What seems to be an abrupt end to an event that held Ghana spellbound, with fears that we may overrun the schedule that the Supreme Court had designed, showed this week the slippery ground that we tread every day of their lives. And it is, particularly manifesting in the saga of humans, with hands and feet of clay playing God and the Devil on the same stage.
But the guiltiest, in my opinion, is not the young lawyers that were undergoing ‘training’ at the Supreme Court or even political hoodlums who are ready to die like poisoned rats in needless fights with armed policemen.
Intriguingly, they do this that other species may be elevated enough to pee on their epitaphs by dropping only the crumbs at their funerals, while they [pitiful ones] wallow in drudgery or exit this life unsung.
That expression showed up when lawyers for the Respondents notified the court – in thunderbolt fashion – that they believe their clients still have a case, without calling a witness or supplying pink sheets, just as the good Petitioner has failed to do.
At that instance, I instinctively recalled an incident in which the late La Mantse and Kutu Acheampong’s Minister Nii Anyetei Kwakwranya was meeting a can leader over a raging conflict between two big boys in the community.
I was 14 at that time when I stumbled over the meeting. My paternal grandfather had invited the traditional ruler to be part of the arbitration process and ensure that some bitter conflict was resolved and truncated for the mutual benefit of the community and the litigants.
As I hid instinctively behind a wooden curtain and listened to the proceedings, I heard the traditionalist politician asked the glum-faced litigant warrior: “Why do you insist that this case fester when you, a big boy growing up to fill our shoes, choose to be the one engineering chaos in the community.”
He continued: “Don’t you know that, just like us, you have the mandate and responsibility to be part of the processes of unifying the community?”
Before the chief’s word could die down, the litigant bellowed: “I say No. I won’t talk to him today or tomorrow. He doesn’t respect?”
Somehow, just after exhibiting his empty tantrums, it dawned on him [litigant] that he had acted another notch irresponsibly and offended the sanctity of the processes and the event. Worse still, in doing that he had punctured the dignity of the persons dousing the flames of conflict.
So, he began to be more conciliatory in his demands and posturing. Little did he grasp, at that point, that his act of pigheadedness in dragging down the process of peace-building in the community, had already become a veritable source of a gripe to the local warriors and traditional council – and that a trap had been laid for him by the elders.
Returning his insolence, one clan leader who had been anxiously waiting for the appropriate occasion to drop that signal, stood up and thundered: “DID NII YEMO [DEFENDANT] SLEEP WITH YOUR WIFE?”
Sweating profusely, he fumbled for words, lamely demanding the reason for that loaded query.
Repeating himself, the clan head repeated the assault: “If you didn’t hear me, I say it again, loud and clear. DID NII YEMO SLEEP WITH YOUR WIFE?”
Of course, that’s the only reason a person or community of people can elect to crucify an innocent person – or accomplished young warrior or even in this case, the decent lady who, step by step and in the centre of a pandemic, rolled out an excellent exercise that culminated in Ghana being cited globally for managing to roll out successful processes towards an equally successful presidential and parliamentary elections under frightful COVID-19 conditions.
A sombre lull took over the environment, and I saw the late La Mantse motion to the fire-eating litigant to follow him to his compound. The meeting ended abruptly after the elders in the meeting had communicated something with their eyes.
‘You don’t respect’
Years later, it turned out that, at a meeting by the local youth association to choose a successor for the local warlord position, the lot had fallen on the poor defendant in the case and word had gone round town that the market queens association were composing a song to honour the local Asafohene-elect on the day of his induction.
Since then, the litigant’s swansong had always on the slightest occasion been ‘Obuu Mo, Obuu Mo’ (You don’t respect; you don’t respect)
That picture is akin to another saga that later occurred within the camp of the Black Stars in the mid-70s, when someone initiated a bitter war against Sam Ampeh, lead goalkeeper of the Ghana Armed Forces football club SS 74, when it was becoming clear that he could be the first keeper of the Black Stars.
Apparently, someone was acting out of spite and that virus had infected everyone to the point of an open attack against the agile Sam Ampeh. When it failed to stick, he was accused of a smoking ganger, which is his profession frowns on.
What they couldn’t do thereafter was probably accuse Sam Ampeh of sleeping with one of General Kutu Acheampong’s multiple concubines.
What had been playing out in the poor local warrior and Sam Ampeh’s situations was the appetite of one person brewing hate and massing up tons of hatred and venomous envy against an innocent citizen – fit to be our brother, father, auntie, sister, cousin or niece and even grandmother.
It didn’t take long for that warlord litigant to be exposed for mercenary activity in an adjoining community over land and livestock matters in which a Fulani herdsman testified against him, resulting in his open removal from the position that he didn’t deserve, yet was killed to have.
Caught pants down
Since Charlotte Mensah lawfully exited the seat, the NDC had exposed themselves continually by dropping hints that, after all, elections they had been winning were skewed and that they perpetually needed agents in the Commission at all levels to steal the verdict.
They did it in 1992; repeated it mildly in1996; but failed to sustain it in 2000 as they would gain experience in 2020 – after they were caught, though they had the benefit of the doubt in 2012.
During the era of the Provisional National Defence Council when the Awhois wielded influence for good and bad, it was understandable to handpick staff to fill those positions at the EC, without involving the Public Services Commission or the Civil Service chiefs.
Two decades on, when the absolute powers of the PNDC had been truncated, getting cadres at the lower echelons, middle and directors level was not as was the case when Ato single-handedly reformed what used to be the Internal Revenue Service into a great institution (I laud him for that because he went for the best human resource material, together with veteran Johnny Acquah, notwithstanding). He still is a great guy, though, together with Kwesi in anything but politics.
He was later to reform the cocoa industry – also scoring high, though, in the case of staffing the Electoral Commission, the PNDC dribbler created a machine for winning elections.
No condition is permanent
Since no condition is permanent and political power is a fleeting ingredient, the Commission began reforming itself naturally, with the hold of the politburo chiefs loosening by the days. That was the reason why the NDC couldn’t steal 2000 – with the Goosie Tanohs and Opoku Kyeretwie and Dr Ives Wereko Brobbey around.
Since then, the nuts had been hard to crack attempting to steal; and that was why Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan had to sweat it out in 2012. But that is also why the New Patriotic Party if they fail to perform, cannot be bailed by Jean Mensah, though she is an appointee of the NPP government.
That is why the hate politics must end and some redefining of the NDC’s political thought and action is carried out. Unfortunately, for now, the NDC, in my opinion, is barbarian, Neanderthal and Stone Age.
The Election Petition fight, win or lose, still exposes the NDC and its major actors as human species living light-years behind time. Sorry! But that’s the truth.
by: CHRIS LARTEY