When Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2012 elections, told the world immediately after the Supreme Court verdict that he had accepted the ruling, and went ahead to officially congratulate President John Dramani Mahama, little did he know that the decision was rather going to incur the wrath of his party leaders.
'I have called President John Dramani Mahama, and I have now congratulated him on being elected the fourth President of the Fourth Republic of our country. The Supreme Court of our nation has spoken, and the result of the December 2012 presidential election has been confirmed as having been won by the candidate of the NDC, President Mahama.
'As I said earlier, whilst I disagree with the court's decision, I accept it. I accept that what the court says brings finality to the election dispute. We shall not be asking for a review of the verdict, so we can all move on in the interest of our nation.
'Everything in my bones, in my upbringing, and in what I have done with my life thus far, makes it imperative that I accept a decision made by the highest court of the land, however much I dislike or disagree with it.
'I am saddened by the verdict, and I know that many of our supporters are saddened too. However, for the sake and love of our country, we must embark on a path that builds, rather than destroys, to deal with our disappointment.
'I appeal to all members and supporters of our party, the NPP in particular, to accept the verdict of the court. Even in our disappointment, we can take pride in the way we have conducted ourselves,' Nana Addo noted in the powerful speech he delivered after the verdict.
Information filtering in, however, indicates that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party may possibly overrule this pronouncement, if the committee appointed by the NEC at its recent meeting in Accra to review the Supreme Court ruling advises otherwise.
The review committee, which is headed by Mr. Ayikoi Otoo, comprises all former Attorneys General who served under John Agyekum Kufuor's regime.
The Director of Communication of the party, Nana Akomea, who spoke to The Chronicle yesterday, admitted that a committee had been set up after the NEC meeting to review the judgement delivered by the nine Supreme Court judges who heard the election petition case.
He, however, indicated that any recommendation by the Ayikoi Otoo committee for the party to go back to the Supreme Court to review the case would not be automatic.
According to him, the NEC members would sit down to thoroughly examine the opinion of the committee members, and if there was consensus that the party should seek a review of the case, the petitioners – Nana Addo, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumiah – would have no option than to proceed to court to have the case reviewed.
Nana Akomea reiterated the position of Nana Akufo-Addo that the NPP, as a party, has, for now, accepted the verdict of the court, though it disagrees with the position espoused by the judges.
The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Mr. F. F Anto, severely criticised Nana Addo soon after the Supreme Court verdict for publicly accepting the verdict without recourse to the NEC. The position of the Ashanti Chairman forced Nana to render an apology to the NEC members when they convened in Accra on Friday August 30, 2013, to deliberate on the ruling.
Nana reportedly told the committee that he immediately accepted the verdict after consultation with the party Chairman and the General Secretary, in fulfillment of the pledge he made, prior to the ruling, that he would accept the outcome of the court's decision.
'…This afternoon, he has said that he is sorry for it, and that it has got to do with his personal pledge to the nation that whatever be the outcome of the court case, he will accept it, and that he did that after consulting with Jake and the General Secretary,' Mr. Anto said.