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19.11.2008 Political

Tired of NDC complaints

By
Tired of NDC complaints
NOV 19, 2008 POLITICAL

It's difficult to understand why the opposition National Democratic Congress seems to be complaining about anything and everything these days. And only few of the complaints merit any serious attention.

They complained (and justifiably so) about Nana Akufo-Addo's use of state resources to campaign.

Their vice presidential candidate, John Mahama recently complained about police in the Volta Region asking him to cancel his campaign tour because Nana Addo's wife was in the same area he was planning to visit. I agreed with him.

The NDC also complained about how the people behind the recent clashes in Tamale and Gushiegu appear to have been let off the hook with the government showing a complete lack of interest in ensuring that justice is done. I agreed with them on this score as well – especially considering the fact that a district chief executive was accused of allegedly ordering the torching homes in Gushiegu.

I have been trying very hard to fish out some more 'worthy' complaints from the NDC but I can't seem to come up with any. In fact, it seems to me that most of the complaints from the opposition party have ranged from the frivolous to the ridiculous. Many others would have sounded pretty serious – if only they had been backed with any serious evidence.

Take the “ways and means” allegation for example.

Top guns of the NDC claim to have come across a document detailing how the ruling New Patriotic Party is scheming to rig the elections in December with the connivance of the Electoral Commission. The rigging plot has been set out in detail in what the NDC calls a “ways and means” document. This is a serious allegation that needs to be looked into. But no one is taking them serious because there is nothing to show that the document came from the offices of the NPP – no signatures, no letterheads, no logos. Any half-wit could have sat in an internet cafe to prepare it. And the NDC bigwigs know this. Yet, they have been brandishing the document all over the place. They have even presented it to an ECOWAS delegation as evidence that the elections in December could be rigged.

After failing to get anyone's attention with the so-called “ways and means” document, it now seems that the NDC and its bigwigs have developed an inordinate interest in needlessly crying wolf when there is none. In most cases, their complaints just sound like a cacophony of mischievous grumblings.

For example, former president Rawlings seems to think that one of the directors at the Electoral Commission, Albert Kofi Arhin, is some geeky fraudster who has a secret computer which can be used to cook up the election results.

“[In] 2004 I know what they did with their computer software in the Electoral Commission office,” Rawlings says. “There is a thief called Arhin. He is hiding there with his gang and they are making preparations to steal again.”

When I heard this, allegation I just asked myself: “how?” With all the safeguards the EC claims to have put in place with the consent of the party representatives on the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), I don't see how any individual can sit up in a dingy room somewhere and manipulate the figures. In fact, when I hear my former president talking about the EC and its officials like he did a few days ago in Kumasi, I am left with no choice than to think that he just might be losing it.

I have also heard NDC officials complain that in 2004, its polling agents were fed with poisoned food which forced them to be on the lookout for rolls of toilet paper instead of keeping an eye on the voting. This, they claim, made it possible for the NPP to steal the vote.

Shortly after the first IEA presidential 'debate' newspapers affiliated with the NDC also complained about the alleged leakage of the questions to the NPP's candidate.

Last week, I heard the most ludicrous and dangerous complaint yet.

NDC loyalists in Cape Coast complained so bitterly about the fact that students in the polytechnic and the university there were transferring their votes from elsewhere in the country to the constituency. They fear that the student votes will swing the contest in the ruling party's favour. So they attacked the students and gave some of them a very sound beating.

To justify their actions, the NDC thugs claimed that since the students were not “indigenes” of Cape Coast, they have no right to decide who represents the constituency in parliament. Last time I checked, this is not how the system works. In fact, any Ghanaian with a vote can choose to vote in any constituency of their choice. That's why even though I am not an “indigene” of Accra I am going to vote (if I decide to) in the national capital. If we were to accept the logic of the NDC thugs in Cape Coast, President Kufuor will have to go and vote in Atwima Nwabiagya and I'd be saving up for transport to go and cast my vote in Essikado.

So what are we to make of the NDC complaints? Some people think the party is deliberately 'fouling' the electoral atmosphere in order to create justification for it to reject the results of the poll.

If most of the NDC complaints were not so petty and, as the lawyers say, vexatious, I would say this is not true. But now, really, I don't know what to think. All I know is that I have had enough of their whining and grumbling. They should just give us a break and stop crying wolf when there is none.

Credit: Ato Kwamena Dadzie

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