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Mahama should allow NPP to grieve
From: Opanin Kwabena Mensah          Published On: December 13, 2012, 06:22 GMT
 
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Mahama should allow NPP to grieve

John Mahama


It is very important that the NDC government led by John Mahama allowed the NPP to use various legal means to express the hurt afflicting them as a result of their defeat in the 2012 general elections. Anything other than that would leave the country in a very bad state.

Reference is made to the reported “Police raid of the research office of the New Patriotic Party in Kokomlemele, Accra where officials are conducting forensic audits of the 2012 elections” on Tuesday December 11, 2012.

Boakye Agyarko, of the Party reported that the police and soldiers in full riot controlled gear "manhandled" the NPP officers and described the raid as “senseless and highly provocative.” He said the raid was alarming and wondered why such a thing would happen in a democratic country like Ghana.

The raid, premised on the claim that they were looking for ammunition stashed in the building, was believed to be a follow up to a directive by President John Mahama to the security personnel to be on red alert after scores of NPP supporters allegedly attacked members of the governing party and media men.

There seemed to be no correlation between the attack on members of the governing party and media men and the search for ammunitions in the party’s headquarters and thus makes Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa’s “ government will not countenance any act of lawlessness” irrelevant.

Those who perpetuated that violent act should have been apprehended right there and then and made to face the law. Any teacher would tell you that punishment is effective when implemented at the time of the commission of a bad behavior. How would the perpetrators of the said attack know that it was their behavior that led to the raid at NPP’s headquarters especially when the police did not cite that as the reason for their invasion?

The 2012 General Election has been declared in favor of the ruling Party. The vanquished, NPP is in a mourning mood for having lost a battle that it believed it won. It would be in the interest of both the government and the NDC to stay away from them while they go through this critical period without any interference, In American tradition, NDC should rather give them tissues (paper towels) to wipe out their tears while the police protect and guide them. It should be noted that NDC is not NPP’s target; it is rather the Electoral Commission (EC). It would be nice if NDC joined NPP in a protest against an institutional let down.

Any attempt to use force as happened in the search of NPP’s offices with the hope of intimidating them to accept the results of the Electoral Commissioner would be counterproductive. They should be left alone to go through their chosen method of dealing with the crisis at hand – court action and demonstrations. If NDC members stayed away from the demonstrations and Police did not confront them not a hair of a Ghanaian would be lost. Restrain is the watch word, even in the face of extreme provocation.

In 1977 students of the University of Ghana, Legon embarked on an indefinite boycott of lectures as a demand for the reinstatement of some students who had been rusticated for some infraction against the university. By the end of the second week the students’ front showed signs of breakdown. Medical students sneaked out for lectures at Korle Bu while members of the University Christian Fellowship (Creffe) admonished its members to go for lectures. Soon the various Junior Common Rooms (JCRs) passed resolutions to end the boycott. The University succeeded in getting the students to end the boycott of lectures by IGNORING THEM.

In the presidential election of July 2006 in Mexico, the candidate of the right-wing bourgeois National Action Party (PAN), Felipe Calderón, was declared the winner of the election by a tiny margin over Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the populist bourgeois Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). There was suspicion of strong evidence of widespread fraud in the ballot count and other fraud at polling stations throughout Mexico, but the government refused to conduct a vote-by-vote recount.

Massive demonstrations of as many as a million people took place in Mexico City in July, and a protest tent camp (plantón) occupied the center of the city throughout August and the first half of September. Incumbent president Vicente Fox of the PAN was unable to deliver his State of the Union address to the legislature at the beginning of September, nor to perform the traditional “cry of independence” in Mexico City’s Zócalo (central square) on Mexican Independence Day, September 15.

The Mexican Government did not order either the police or the military to sack the planton from the city center. The government allowed everything to go on without interference. Not a single Mexican soul was lost as a result of the “inaction” of the government. After the people had exhausted their options they left and went their separate ways. Unnecessary provocation, confrontation and abject display and indiscriminate use of raw power by the government would only appeal to the sentiments of very few people (NDC’s base); it would not yield any desired results and would not augur well for the country.

President Mahama should learn from both the Legon and Mexico incidents and allow NPP to mourn and grieve in their own way. NPP would be the first to admit that any act of violence or threat to life and property would not be tolerated by Ghanaians. NDC should empathize and sympathize with them. The IGP should proceed cautiously. Another chapter of Ghana’s history is being written. Let us watch as events unfold and allowed to take its natural course.

A word to the wise is at Bole and Nadowli.


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