Ghana – Nana Akuffo Addo Should Concede Now 13


In the course of this election campaign, Nana Akuffo Addo was repeatedly accused of arrogance by opponents and commentators alike. His lack of populist body language has cost him dear, but being lucky enough to know the man personally, he is a charming, considerate, witty and good humoured man who serves you in his home with his own hands – which is not true of many of his detractors.

So it is with regret that I say that it is essential for the good of Ghana that my friend now concedes defeat. With 9 million votes cast, only the tiny fraction that is 23,000 votes separates the two candidates, with one last constituency, Tain with 51,000 voters, voting today.

But Tain is an NDC constituency and has not been strong NPP in recent history. The kind of winning margin Akuffo-Addo needs there is near impossible. There have been recurrences there, now, of the thuggery and intimidation that have marred the second round in many places.

But the governing NPP’s decision to boycott today’s Tain run-off can only be construed as a decision to repudiate the entire election result. I see nothing else it can mean. Particularly when combined with yesterday’s failed attempt to obtain an injunction against the results.

We are already seeing more political violence in Accra than we have in the past decade. If the government repudiates the election result, then force becomes the only arbiter. It has been plain in Accra the last few days that the security forces will back the NDC, as they have historically. In not accepting the results, the NPP risks starting a fight it cannot win.

Look at the broad picture. This race is quite incredibly close. I have no doubt, that if you eliminated all cheating by all sides, the result would still be within just 1%. The NDC started from a base of 45% in 2008 and have, beyond any shadow of a doubt, genuinely picked up support in this election.

If you have two runners over one hundred metres, and one clocks up 9.86 seconds and the other 9.87 seconds, that does not make the loser a bad runner. But there has to be a winner, and the adjudicator’s decision must be accepted.

It would be unfair for Akuffo-Addo to lose, but it would also be unfair for Atta Mills to lose. The NDC have the genuine and consistent support of between 43% and 50% of the electorate over the long term. You cannot keep a group with that much support permanently out of office, and a system which did keep them permanently out of office would not be a true democracy.

The NDC has its liberal and democratic wing, personified by Vice President Elect John Mahama and Moses Asaga; and it has its wing that would happily jail the opposition on any pretext, personified by Tony Aidoo and Nana Konadu Rawlings. Jerry hovers between the two. Atta Mills is a good man, though how strong he is against Jerry remains to be seen.

But for the NPP not to hand over power gracefully, would strengthen the hand of the old PNDC undemocratic tendency in the NDC, and could lead to allegations of plotting and unconstitutionality.

I was heavily involved personally in 2000 when John Atta Mills, like the gentleman he is, undercut the hardliners in his own party by conceding defeat before the result was announced. It now behoves Nana Akuffo Addo to do the same.


13 thoughts on “Ghana – Nana Akuffo Addo Should Concede Now

  • Kwasi Appiah

    Well argued and succinctly put. I couldn't agree with you more. Akuffo Addo must know better than to hang onto the argument that he is the best man for the job and therefore ought to be declared the winner. The voters might be wrong. But it is their prerogative. And their say overshadows any one person's assessment of the situation. What the NPP ought to be doing now is self-assessment. If they do believe the country is bigger than the party this is the time to show that. One election, four years, that is a drop in a nation's history. If they believe the fate of the country hangs on this single election then they do not deserve to be in office. Let them think of the long term, let them reorganize the party, and let them spend the years in opposition searching answers to the structural problems that led to their defeat. I hope they read and listen to you Murray.

    Kwasi Appiah

    Chicago

  • S. Asare

    Hi Craig, I agree with most of what you've witten here. I am impressed with your continued interest in Ghana and the wealth of knowledege you have shown in your analysis of the election results.

  • Nana

    I also agree with most of what you have to write but some biases are also obvious towards your friend. Take this statement:

    "The NDC has its liberal and democratic wing, personified by Vice President Elect John Mahama and Moses Asaga; and it has its wing that would happily jail the opposition on any pretext, personified by Tony Aidoo and Nana Konadu Rawlings. Jerry hovers between the two. Atta Mills is a good man, though how strong he is against Jerry remains to be seen."

    Even as we speak, Tsatsu Tsikata is in hospital/jail, following the imprisonment of ex-Minister Peprah, Abodakpi and Selormey (died from heart attack, days after his release) and Yankey (former public servant who crossed a Minister). These are all NDC people, with cases that were started under … guess who was Attorney General at the time. As for the President, he wanted citizens to bring evidence before taking action against corrupt NPP officials.

    So how do you call the wing of the NPP that jails opponents? Democratic!!!

  • Francis Amekor

    Hi Craig,

    It was heart warming to read your piece about the controversy surrounding the on-going elections in Ghana. I cannot agree with you more on all the points noted in your article. I also want to seize the opportunity to extend the gratitude of the people of Ghana to you for your singular role in ensuring a smooth transfer of power in the 2000 elections. You may not remember me, but I can recall your vigil at the EC offices and the support you offered the Commissioner Dr Afari Gyan through-out the process. I was a reporter with TV-3 at the time and one of the numerous reporters camped at the the electoral commission offices. I can recall entering the commissioners office on a number of occasions and finding you seated with a pint of lager offering advise, encouragement and support.

