09.09.2013 Feature Article

# Abuguta's Arithmetic Formula

Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh

Machiavelli, for example, knew no arithmetic nor algebra nor geometry. If he did, he would have known that in mathematics, the end and the means are inextricably linked. Thus, he would have realised that the only wrong means that can lead to a right end are 'ways and means.'

That is why an arrival at any other answer that is not that one answer gets marked wrong. This happened when a certain Abuguta sexagenarian tried to hoodwink his nine-year-old primary class three grandson pupil.

Let us remind ourselves that primary class three pupils in this motherland have achieved an enviable feat for themselves. The rest of us had slept with our feet in the open over the 2008 presidential election results. Class three pupils, though, had detected the stealing that robbed Nana Addo from an election victory.

It is the reason why when asked to name a President, the Patasi class three guy and another from somewhere in the Western Region consistently called the name of Nana Addo. We know from hindsight today that, those class three pupils were right.

Despite that, a minister of education put his head and that of his president who mysteriously disappeared from this earth on a cup for 'my first day at school,' schoolers. How wasteful!

Justice william Atuguba
Oblivious of all this precocious tendencies in the class three pupil, Olu Abuguta posed a riddle to his grandson of that kind. Thirty pupils in a class three class had been asked to vote for a girl and a boy as class prefect. That day, five of the thirty children were absent.

When the votes were counted the girl had fifteen and the boy had twelve making a total of twenty-seven when only twenty-five children actually voted. Apparently, the teacher, the electoral commissioner, had added two extra votes in favour of the girl-child.

'So who won?' asked grandson with all innocence. 'The girl, of course!' bellowed grandad Abuguta. 'How, grandpa? That must be by your Abuguta arithmetic formula. It was overvoting; more votes than the actual ballots that were distributed and cast' insisted the grandson class three boy.

'No, it was ballot box stuffing. Ways and means, you know. There is nothing wrong with that,' Agubuta persisted. 'Grandpa, but there was no ballot box. We only put our ballots in the teacher's baseball cap,' said our little friend.

'Akwadaanawodee,' grandpa went on. 'If you have been appointed by a coup dictatorship and that same group, as democrats in disguise, steals an election, you back them up. Sacks of money talk, you know.'

'Grandpa, but that is dangerous for a democracy,' class three pupil kept on. 'Ehhheh, you eat democracy when you grow up,' retorted our sexagenarian. I eat cash. Obtained fairly or foully, it is still edible cash.'

And so a poor but very smart little class three pupil was left in bewilderment, not knowing whether grandpa was urging falsification of facts which in the little boy's mind was an undermining of democracy. He kept asking himself whether this is not the corruption people have been talking about.

My understanding is that, by a supreme court law, there cannot be overvoting in the motherland. There can only be ballot stuffing. It is illegal to ask prospective voters to be verified before they can cast a valid ballot.

It's weird to negate the entrenched Article 49(3) 'the presiding officer' to 'sign a declaration stating - (a) the polling station; and (b) the number of votes cast in favour of each candidate …' while dreaming sustaining the integrity of the granted vote (Article 42).

Our motherland is the only one where a supreme court is higher than the supreme law of the land. The court is higher than its maker, the Constitution, which 'conferred on it' in (Article 129(1) the power to interpret that law. Quixotic, I will vouch. By extension, the supreme court justice is above the constitution. Is there any democracy anywhere like that?

Now that for the sake of peace Nana Addo and his petitioning party will not seek a review, all my primary class three pupils across the motherland who seem to understand democracy better are curious. They want to know whether their grandad adjudicators have not killed the motherland's democracy by the deed of an election judgment.

They want someone to save the motherland's democracy. Let that someone stand up. No show will kill a democracy. The voice of judges cannot be the voice of God. It is the voice of the majority who voted for Nana Addo which is the voice of God.

By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh