NOW THAT THE ELECTION IS [PRACTICALLY] OVER….


No, it isn’t quite over yet. But as Donald Trump, for one, has just learnt, resisting the expressed will of the people is an exercise in futility. A system yields millions of votes to you, which you accept gladly. But when it comes to the decisive few votes, which show that the majority of voters preferred your rival, you say, “No! Some of my votes were stolen! So, I won!” 

Now, if your opponent was inclined – or had the ability – to steal votes, why didn’t he grab ’em all, but be silly enough to leave you such a sizeable number of votes? Huh? 

Well, over here, it’s probably up to the courts – again – to decide. Sadly, the Electoral Commission has made enough mistakes to muddy the waters regarding the results of what was obviously a very very stiff competition. To allow a few arithmetical errors to tarnish the results of such an obviously well-run election is quite unforgivable. How could such little mistakes happen?

I am of the view that in our selection of personnel to man state institutions, we have become completely anaesthetised by the paper qualifications “shortcut”. He/She has a degree; maybe a first class degree, or a second upper; ipso facto, he/she is the best candidate.

Nonsense! Different jobs require different personal skills. You cannot work in an office that deals in figures if you’re not gifted with regard to mental arithmetic. You have to see that some figures don’t look right before you can ask for them to be re-checked! Then you may discover that someone didn’t input a correct figure.

The other day, I discovered that in an important document, someone had written 25 instead of 24! Just numeral one added!How did that happen? Had I not suspected the figure and checked up, the mistake might have been discovered somewhere later, to cast doubt on the rest of the figures. 

Spotting and checking mistakes in figures is a special skill that is acquired through long years of practice, and which should be appreciated and remunerated adequately. I remember that in my days at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, before computers arrived, a certain Mr Crabbe was the wizard in the administration department. Your “T & T” claim; your leave entitlement; your loan repayments – none of these would go through unless Mr Crabbe had signed them off. How many Mr Crabbes has the Electoral Commission got? Would such a man even make it to an interview, today?

Another aspect of the election which has attracted my attention is how some people have tried to explain away the defeat of some of the candidates. Some people in the NPP have singled out the Government’s anti-galamsey stance as a major cause of the defeat of many sitting MPs.

I am afraid the galamsey apologists are being economical with the truth. Where is my evidence? Here it comes: The Member of Parliament for the Bekwai Constituency in Ashanti, Mr Joe Osei-Owusu (who is First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly) had a lot to lose if he was defeated in the December 2020 election. Yet he remained easily the most militant MP – with regard to galamsey – in the entire House. 

Known as “Joe Wise”, he declared that if he had the power, he would order that galamsey operators should be shot on sight! 

Here is a report on a debate on galamsey that occurred in Parliament:

QUOTE: Parliament was divided Tuesday [13 March 2018] over whether to shoot and kill people engaged in the pollution of water bodies through illegal mining – ‘galamsey‘ . The First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, [as well as] the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu….[were among the contributors]. 

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye … [also cautioned] criminals that the security agencies had the right to use force to prevent crime. He said the use of force, which was allowed in the Constitution, might result in the criminals losing their lives.

The contributions followed a statement made by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kumbungu, Mr Ras Mubarak, on [a] military operation in his constituency to prevent people from polluting the Nawuni River, which is a source of water supply to the Tamale Metropolis and its environs.

He said the military operation in the constituency had resulted in the destruction of an excavator, tipper trucks and motorbikes belonging to people engaged in sand-winning. (Recent military operations had led to burning down of equipment belonging to alleged illegal miners in some parts of the country.)

The First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu said nobody had the right to mine illegally in the country. He said the approach used in preventing illegal mining was not yielding the needed results and added that if he had his way, he would legislate for security agencies to shoot and kill people engaged in the destruction of the environment….

[The Majority leader], Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, [agreed] and said the Constitution did not frown on the use of force to prevent the commission of crime. He[ explained] that such[an] exercise of force might lead to death. Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the illegal miners had destroyed [many] water bodies. UNQUOTE 

Now, we all know that during the election campaign, the NDC flag-bearer, Mr John Dramani Mahama, used galamsey as a propaganda tool with which to try and win votes. He even went as far as pledging to grant “an amnesty” to people against whom whom the NPP Government had secured convictions for engaging in galamsey

So, one would have thought that if the electorate approved of galamsey, they would favour NDC voters, especially in those constituencies whose MPs not only wanted to convict galamsey operators, but would, if they had their way, “shoot to kill” them.

Well, the electorate of Ghana is not as stupid as some politicians think. The voters in the “extremist” MPs’ constituencies, realising that their MPs wanted to prevent their water being polluted, which would force them to buy sachet water (when they can afford it) to drink, returned both MPs back to Parliament. 

Here is a report on the triumphant return of “Joe The Wise” to Parliament:

QUOTE: Joe Wise retains Bekwai seat

Despite stiff competition from an Independent candidate in the parliamentary election for the Bekwai Constituency, Mr. Joseph Osei Owusu of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) managed to retain his seat.

Mr. Osei Owusu, also called “Joe Wise”, polled 40,275 votes (representing 60.9 per cent) as against 22,221 votes by the Independent candidate, Lawyer Akwasi Amofa Agyemang…Oppong Charles of the NDC got 2,877 votes(4.35%) UNQUOTE 

The Leader of the Majority, Mr Osei Mensah-Bonsu’s performance was equally spectacular: QUOTE “2020 Election > Parliament > Ashanti > [Constituency] Suame Results 

HON. OSEI KYEI-BONSU (NPP) 67,095 [Votes] (76.1%);

George Prempeh (IND) 11,217 (12.7%);

Dodovi Francis (NDC) 9,312 (10.6%.)

UNQUOTE 

So, the next time anyone tries to sell you “snake oil”, by intimidating you into thinking that the Ghanaian electorate is stupid enough to approve of politicians who condone the destruction of their drinking water, their farms and forests, just check the FACTS. Then, name and shame them!

By CAMERON DUODU


#ELECTION #PRACTICALLY

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