He says he was also in Kenya to observe the August 8 general election which that country’s Chief Justice, Mr. David Maraga, just declared “Null and Void.” Indeed, by a very healthy margin of 4-to-2, the Kenyan Supreme Court has ordered the country’s Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to rerun the presidential aspect of the election, if my media gleanings serve me accurately, all over again. We shall tackle President Kenyatta’s brazen and very public vow to reconstitute the country’s Supreme Court to suit his own whims and caprices, as it were, in another column that will be fully devoted to the same.
For now, we have decided to take up and critically examine the quite spirited attempt put up by the Executive Director of the Ghana-based think-tank called the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, in defense of former Presidents John Dramani Mahama, of Ghana, and Thabo Mbeki, of South Africa. The IDEG Executive Director does not tell his audience under whose auspices, or invitation, he had observed the Kenyan election but, of course, we all know that Messrs. Mahama and Mbeki, respectively, led observer missions for The (British) Commonwealth and The African Union (AU). But we also need to quickly add that Dr. Akwetey was one of the widely rumored candidates on the shortlist of possible candidates, produced by then-President Mahama, for the replacement of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Ghana’s longest-serving Chairman of that country’s Electoral Commission (EC), who retired a little over a couple of years ago.
In other words, the IDEG Executive Director may very well have his own personal loyalties which may not necessarily be on the neutral side, when it comes to the subject of the personality of former President Mahama (See “Stop Bashing Mahama and Other Election Observers – Akwetey” Citifmonline.com / Modernghana.com 9/2/17). You see, Dr. Akwetey appears to mischievously want to eat his proverbial “Ofam” (or cake) and have it as well. In the world of practical reality, things do not work quite this way.
Indeed, in the age of the Biometric Voting Machine (BVM), it is not enough to simply monitor the movement of people at polling stations and centers and merely watch figures and statistics being electronically transmitted from one end of the polling system or center to National Headquarters, and then facilely conclude that the “voting, vote counting and the e-transmissions of the results were transparent and credible,” especially when that largely passive observer has absolutely no foreknowledge of the total number of voters registered at any particular polling station or center, the number of eligible voters who actually cast their ballots, and the actual number of voting figure(s) e-transmitted to the Command Center in Nairobi. Pardon me for this, but this is rather dumb.
In the case of Ghana’s former President Mahama, the 2012 Presidential-Election Petition ought to have served as a stark or sharp reminder that, indeed, overcounting and undercounting of votes and the deliberate cooking of figures and data do routinely occur in fiercely contested elections. The same observation goes for Dr. Akwetey. And we also need not fool ourselves by the fact that when Candidate Raila Odinga and his associates of Kenya’s main opposition political “consortium” bitterly complained about the hacking of voting machines and the e-transmission system, and Mr. Mahama reportedly asked them to seek judicial redress, that the democratically deposed Ghanaian leader actually believed that the already declared results of the August 8 election would be duly and promptly reversed.
There was absolutely no precedent of this sort on the African continent, least of all in Mr. Mahama’s own country of Ghana which, in retrospect, scandalously prides itself as having opened the eyes of the rest of the continent to liberation from European colonial domination. Very likely, it was a cryptically vengeful Mr. Mahama’s own diplomatically suave manner of literally thumbing his nose at Mr. Odinga, widely perceived as Kenya’s mirror image or answer to former Candidate Akufo-Addo. Couple the preceding with the resounding jack-booting of Mr. Peter Mac Manu and his Democratic African Union (DUA) observer mission from the Kenyatta Airport and, of course, staunch and ardent Mahama defenders like Dr. Akwetey unmistakably begin to assume the mantle and identity of the legendary Naked King.
Then, for good measure, we also need to recall the fact that in the wake of his resounding defeat in last December’s Ghanaian presidential election, a lame-duck President Mahama flew to Nairobi for about two weeks, reportedly, to share the funk of his Mayweather-like trouncing by then-President-Elect Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with his Kenyan younger sibling, Brother Uhuru Dramani.
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