    Looking back at that election, I believe that Dr Afari Gyan was able to confidently announce the winner in the elections because of the unflinching support you offered. I have also followed your human rights campaigns in Ubekistan and have been dismayed and sometimes angered by the reportage of the issues in the British Media. Obviously, a number of the reports have been designed by 'establishment' to discredit you. But rest assured that those of use who have come know you and your commitment to the advancement of democracy, rule of law and human rights cannot be distracted by such stories.

    I have been studying in the UK since 2002 and have completed a couple masters degrees and currently studying towards Phd in bristol. Please continue your good works and may the good lord guide and protect you.

  • Kwesi

    Intrigue is the word. I really like Kwasi Appiah's entry. Fantastic. Another good observation-the massive appeal NDC has maintained. This camp you cannot keep out of power for long. The issue is the implications of their stewardship. Even if you forgot about their historical records, I listened closely to the NDC and how they conducted their campaign. This was not a credible alternative by any standards.

    It is so unfortunate that Ghanaians do not vote on these considerations because on a good sunny day, NDC is not a party worthy of Ghana's mandate. But hey, democracy says majority support is the lesser evil to the possibility of one will dominating, to the detriment of a people. Intriguingly, Ghana needs that one will now and democracy is preventing it. Intriguing!!!!

  • Craig

    Nana,

    Well. I think a system where no politician ever got jailed would lead to rampant corruption. I am not convinced that the jailings you quote were entirely unfair and – to be perfectly plain – there are a few people in the NPP who definitely ought to be in jail for their activities in the last few years. Anti-corruption needs to be taken more seriously. But there is a difference between genuine jailing for corruption and political persecution. I do not trust Tony Aidoo and Nana Konadu not a jot on that one, sorry. But I do trust John Mahama.

  • Nana

    Craig, Thanks for the response. There are two issues involved. First, the first is corruption, which I also do not condone corruption. The second is whether both parties have extremists who actions could derail the stability of the country. I just happen to think that, in this regard, you seem to portray the NPP in better light. Current developments suggest otherwise. Thanks for your good work, you deserve that complement but give the left in Ghana a chance (it has more Mahamas among them too).

  • isaac ogbarmey-tette

    i believe nana & npp should accept the result and swallow the bitter pill now, the door to door campaign of prof has generated a positive outcome for the ndc, if there are any issue as true democrats they should let the electoral process come to an end , then any outstanding issue regarding rigging can be dealt with by the courts. we need to believe in the independence of the judiciary. one advice i have for prof is that, pres kuffour has set the standards which can only be bettered for mother ghana. prof would have to follow and control the extremist in the ndc if he is to leave a legacy and serve two terms. ghana is split right in the middle 50:50; it is very good because no political party can take the ghanaian electorate for a ride

  • Leonard

    Craig thanks for a very balanced commentary on the political impasse in Ghana. I am very disappointed that Nana Akuffo Addo did not show the maturity and the love of country that is expected of a great statesman like him. Really there is no loser in this election. The close results shows the confidence that Ghanaians have in both candidates. Legally however the president elect needs only 50% of the votes cast +1 to lay claim to the office. Prof Atta Mills has much more than that. The Tain issue should never have been raised by the NPP. This is a venture that will not benefit anyone and could only hurt the country.

    Nana Please concede so that Ghana can move ahead in its drive towards true democracy.

  • alice taylor

    i am an i8 year old and may not be well vexed with politics but i can dare say that cheating to gain poltical power is no mark of honesty by a person who calls himself honest. i am also sorry to say it is out of mere ignorance and envy that a learned and frank man like Nana Akuffo Addo is called arrogant. For Gods sake please lets put all political affiliations aside and face realities, isn't Nana more of a presidential material than Mills? Are we trying to say the NPP did nothing good for the country? i beg to differ,

    Lets go back to history and read about the terrain of the NDC government .Ghana is much better now and Nana would have done a better job. No doubt about that. Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, I salut you. God richly bless you. Atta Mills I pray God gives you the help to govern this country.

    Nana, WE ARE MOVING FORWARD…!!!!!

  • Eddie Moses

    Good job Craig. What happens to the Energy contract you secured under the NPP government?

  • Craig

    Eddie

    The power station is 95% complete. It would have been 100% complete, but the government is several million pounds behind with payments. It will be finished in February and provide Accra with a much-needed extra 50MW of power.

    There is – as I suspect you are hinting – a great deal of corruption in the energy sector, and there are projects where the government paid much more than they have paid us, and received nothing at all.

    I can show you where every penny went on the contract with which I was involved, and a power station built using Siemens gas turbines from Lincoln, constructed in just seven months. I am proud of it. Naturally I also kept the NDC fully informed of the contract detail and progress from the start; the NDC supported the project in parliament.

    There are at least two other energy projects which are very seriously corrupt indeed; at Kpone, and involving the rehabilitation of the Osagyefo barge. The latter contract would give the US company over 1.2 billion dollars over thirty years from the Ghanaian peole in return for an investment they claim is over 100 million dollars but in truth is under 20 million dollars.

    I hope there will be a full anti-corruption investigation into all these projects. I suggested to the NDC before the election that there is a need to set up a very strong anti-corruption unit headed by a senior policeman from a neutral country, so there are no claims of political bias.

  • Frazer

    Eddie

    As the Project Manager for the power station I can assure you that despite pressure from various sectors, there was no payments to anyone to smooth the way on the project.

    I operated above board and simply refused to pay off anyone…partly because I am pissed off at the corruption and am bloody minded enough to enjoy the look on some officials face when I just say NO !

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