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04.03.2021 Article

The JM swag will live on!

By Amb. Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah, MOV
The JM swag will live on!
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Today, Thursday, March 4 2021, Ghana’s supreme court would announce its decision on JM’s petition challenging the outcome of the 2020 presidential elections. We have been riveted to the proceedings on radio, television and the social media and tried it alongside the seven judges who sat on it. Whatever the judges come out with, the court of public opinion would also pronounce on its own…

Ghana, these past four years, has become so toxic that all our attention has been geared towards deflecting that toxicity to free us. After the supreme court in unanimity decided that Mrs. Jean Mensa, the chair of the electoral commission is not obliged to account for her stewardship to the people of Ghana, some people concluded that the case had already been decided against the petitioner, and so for such people, their expectation today is for their worst fears to be realised, or, surprise, surprise, a miracle, in which the petition is upheld and either a fresh election is called or failing that a recount! But what a pie in the sky!

Knowing JM, he would take whatever decision is handed down with his usual bonhomie, but what he must not do is to grovel when it goes against him, it would break hearts, or gloat, should it favour him, which will lower his estimation in many people’s eyes. What he must do and which he does so well, is maintain his swag, that confident Mahama charisma.

Leaving swag aside, the petition, which is being decided upon today is not the usual run of the mill petition. I expect it would have taken on board the court’s highest intellectual and philosophical powers to arrive at its decision – a decision that will go way beyond the pleasure of either the petitioner or respondents. Hopefully, broadly speaking, it would set the tone for justice and fairness, while at the same time making impunity and abuse of office most unattractive in the polity for now and evermore...

This is why, though I understand Dr. Atuguba’s postulate that the supreme court should be ideologically balanced, the balance I see is one of good people rising above the partisanship that ideology engenders, which should be at the level of the executive and legislature. The supreme court should be peopled by only good men and women, well versed in the law but who are not weighed down by the whims, desires and demands of the executive and legislature. For every court, the time is always due, to rise above the simple comfort zones of the Yahoos and get counted among the Houyhnhnms…

I wrote this commentary under the assumption that, as expected by many people, the court would rule unanimously, or at least close to it, in favour of Nana Akufo-Addo and Jean Mensa (But I leave some room for a miracle). With this assumption, as JM ponders his next move, he would be left alone by the hypocritical fringe, which would come out with sanctimonious bleats urging him to accept the verdict, concede defeat, congratulate Akufo-Addo, blah, blah, blah! I have heard that the so called Peace Council is already talking of a “post-petition” programme of sorts. I cannot second guess what Mahama would do, but I will still suggest that such bleats should be treated with the disdain they deserve. Others like some governance NGOs, Council of State, so called men and women of God, some traditional rulers, will be wading in to suffocate JM with their hypocrisy by dangling the word “peace”. Mahama has no need of their Greek gifts. He has always been a man of peace as can be seen from how he has carried himself in Ghana’s politics all these years. For those of us, the millions who voted for him, the Mahama Swag will live on and continue to inspire…

And oh, by the way, is this the kind of writing that our judges detest so much, that they caused for the judicial service to issue its gagging orders last week? Frankly, I do not know, but would stop short of going as far as Rhett Butler’s! Though I am tempted…

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