I followed the elections with great keen from my home in England. Due to other commitments, I was unable to ferry my self to Ghana to witness this first-hand. Although, I could not be physically present to accord my support, I did so spiritually.
There was whisper of rigging and other forms of electoral deceit at the outset of the process against the defending champions (NDC) and a disturbingly reprehensible physical assault on an alleged double-voter (which was backed by pictorial evidence), the alleged offender sadly attracted the wrath of an irate mob of aggrieved supporters of a political party who could not retain their diplomacy at the time by handing him over to law enforcement for the appropriate action to be taken against him. With all this happening, I knew that eventually my fatherland was going to be in the care of a committed government which will be headed by a knowledgeable Chief of State regardless of which of the two absolutely brilliant and suitable candidates was going to emerge victorious.
I personally rooted for the much younger, politically orphaned (the fact that he was not given any political blessings by the Rawingses), dynamic and fresh-faced candidate, John Dramani Mahama, for reasons I would be happier to share in my next op-ed. I had fallen out of love ( in late 2008) with the NPP due to my natural loyalty to then candidate John Evans Atta-Mills of blessed memory and the NPP?s attempted betrayal to a peaceful democracy in the aftermath of the 2008 elections. I was inundated with updates routinely by my numerous social media friends, some of whom I will very soon be recommending to be honoured by the Ghana Journalists Awards, amateur division . They supplied, Au-courant and near-accurate information on the matters that were most concerning, mercifully, the multimedia group was equally helpful to patriots abroad like myself with their impeccable live online stream. it?s rather unfortunate that their cautiously calculated and impressively-accurate projection of the electoral outcome was rewarded with questions of their political loyalty which even inspired a few loyalists of the vanquished to attack an unarmed vehicle adorned with JoyFm logo. This was an utterly irresponsible assault on very fine professionals who were patriotically going about their duties as expected of them by their employers.
In all candor, I was perplexed by the general display of good behaviour by my fellow country men and women. Queues started forming in some overly determined constituencies as early as 12am on Friday,7 December. There was a great deal of anxiety relative to the fairness of the whole exercise and how the vanquished would absorb the outcome. I did quibble with my long time esteemed friend Ebenezer Bediako about the flaws in his shoo-in?s policies, the gentleman who nearly achieved the distinguished title of His Excellency, a title that we will see very few men attain in our lifetime. He fought a great battle but he was insufficiently convincing to Ghanians who were eligible to vote. They voted against his outrageous and to me, extravagant and over-ambitious promise of Free SHS. Surprisingly he did perform outstandingly well, not as well as he did in 2008 and this has naturally given credence to a rigging conspiracy allegedly masterminded by the ruling party. My highest hope is that this impasse is resolved hastily and put to rest for the sake of peace and time.
The electoral commission (EC) is the supreme hero in all this. Chairman Afari Djan, as always, was unshaken by the palpably tensed climate in the country over the weekend. He did not give intimidation any hegemony. He was clever enough not to throw any superfluous messages in the public domain during the process. When it became apparent that a number of the biometric machines were inoperable, leading to a sizable number of voters being unable to make their voices heard on Friday the 7th, he graciously allowed them to return the following day to cast their votes. He is amongst the few unsung Hero?s who are never going to be given due recognition for the obvious fact that a great percentage of Ghanians will never be happy with his declarations of victory.
The Ghana Police Service, Fire Service, Armed Forces, all the other security forces, civil society, Journalists, Polling officers and the general public are not exempted from this paean. I thank you all for your service to mother Ghana. Once again, It can be boldly proclaimed that the good name of Ghana has been kept, with the help of God.
My counsel to President Mahama and his team is not to gloat abundantly. Get to work as soon as possible and try your greatest best to deliver on the Better Ghana promise. As you can tell, the power to appoint is with the electorate and 7th December 2016 will be another weekend of judgement.
By: Jude Baffoe