The clarion call by the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) at a continental level, for African leaders who lose elections to accept the lost in good faith, and not allow the pain of losing elections to make them feel they have been cheated, is not only an unwarranted statement, but also a complete political hypocrisy and dishonesty, to say the least.
If I must proceed by building my argument on a wise saying, need I paraphrase it. It is often said in a court of law that those who come for equity must come with clean hands. The president of Ghana who doubles as the chairman of ECOWAS ought to be reminded about his own actions when it comes to the issue of suspicion in relation to electoral defeat. Need I state that Ghanaians are not that shallow minded as to forget about what happened in less than two decades ago. We were witnesses to the events of the Tain constituency following the aftermath of the 2008 December elections. What didn't president Nana Akufo Addo, then candidate Nana Akufo Addo, do? What didn't he do? I asked again! Did he not boycott the elections on suspicion that it was fraudulent? He refused to take part in the Tain constituency elections having realised it could not help him, and proclaimed that he was being cheated.
Again, if that was not any lesson to have learnt, what didn't happen in the 2012 December elections where he (Candidate Nana Akufo Addo) contested with former president John Dramani Mahama and lost woefully? Did he not take the NDC and the then EC to court, and prayed the court to turn the results in his favour because he felt he was being cheated? What is more hypocritical than this? The actions of the then candidate Nana Akufo Addo are still very fresh in our minds, and we have a duty as citizens to get him well reminded if he feels forgotten too soon!
Now let's come to examine what John Dramani Mahama did in 2016 and 2020, and juxtapose that with what Nana Akufo Addo did in 2008 and 2012. In 2016, Mahama accepted the results and called on the president-elect, Nana Akufo Addo, and congratulated him after it had become so clear to him that he had lost honourably, even before the EC chair could declare the results.
Then come 2020 elections. Given the events such as violence, brutal killings and alleged ballot snatching that had characterised the electoral process, it was not out of place for an opposition leader who was almost winning the election to claim being cheated as did by the NDC Flagbearer, his excellency, former president, John Dramani Mahama. The intimidations by the military cum police brutalities that greeted some parts of the country during the voter registration exercise were ample evidences of the attempt by the ruling government, led by president Nana Akufo Addo, to steal the 2020 elections. The violent events that had characterised the elections especially before and during the elections, delegitimised the whole process conducted by the EC chair, Madam Jean Mansa. Hence, his excellency, former president John Dramani Mahama, had no option than to challenge the results at the supreme court of the country. He did not resort to any illegitimate or violent means to have his grievances addressed. He resorted to the courts as a renowned proponent of democratic ideals!
Notwithstanding the power play and or the political machinations that went with it in the course of the judicial proceedings which raised serious issues of judicial manipulations, he accepted the verdict in the interest of Ghanaians, however, he had disagreed with it. He disagreed with the court ruling on the account that his request or application as the petitioner to have the EC chair, Jean Mansa, to appear in the witness box and be cross-examined, was blatantly dismissed by the court without regards to the petitioner’s right to cross-examine the respondent. This decision by the court not to compel the EC chair to be cross-examined by the petitioner was a complete travesty of justice as far as the records of the 2012 supreme court ruling was concerned. In the 2012 election petition, the court granted the then petitioner, Candidate Nana Akufo Addo’s request to cross-examine the then EC chair. In the 2020 election petition, what had changed such that same could not be accorded the petitioner by the same court?
In conclusion, it is instructive to state that the fact that the then candidate Nana Akufo Addo rejected 2008 election results with Prof John Atta Mills of blessed memory, and claimed it was fraudulent, and again, in 2012 election, he rejected the results declared by the then EC, and took to supreme court claiming he was cheated amply affirm the contention that he, president Nana Akufo Addo, has no moral right as ECOWAS Chairman nor president of the republic of Ghana to stand on a continental platform and call on people not to let the pain of losing elections to make them feel cheated. This call is not only unwarranted but also a political hypocrisy and dishonesty at the highest level.