Is President Mahama not undermining democracy?

By Dela Sedode
Opinion Is President Mahama not undermining democracy?
SEP 26, 2021 LISTEN

Forget Do or Die! The issues are much bigger than that. Why has ex-President Mahama turned his supposed Thank You Tour into a subversive mission of the democracy we have built since 1992? Pay attention to what he has been saying on the tour.

“The elections were clearly rigged.” “There was overstuffing of ballot papers in several constituencies.” “Soldiers were deployed purposely to kill people and suppress the will to vote”.

These are but a few of the things President Mahama has been saying on his tour.Do or Die caught the attention of everyone because it sounded macabre. However, pay attention to the fine print and you will discover a sinister ploy to reduce the confidence of the people in the democracy we are running.

Murdering democracy

John Mahama certainly has the right to hold his views no matter how jaundiced they may be. However, when he systematically maligns the institutions of state that anchor our democracy, then he has his knives out to fatally wound that system of governance.

Ironically, the ex-President calls himself a democrat. A Democrat who has decided to bastardise the very institutions that make democracy work?

Were we not in this country when Mahama declared that the 2020 poll had been stolen from the people?

Were we not in this country when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) asserted that they had massive evidence to corroborate their claims of vote rigging?

Were we also not in this country when the General Secretary of the NDC conceded under oath that the votes tallied by the Electoral Commission (EC) represented the true outcome of the election?

Was the NDC even able to quote an independent figure representing their own collation? What does President Mahama seek by perpetuating this falsehood that the elections were rigged?

Exactly what is he seeking, except to drive a spear through the heart of democracy! The stark reality of Mahama’s subversive democratic claims is that they are grossly unfounded. Guess what! More than 70,000 NDC agents took part in collating and overseeing the results of the 2020 election.

The EC held the elections in at least 33,000 polling stations. For each polling station, there were at least two polling agents from the NDC. That alone is about 66,000 polling agents. Add that to a host of party people at the constituency, regional and national levels.

After all these numbers,is it not preposterous to claim that your inability to win was as a result of not being vigilant at the polling station and the consequent manipulation of state institutions by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government?

Mahama @ Oxford

In May 2019, President Mahama told African students at the University of Oxford that democracy was the best form of government for Africa as the democratic spring had improved many economies and the living standards of people on the continent.

In reference to Ghana, he said: “Ghana has made more progress from 1992 till date than any other time in our history. The economy has grown bigger, people’s lives have improved, life expectancy has improved.

” He continued that for democracy to work, we must all work towards it and be committed firmly to its ideals. Quick question: Is President Mahama’s idea of being committed to democracy running down independent state institutions like the EC and the Judiciary? The former President has made it his ultimate aim to continue saying that the 2020 election was rigged against him. Really?

The EC Chair and the other commissioners were all doing the bidding of the government, so they manipulated the elections against him. Really?

The Chief Justice and the entire Supreme Court were also manipulated by the state to steal the verdict of the people. On the third count, I give up.

Personal responsibility

May it occur to John Mahama that Ghana is all we have. Democracy is all we have. The institutions that govern us are all we have.

Running them down is akin to murdering democracy; the selfsame system that guaranteed his rise from being a desk officer at the Japanese Embassy in Ghana to becoming a Deputy Minister, a Member of Parliament, a Minister of State, Vice President, and ultimately President.

Losing an election must be painful, but looking elsewhere instead of your internal organisation only breeds impunity for your own failings and messaging.

Ghana’s investment in democracy has been incredible and former President Mahama should not seek to murder it.

Dela Sedode is an LLM student at Liverpool University who is passionate about Ghana's burgeoning democracy, governance.

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