General News of Thursday, 7 September 2017
A former Head of Government and Official Spokesperson of the erstwhile Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), Major Osahene Boakye-Djan (retd), has described the Kenyan Supreme Court verdict as having vindicated his view that a party does not lose an election solely because of perceived divisions in its ranks.
He said the judgment of the Kenyan court which showed challenges with collating and tallying of votes along the processes of ballot counting confirmed his belief that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) might also have lost the election not because of the widely held belief of internal party challenges.
Maj. Boakye-Djan (retd), who is also a long-standing member of the NDC, having stood on the ticket of the party for the Jaman South Constituency in the 2012 and 2016 elections, said for him, the idea that the party lost the election due to self-inflicted internal challenges had been laid to rest with the decision of the Kenyan court.
The former head of government said the castigation of the former President, Mr John Mahama because he led the Commonwealth Observer Mission to the election and reported on a free and fair process was because of a lack of understanding by the people criticising him.
“You cannot observe what you cannot see,” he said, explaining that observers only noted what they were privy of.
He said his respect for former President Mahama had grown since the Kenyan election because as a true statesman, he urged the losing party to resort to the courts.
“Mahama himself could have gone to the courts in 2016, but he did not,” he said.
Maj. Boakye-Djan (retd) said people were claiming that the decision by the Kenyan court was unprecedented, forgetting that it was Mr Mahama that had made it happen.
He said the backlash on social media against the former President was, therefore, unfair.
Council of Elders
Maj. Boakye Djan (retd) said a meeting by the Council of Elders of the NDC that was recently held had drawn a line in the sand and brought all members of the party on board the ship of unity of purpose to win the 2020 election and beyond.
“All members of the party must be seen from now onwards to be working to bridge the gaps among feuding factions,” he said.
Maj. Boakye Djan (retd) said the greatest thing that ever happened to the party since its defeat was the setting up of the Institute of Social Democracy which was the second party school after Dr. Nkrumah’s Ideological Institute at Winneba in the 1960s.
He said graduates from the school had, to date, held positions of power in Ghana’s political history.
A student there himself, Maj. Boakye-Djan (retd) indicated that his mates were President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mr. Ato Ahwoi, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, Dr. Afari Gyan, Prof. Mike Oquaye, Ms. Elizabeth Ohene and several others who passed out in 1964.
He said for him, a certificate from the Ideological Institute was at the time a requirement of entry into the country’s university, and that was why he attended but it had paid off, as all those from the school were at the echelons of power.
He said their seniors were the late Prof. John Atta Mills, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, Mr. Roland Atta Kesson, Mr. Abel Edusei, Adjei Sackey and some others.
He said the institute, set up by the party, had to be taken seriously as it would not only benefit the party in producing credible leaders, but also the country at large.
Maj. Boakye-Djan (retd) said for the rest of his life, he would use his energies to champion the return of the NDC to power.
“Politicians must never say no, no, no. The day you see me carrying a walking stick would mean the day that nature has disqualified me from contributing my part to the efforts of the party to win back power in 2020 and beyond,” he said.