FOCUS ON SC, BAN LMVC AND RMV GROUPS’ ACTIVITIES
The hearing begins this coming Thursday, 14 March, 2012 with the novel trailblazer contestation of election results at the Supreme Court (SC) by the leaders of NPP on the Africa continent. Sierra Leon has already emulated such path in its recent elections and all ears of Ghanaians should therefore focus on the hearing at the Supreme Court (SC) as the authentic facts of the petition and not what “Let My Votes Count” (LMVC) and “Respect My Votes”(RMV) groups, sympathetic to the NPP and NDC respectively had to tell Ghanaians through the electronic media.
The December 7, 2012 Presidential election in Ghana would, no doubt, serve as a trial foundation towards redefining democracy in the context of Africa’s multi-ethnic societies. “The importance of 2012 election as potential trigger of instability in Ghana cannot be overemphasized…Either party of the two major parties will contest the 2012 presidential election’s results…The two which pose a significant risk to Ghana’s stability in the next decade are; 1. patronage politics and weak institutions and 2. structural weaknesses in the economy, notably its failure to provide jobs… Ghana’s patronage politics is the main obstacle to development, democracy and stability” The above is an excerpt of the Centre for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), a California think-tank report’s in June 2011.
The electoral processes before and during December 7, 2012 elections had been the most peaceful, transparent, free and fair to all Ghanaians since 1992. However, the electoral processes after the elections coupled with the contestation of the Presidential results had thrown Ghana into a state of apprehension about the plausible fate of the destiny of our nation as a democratic state. Our politicians are at their wits’ end in exacerbating patronage politics without consideration for the ramifications of their actions on governance and how to consolidate our ‘maturing loggerhead democracy’, which tends to threaten our very existence every election year with deeper dimensions of serious institutional weaknesses.
The loggerhead democracy imposed on Ghana and Africa, makes our education useless to our societies, it makes our government and citizens unpatriotic, greedy and patrons of corruption. It makes unwise of our values system, tradition and culture as a unique people in the globe. It makes us to disown our very being and we’ve become aliens to our very existence. It makes our “honorable” politicians very vilifying to unprovoked comments from our chiefs, religious leaders and well-meaning statesmen, thus ensuring systemic culture of silence to the activities of the two major parties. This loggerhead democracy with patronage politics rooted in our multi-ethnic societies is extensively polarizing the Ghanaian society.
Let me state that, the functions of exercising democratic right do not preclude the ability of the gumption of a democrat to reason patriotically and selflessly to secure the future for the next generation.
Each election springs up groups in defense of a particular course for either of the two major parties. The formation of such groups are justified by the 1992, constitution Article 21(1e) which states inter alia “All persons shall have the right to freedom of association, which shall include freedom to form or join trade unions or other associations, national and international, for the protection of their interest”. Can we then reason that we can form such groups as Boko Haram, Alqueeda, LRA etc in Ghana as part of our democracy without due diligence of our security institutions and intelligence units?
At what point does such dangerous groups’ formation become security threats to the well-being of their nations? What are the cardinal pointers and characteristics of such dangerous groups to a nation’s security? Is there a cause for any Ghanaian to be apprehensive about the contestation of the presidential election by the leaders of NPP at the Supreme Court (SC)? Is this contestation seen as court business as usual or court business with state of emergency for the day of reckoning of the verdict of the SC?
How relevant are these groups “Let My Vote Count” (LMVC) and “Respect My Vote” (RMV) trouping through our regions in Ghana to the verdict by the SC on the petition of the presidential election 2012?
These groups LMVC and RMV are irrelevant, counterproductive, dangerous, security threat to our well being and arguably the axes of “dangerous patronage politics” as forewarned by the CSIS report in June 2011, which is the most singular factor to destabilize the country.
Article 64 of the 1992 constitution has made provision for the contestation of Presidential election at the SC. The article allows without prejudice the presidential mandate to the person so declared as president of Ghana by the Electoral Commission (EC) to govern the nation. The spirit and the letter of article 64 is to ensure that there was no power vacuum and government business, which comprises the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, should go on to benefit the citizens during the period of litigation at the SC. It is unproductive to stifle government business for the people of Ghana.
Equally, it will be seen as unpatriotic and a great disservice to Ghana for the person so declared by the EC as the president elect to disallow himself/herself to be sworn-in as the president. It takes the love of a country for such presidents elected to put their high won reputation at the altar of political vilification. This case will in no doubt sets lots of precedence in the legal arena for the future conduct of elections, regulations and processes of vote’s counts and declaration by the EC.
Without prejudice to “dirty politics” no politician can truly say that a presidential candidate or a party had stolen votes without the connivance of EC, which, all things being equal by constitutional mandate is suppose to be independent in executing its duties. If elections are found to be premeditatedly stolen, it is tantamount to subverting the sovereignty of the people and the law must deal with the persons and institutions found culpable.
The national security apparatus must not be seen to be slumbering with the implications of the activities of LMVC and RMV groups. In a constitutional rule, the national security coordinator ought to war the ideas of security implications by the activities of these groups with parliament and use the same constitution, article 21 clauses 4(c) for the possible imposition of LMVC and RMV activities.
The NMC perceived to be gatekeepers should bring discipline in the reportage of its members and more especially the electronic media. Members of NMC ought to circumspectly inform the public about the evidence tendered at the SC only and what transpires during sittings. The media should desist from disseminating evidence of public opinion by any person or group. The NMC should reinforce legal principles by advocating and encouraging individuals and groups to “Prove to The Court” (PTC) any evidence on the election contestation.
As an Independent Presidential Candidate in 2012 election, I’ve come across individuals who have been indoctrinated into believing what their parties’ leaders say to them. The venomous passion ingrained in the minds of some voters ignorantly lives much to be desired. That is why the patronage politics by LMVC and RMV groups analyzed from hindsight in our society makes the cautionary words of Frederick Douglas, an American Reformer and statesman, more appropriate ““Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe”.
The SC must be bold, fair and must be seen to administer justice in line with article 125 of the constitution. All of our collective endeavours must be to advocate for PTC to sanitize the minds of voters to the hard facts of the presidential election petition as against drifting politicians whose minds and actions are on wining the next election. Advocating for PTC can serve as a mitigating phenomenon to the dangerous activities of LMVC and RMV groups so that other nations on the continent will emulate our success. Yes, we cannot fail Ghana and the Africa continent at this trying moment in our loggerhead democracy.
We need to educate the masses to beam their focus on evidence tendered at the SC as authentic and to encourage the nine Justices sitting on the case of our unflinching trust, support and respect to courageously proclaim the verdict for the benefit of Ghanaians in order to strengthen our institutions to do the right thing without fear or favour to any persons, groups and parties. We are still hopeful; Ghana can make it with God’s help and direction.