The 2020 Elections… And The Amewu’s Hohoe Miracle
“Democracy is not just the right to vote. It is the right to live in dignity.” - NAOMI KILEN
SOMEONE REMARKED THAT GOD MUST be a Ghanaian. The tentative results of the 2020 elections here in Ghana seem to confirm this thinking. Are we not surprised that almost the whole of Ghana saw rain almost immediately after the elections on December 7? What did this portend? What did this tell Ghanaians? The elections had been generally peaceful.
The 2020 elections have one message: we are all Ghanaians; we must all be measured in our utterances, whether in victory or in defeat, as we await the announcement by the Electoral Commission.
We were wondering what went into the Electoral Commission's mind to proclaim that they had targeted 100% voter turn-out… and also what prompted the EC from promising to release the confirmed results within 24 hours? There was no pressure on the EC to make those restrictive proclamations. Period.
The campaigns were robust. The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Antwi-Boasiako, alias Wontumi, had targeted 47/47 meaning the NPP was going to grab all the 47 constituencies in Ashanti Region. He was going at full break-neck speed and would not take any caution. He would brush aside any admonition to play it soft on the 18 independent candidates in the NPP in the region. Wontumi's TV and Radio did a marvellous job of “unearthing” the many projects built by the NPP, but the language used on some of the recalcitrant independent candidates left much to be desired. As it turned out, the NDC grabbed 4 seats in Ashanti, and the Fomena seat was grabbed by the “rebel” Andrews Amoako Asiamah. What does this imply?
In 2008, Joe Osei Owusu, the present First Deputy Speaker had set the pace for one insisting on his/her right – not to toe the line of the party but rather go independent. He rebelled against the party directives, and chose to go independent in the 2008 parliamentary election after losing to the then incumbent MP, Kofi Opoku-Adusei by a single vote. Joe Osei Owusu was “sacked” from the NPP. Then when he was readmitted to the NPP (after behind-the-scene negotiations), he worked his way up to become the First Deputy Speaker. Then when nomination began for election 2020, the party declared his seat “untouchable”. Then when it was the turn of other people to do same, hell broke loose. People thought it was because we wanted to build a heritage. Not even the reckless and insensible burning of the Electoral Commission at Fomena could dampen the spirit of Asiamah.
A foolhardy behaviour of a citizen to snatch the ballot box at Awutu led to his life being snuffed out, and Odododiodioo would live up to its billing as the most violent constituency: Nii Lante Vanderpuye (NDC) won against his “cousin” Nii Lante Bannerman at the expense of the life of three young men.
At the dawn of Tuesday, December 8, Sammy Gyamfi introduced Afriyie Ankrah to lecture us on the apparent success of the NDC as a result of the “flipping” of the NPP seats to NDC, making NDC gain 140 seats.
Then, in a blatant disregard for the “Movenpick Accord” signed by the Presidential Candidates, Nana Akufo-Addo (NPP) and John Mahama (NDC), the latter had called a press conference to announce the NDC winning 144 constituencies which suggested the winning of the presidential election, so the NDC members should go out and jubilate! One would ask what is the correlation between NDC's purported majority of seats and a presidential success? What would be the case of an independent presidential candidate in this kind of weird synchronisation?
At about 8:30pm on December 8, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah announced that there was no correlation between the vote for the parliamentary candidate and that for the presidential candidate. He reminded Ghanaians of Article 63 of the 1992 Constitution clause 1 sub-clause 3 of which reads: “A person shall not be elected as President of Ghana unless at the Presidential election the number of votes cast in his favour is more than fifty percent of the total number of valid votes cast at the election.” Call it 50% plus one (and this one is .000001%!) Winning the presidential election has got nothing to do with winning parliamentary seats. Otherwise, room will not have been made for independent presidential candidates!
Otokunor, was advising Akufo-Addo to “concede defeat”. Were these NDC stalwarts giving their members confidence to face the outcome of the results or they were giving them false hope?
And John Peter Amewu, after two earlier attempts to secure the Hohoe Constituency seat, a “miracle” worked for him this third time. With the NDC tagging the Volta Region as its “World Bank”, Amewu, the NPP candidate got 26,953 votes to beat the NDC candidate, Prof. Margaret Kweku's 21,821 votes. This represents a clear 5,000 and over stretch. The myth surrounding NDC's impregnability of the Volta Region had been broken! Not by intimidation, not by trickery, but by diplomatic language and by showing that he is development-oriented. The electorate showed that they had been seeking development, so they would follow whoever went to them with development; streets and street lights; water and electricity; assistance to deprived families in his constituency…
When the EC announces the winner of the race, we shall all hail Ghana as the winner for going through a peaceful and calm election process. And just as the “comfortable lead” man, Koku Anyidoho announced recently: “Ghana will not die, we will not record any violent acts in the country after the results of the December elections had been announced.”
The die has now been cast. Whichever way it rolls to, after the announcement has been made, we shall all be wiser by our experience. That democracy depends on numbers is an undeniable fact. Every single vote counts.
The elections should serve as a big lesson. Whatever the outcome, the NPP should re-build and re-brand itself. Members do not have to give the party to so-called “fire-brands” who do not know and appreciate the “dombo” heritage, and will lead them to disaster!
Do we need strong men or strong institutions?
Africanus Owusu – Ansah
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