seek redress of all their grievances, adding the process must be allowed to go on.” [7]
Did anyone see Nana Akufo-Addo, out of his own volition, “gracefully accepting defeat after losing an election”? If not, then the question that must follow is simple, why has he been giving that impression of himself? The answer is waiting in the wind! We know one of the lies he is going to issue in order to pursue his agenda of “President at all cost”, otherwise known as “all die be die!” He is probably going to begin his speech with, “You all know, in 2008, it was razor-sharp, yet I conceded defeat. I have a track record of “gracefully accepting defeat after losing an election, but since this is my last chance, I am changing the rules! I am not accepting this one because I have been cheated”!

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been carefully planning that eventuality, and the accompanying lies for some time now, and I doubt very much he will deviate from the script, completely and arrogantly oblivious of the fact that Ghana does not at all belong to him! No one should even be surprised to hear calls on the duly elected President to concede defeat to the loser! It happened in 2008. A member of the Governing Body of his public relations outfit, The Danquah Institute, even wrote a complete feature article calling on the President-elect to hand over power to Akufo-Addo!
“Atta-Mills Must Concede Defeat!” By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., [8]
For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!
Nana Akyea Mensah, Ghana Steering Committee,
P-AI, Social Media Campaigns | December 9, 2012
SocialMedia@panafricanistinternational.org
Pan-Africanist International - a grammar of Pan-Africanism and its manners of articulation!
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REFERENCES:
[1] “Vigilance Is The Motto For December 7” By: Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Feature Article of Saturday, 1 December 2012, Columnist: Otchere-Darko, Gabby Asare. http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=257997
[2] Nana Akufo-Addo made reference to that was his speech at the 2012 Oppenheimer Lecture in London on Wednesday, 29 February 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnMmBNyHtIc&feature=plcp
[3] Akufo-Addo concedes defeat | General News 2009-01-03 http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=155663
[4] Book Review: Chasing the elephant into the bush: The politics of complacency, by Colin Essamuah, 5 January 2010, ModernGhana.com: http://bit.ly/yB7sQq]
[5] Misrepresenting Larry Gibson Misrepresenting Larry Gibson, 29 July 2010, Daily Guide Editorial, by Qanawu Gabby, ModernGhana.com http://bit.ly/xaduxv
[6] Prof. Mills wins Election 2008, General News of Saturday, 3 January 2009, GNA http://bit.ly/zKNpH3
[7] Da Rocha: Leave the EC to do their job | Elections http://bit.ly/wgqCmZ
[8] “Atta-Mills Must Concede Defeat!” By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. | Feature Article 2009-01-01 http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/artikel.php?ID=155479

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