How Nana B endorsed electoral malpractices in Yendi NPP primaries

By Melvin Boateng Jnr
Opinion How Nana B endorsed electoral malpractices in Yendi NPP primaries

The National Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Henry Nana Boakye a k.a. Nana B was caught in the web of biases as he sounded much more compromised in the grand rigging ploy that marred the Yendi parliamentary primaries.

The National Organiser was full of biases when reacting to why Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama's ballot papers were being stashed in the pockets of an electoral officer during counting of ballots.

According to him, the EC officer Mr. Bentil Nana Deih was stashing the ballot papers in his pocket "because his hands were full".

Speaking on Metro TV's Good Afternoon Ghana, the host Imoro Awudu asked Nana B whether the video in public domain which captured the EC officer Bentil Nana Deih pocketing Hajia Abibata's ballot papers can influence or change the final decision of NEC.

Nana B says he sees nothing wrong with the EC officer keeping ballot papers of candidate Abibata Shanni Mahama in his pocket whiles waiting to be counted.

Under normal customary transparent electoral practice, however, the uncounted ballot papers are supposed to be kept on the same table being used for counting in the full glare of all election observers.

And assuming without admitting, Nana B if not because he is also compromised, should have known that the said EC officer Bentil Nana Deih in his caution statement to the Police did not say he kept Hajia Abibata's ballot papers in his pocket because his hands were full.

He rather stated that he was putting his hands in his pocket because he had to answer to a call on his cell phone, which is in sharp contrast with Nana B's assertion.

Nana B also did not see why Mr. Mutala Shani Mahama, a brother of Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama should confront the EC officer who was caught stashing the ballot papers in his pocket.

According to Nana B, the decision by Mutala to draw the attention of the crowd to the electoral malpractices by the EC officer was what distracted the counting process, and that Hajia Abibata should suffer for her brother's actions.

"What precedent would the party be setting - that now if we finish voting, anybody at all can come and mar the electoral process because the party will go by what the EC will say, and says that there should be a re-run? No!, You cannot benefit from your wrong doings, no you cannot," the National Organiser insisted.

This means that Nana B would want to see nothing wrong with Bentil Nana Deih and his malpractices, but rather want to criminalize the action of Mutala who only wanted to ensure fairness, transparency and clean election process.

The NPP National Organiser failed his fair judgement and neutrality test when he also endorsed the illegal declaration of results of the inconclusive Yendi election in favour of the incumbent Member of Parliament, Farouk Aliu Mahama by the 3rd National Vice Chairman, Alhaji Masawudu Osman and the Northern Regional Chairman, Mohammed Adam Bantima Samba.

According to him, the action of the 3rd National Vice Chairman did not violate any set rules or laws by the party.

Meanwhile, prior to the election, the party issued its established protocols for the conduct of the 2024 parliamentary primaries on 22nd January, 2024 with reference number NPP/HQ/PR/2024/01/22/GS/PP, which mandated only the Electoral Commission to play the supervisory role and also prohibited party officials and government appointees from direct involvement in the election processes.

However, Nana B said that the Electoral Commission did not have any overriding jurisdiction as far as internal party election is concerned and therefore rubbished the EC's recommendation for a re-run of the Yendi election. Saying that, the EC's recommendation was not binding on the party but a subject for final determination by the NEC of NPP.

He revealed that the party (NEC) has already taken a decision on the Yendi election dispute and has instituted a three member committee to communicate the final outcome to the affected persons.

Nana B said that there was only one rejected ballot and there was no way the EC officer Bentil Nana Deih could invalidate ballot papers of Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama.

It is very clear that the National Organiser does not know the difference between a spoilt ballot and a rejected ballot. Rejected ballots can only be declared after counting is completely done. The EC in their report made reference to one spoilt ballot and not a rejected ballot.

Nana B also misled the general public by stating that the police report indicated that counting continued at the Police Station. There is nothing like that in the police report.

The National Organiser also mentioned that no one should be allowed to profit from any wrongdoing and yet he sees nothing wrong with the 3rd Vice Chairman’s declaration of Farouk as the parliamentary candidate elect, even though he did contrary to the Party guidelines.

Much is expected of the party to ensure the rule of natural justice and fairness for both aspirants.

Some youth of Yendi are fuming with rage and claim to have been ready to die than to allow Nana B, Alhaji Masawudu Osman, Alhaji Samba and others to destroy NPP in Yendi for their selfish gains.

The youth indicated that if the party is not ready to re-run the failed election, then they should not also attempt to impose any of the two candidates on them. Saying, "Any such decision will promote skirt and blouse voting in December".

It is also important for the party to separate the two models of election that are available to them in conducting elections: 1) Engage EC to do the conduct, supervision and declare elections or, 2) ⁠not engage EC and solely conduct, supervise and declare elections. In the case of Yendi and like in other constituencies, EC was engaged and the Party could not have set the input of EC aside and usurped their roles.