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14.12.2004 Feature Article

Disturbing Events at Offinso North Constituency

Disturbing Events at Offinso North Constituency
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I have been alerted to alarming events that took place at the Offinso North Constituency during the recent Parliamentary elections held on the 7 December 2004. There had been a fierce election contest in the district between Dr Kofi Apraku and Mr Kojo Appiah Kubi, the latter a very unknown candidate. But contrary to known expectations, the unknown candidate came from being an under-dog to defeat the incumbent, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku. I write "defeat" because though the Electoral process certifies Dr Apraku as the winner, I have reliable information to suggest otherwise. In other words, he didn't win the election except that he manipulated the result every step of the way.

I have spoken to many of the people who voted in the election and according to most of them, exit polls were clearly in favour of the under-dog, Mr Kojo Appiah Kubi, a young and resourceful gentleman who stood for elections on principle with a clear view to meet or try to solve the district's problems by bringing them to the ready attention of the government in power and in the open forum. In fact, having seen and heard him on his campaign trail, he came accross as someone who cared very much about the district, unlike his opponent, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, who after four years in very distinguishing positions in the current government in addition to been the sitting Member of Parliament for the district, has done absolutely nothing for them, nor has he shown the willingness to do so. He is a very rare figure except at some funerals. Oh! what a representative.

No disrespect intended but Dr Apraku seems to enjoy ministerial trappings rather than the responsibilities democracy places on him. The tragedy of this whole saga is, Dr Apraku will continue with the same plan, "do nothing for the district" even if given 100 years. Aside of this, the results suggests that many in the district believed Kojo had achievable goals and were ready to allow him to represent them in stead of Dr Apraku.

The people of Offinso North, realised this and having heard Kojo Appiah Kubi, voted resoundingly for him. But it was not to be, for Dr Apraku had reportedly manipulated the process. If he thinks my accusations are unfounded, then he should perhaps clear the air by throwing in his support for a recount of the ballot papers. Widespread fraud and the attempt at big time malpractices were repported had it not been the very grateful volunteer officials who came in support of Kojo Appiah Kubi. Dr Apraku through the help of a benefactor from the Netherlands managed to increase the ballots in several areas but as the "hidden plan" could not be unfolded as a result of the very vigilant volunteers, they had to settle for the very few votes that will crown his moment. But the fact still remains, that he is not yet out of the woods, for a recount is seriously recommended. Here is why;

i. After the election, Abraham Appiah Kubi who inspected the process, thought there was foul play and decided he was not going to sign the results as produced. At this point, a recount was already being demanded.

ii) Sensing defeat, Dr Apraku was tipped off by the security agencies to head for Greater Accra, because his opponent is demanding a recount and they are not likely to get one if he is not around. They also told him, that if there was a recount, he was very likely going to lose. He is in Accra as this piece is being written.

iii) Their ( Dr Apraku and Co ) plan was to succeed when an official of the electoral commission went to the house of Duodu, the Organiser for Kojo Appiah Kubi, luring him to their office. When he showed up, he was deceptively asked to certify the results by appending his signature, which he did. He, I have been told was not qualified to do so, neither was the office to legal place for that to happen and Mr Duodu is ready to give evidence on how this all happened. So are many others.

As a result of the above, the Electoral commision is refusing to recommend a recount, claiming the results had been agreed to by the Organiser for Kojo's camp. Petitions have however been sent to the Electoral office in Kumasi, pending a decision on whether there would be a recount. This is a very bad state of affairs for the district and gives the electoral process a bad taste. I think if Dr Apraku has nothing to fear, then I repeat my call to him to support the recount process. If he fails to accept this, he will honestly never be seen to be the fair winner of the election. This will be very bad for the already development-starved district, which in the past had boasted the biggest producer of tomatoes in Ghana.

Dr Apraku, as MP, you never did anything for the district, then as Minister for Trade, you failed to raise the Ghanaian profile, resulting in what is seen as a demotion. At NEPAD, you still haven't come through for your district, let alone the country. So in all these 3 positions, you have never showed to have met your responsibilities, what shows, you can do anyting in the next four years??? Besides, the way you manipulated the electoral process with the help of the Netherland "mafia" is only testimony to the fact that you do not have anything good fo rthe district or the country as a whole. You are only interested in hanging on to power. This is sheer greed and pride. Apart from that, if I were you, I will look at the happenings and decide that for the good of district and country, the time is nigh to step down. Doctor, the ball is iin your court and I rest my case. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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