By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
The article was characteristically sensationally captioned “Afari-Gyan Whips Bawumia, Addison In Court” (Radioxyzonline.com/Ghanaweb.com 5/30/13). Rather sensational, isn’t it? Well, this is none the least bit flabbergasting because Ghanaweb.com sourced the article to Radioxyzonline.com, a staunchly pro-NDC media establishment. Interestingly, however, a critical analysis of the aforesaid article actually points out the flagrant fact of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan having ignobly and tackily committed what may aptly be termed as “Judicial Suicide,” unless each and every one of the nine judges hearing the Akufo-Addo/NPP presidential election petition have been snoozing at the bench.
First of all, the former University of Ghana political scientist confirms the worst fears of those of us who have consistently maintained from day one of the Election 2012 impasse that, indeed, Dr. Afari-Gyan had deliberately, deviously and systematically constructed the fraudulent electoral breastwork that facilitated the massive rigging of last December’s election in favor of President John Dramani Mahama.
We know this clearly to be the case because when he mounted the witness-box, Dr. Afari-Gyan shocked the entire democracy-loving world by observing rather brazenly that contrary to the normative expectation of the key witness for the petitioners, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, no rig-proof serial numbers had either been stamped and/or embossed on ballot boxes. Neither had the so-called tamper-safe envelopes and pink sheets been serialized to guarantee that they would not be tampered with by determined political mischief-makers.
Needless to say, if democratically minded Ghanaians are supposed to applaud Dr. Afari-Gyan for such gross exhibition of dereliction of duty, then I sincerely don’t know what those in his corner, including the apparently cynical operatives of Radioxyzonline.com think Election 2012 was about. A festive charade of mandate usurpation, perhaps?
Anyway, what I am most interested in at this juncture, though, is what the electoral protocol has been in the past that prompted the petitioners to patently expect that, somehow, the ballot-boxes , tamper-safe envelopes and pink sheets would be serialized as protective measures against vote-rigging. And if, indeed, such serialization had been done in the past, what prompted the Electoral Commissioner and his staff to do away with such protective measures this time around?
The foregoing are significant anomalies that need immediate clarification, as well as how Election 2012 was conducted differently from the previous four general elections. As to whether, indeed, Dr. Afari-Gyan has “whipped” Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is absolutely devoid of moment here. What needs to be critically examined is why the petitioners have been insisting on serial numbers governing the way that elections are conducted in the country.
Is the Electoral Commissioner telling Ghanaians that, somehow, the key operatives of one major political party were deliberately and purposely blindsided on the details of how elections are conducted in Ghana? And just how did this quizzical state of affairs come about? I am, of course, asking these questions because there is supposed to be an Inter-Party Forum or Caucus (I forget which) that periodically confers with the Chairman of the Electoral Commission and his staff to orient or educate key political party operatives on electoral protocol – about both established rules as well as new rules governing the practical conduct of elections in the country.
I mean, I smell the funky scent of a rat here. And Dr. Afari-Gyan had better “enlighten” us on this one.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
May 30, 2013