Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan last Saturday told the BBC that the last polls he managed were the most credible in the electoral history of the country.
It was certainly a valedictory session as he prepares to clear his desk after an eventful tenure as Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC). He did not fail to use the opportunity offered him by the international platform to blow his horns the way he did. If only he could reserve such remarks for his memoirs – which he might not be considering to compose anyway.
He was full of himself when he pointed at the international awards he claimed he earned even after the election petition hearing; interesting and boastful, from a man who sent the country to the precipice of war, but for divine intervention.
Such a reference was, by all standards, intended to rubbish the wisdom which informed the resort to the courts to disentangle, as it were, the confusion which enveloped the election results by the petitioners.
“On the face of the pink sheet,” as he simply referred to the anomalies in the elections during the hearing of the case by the Supreme Court, was intended to ridicule the petition and to reduce it to nothingness, regardless of the observed shortcomings in the process.
Fortunately, most observers of what happened during and after the polls agree that the resort to the court was the best thing to do, serving as it did, as a dampener to a situation which was combustible.
It was instructive listening to a man whose management of the electoral process cast dark clouds over the country.
Although the petitioners did not agree to the judgment of the Supreme Court, they accepted it for the sake of peace – a decision which has been useful.
Dr. Afari-Gyan has so soon forgotten his humiliating performance at the Supreme Court. The whole country and even others beyond her borders still remember the harrowing times he was subjected to under cross-examination.
Simply brushing aside the critical clerical blunders which characterized the electoral process by referring to them as clerical errors, does not make good what by all standards were poorly managed polls.
We wish we could simply consign those moments before and after the polls, including their fallouts, to the dustbin of our bad history. But when personalities whose acts of omission and commission robbed our electoral system of credibility – even after the intervention of the Judiciary – boast of credibility, then we are compelled to ask pertinent questions about integrity.
If the so-called international awards Dr. Afari-Gyan claims to have received even after the election petition hearing, were genuine and devoid of blemish, we in Ghana think the last polls were fraught with challenges – shortcomings which appeared in the observations of the judges who heard the petition. Allowing sleeping dogs to lie would be the best option and not such noise about international awards.