Lessons Learned From Kenya's Election
Kenyans now know who leads the country the next five years. Uhuru Kenyatta has been declared the winner, the opposition has raised issues against the process but all the observer groups have described the election, free and fair. The election dominated media discussions in Ghana and Ghanaians were caught up in the Kenya elections fever. This evening on one of Accra's popular radio stations, a popular radio host working with the station, told his co-host that he saw Uhuru's victory coming and did not hide his support for the victor.
This was what he told his co-host "I was in Kenya two years ago and per the new infrastructure i saw, I knew the people will retain him to continue what he is doing". The intriguing aspect of this statement by the host is that, he was one of the journalists who confidently supported the Npp anti- infrastructure campaign message. So, I quickly went back to that article the Kenyan journalist wrote in which Mahama was lauded for reducing Ghana's infrastructure deficit.
My research did not end there, I picked Prof. Ransford Gyampo's write-up and critically scrutinised the content. After that, I read over and over again, what Prof. Baffour Agyemang-Dua is purported to have said on a GTV programme. Later in the day, I had a chat with Prof Elvis Asenso on the Kenyan election and this time, he buried his partisan inclination and dealt with the issues dispassionately.
What he said should have gladdened my heart but beloved, I sighed heavily after chatting with him, and said to myself ; "the time has come for some of us to depart from the rigid partisan stance we take on critical national issues" I salute all these noblemen of the land for exhibiting maturity and genuine spirit of patriotism. I chose the above heading because of what we all heard and read from Kenya prior to the elections. Kenya's national security instituted measures to monitor activities of the various parties and prevented suspected hackers from entering the country.I have my personal issues and suspicions about the 2016 election results in Ghana but that have decided never to make that part of the reasons why the NDC lost for strategic reasons.
My position is that, we must accept the result as the verdict by the masses, go to their appeal court with our new message, and respectively, appeal to their subconscious instincts for their votes. What happened in Kenya, the deportation of the Serbians and Ukrainians and other persons from Ghana, confirms what others said about Ghana's election that, our system was hacked. Before the elections, we witnessed emergence of a campaign strategy whereby a candidate (Nana Akufo-Addo) often supported behind the scenes foreign communication strategists, cast doubt on the integrity of the electoral process and the institution that manage it.
The attacks on the EC were designed to weaken the institution and make it vulnerable. They issued threats and warnings and made all Ghanaians aware they were going to take advantage of vulnerabilities in the process to either declare themselves winners, or derail or establish lasting doubt about the legitimacy of the outcome.
So I asked my friend who always challenged my position that the 2016 election was rigged through hacking of our system, if he heard about the information the Kenyan security released about the Ukrainians, the Serbians and the deportation of the two Ghanaians and their Liberian counterpart.
I referred my friend to the decision by the authorities in the Netherlands to abandon electronic vote counting in favor of old fashioned methods following reports of foreign interference in other countries' elections.We heard about the Serbians who were brought down without the knowledge of Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong, and the Nigerians who came down weeks before the elections. KENNEDY AGYEPONG AND THE VIGILANTE GROUPS- Ken, openly threatened the npp that he will expose how the npp won elections if the dared remove the BOST boss. The vigilante groups have repeatedly sent same message to the party.
What are they hiding from the public CAMPAIGN MESSAGE The opposition in Kenya made economic hardship one of its main campaign messages and despite the economy growing on average of 5% a year and foreign Investment increasing, the opposition using its conduit forces, said Kenyans are not feeling the effect of the growth.
Uhuru's administration was also accused of excessive borrowing and just like what the Npp told Ghanaians, NASA, said, Uhuru's government has borrowed much more than the accumulative amount borrowed by all past governments since independence. Kenyatta and his party,however, argued that investment in infrastructure will spur growth.
The issue of corruption also featured prominently in their campaign. They used John Githongo an anti- corruption crusader in the media to attack Uhuru's government. John Githongo, described the Uhuru government as "the most corrupt in Kenya's history" Uhuru just like John Mahama, took did act, he suspended and eventually removed five ministers and other high ranking officials in his government over corruption. But the opposition mischievously misinterpreted his action. The other message was the issue of unemployment.
The opposition adopted the strategy the Npp used to weaken the electoral commission. It constantly expressed its reservations about the commission's neutrality, efficiency and readiness to conduct a credible elections.
In Ghana, we were treated to an exhibition in the art of guile and deception every time the opposition elements mounted the campaign platform and even seemingly honest and well respected personalities in society, after setting foot in the exclusive lies peddling campaign platforms, transform rapidly into liars or Rottweilers.
AFTERMATH OF GHANA'S ELECTIONS So, let me land on what the radio host said about Uhuru and the massive infrastructure recorded under his administration and what Prof Baffour Agyemang-Dua, said about Mr Mahama and Ghana's infrastructure. The world bank and other international institutions have made it clear that unless Africa reduces its huge infrastructure deficit, real economic growth will remain a mirage.
Our economists and political lords are aware of this obvious truth yet, remained mute when the npp told the last administration that we don't eat infrastructure. The US and other countries have scrapped the trainees allowance system to expand infrastructure etc, Saudi Arabia and other countries have removed certain subsidies their citizens hitherto, enjoyed and have introduced new taxes to compensate loss in revenue as a result of the fluctuating oil price.
What are we seeing here, government is suffocating itself with certain outmoded policies whilst reneging on promises they made in opposition. The previous regime built more hospitals and other health facilities, employing people to work at these facilities is becoming a burden for the administration. Fertiliser which were distributed "free" to farmers is now being sold to them.
Nigeria is going through same stagnation after Goodluck Jonathan had propelled the economy to an appreciable level. We shall continue with the discussion but my humble appeal to all is that, the interest of Ghana must always come first and we must also think of the generation to come. Let us use every platform we control, profitably for the interest of mother Ghana.