16April2014

The New Statesman

Ghana's Oldest Mainstream Newspaper

2012 Election Petition Hearing: WE WILL NOT HAND OVER - NDC members tell Supreme Court

Leading members of the National Democratic Congress continue to serve notice of what appears to be an officially sanctioned decision by the party not to accept the final verdict of the Supreme Court in respect of the 2012 presidential election petition, if it should go in favour of the petitioners.

Justice William Atuguba, President of the nine-member panel of judges hearing the election petition, challenging the legitimacy of the presidency of John Dramani Mahama, Monday expressed serious concerns about what he said was an attempt by some people to undermine the authority of the court with unacceptable comments.

He accordingly issued a stern warning that the court would no longer countenance such behaviour, stressing: “any person, be it in the media or not, who crosses the final touchline of proper coverage reportage will be met with the appropriate response.”

Just a day after what was supposed to be a final warning by the court, leading members of the NDC re-iterated previous warnings by other leading members of the governing party that they would not accept the final verdict on the election petition if Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the first petitioner and the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, was declared the president of the country.

Speaking on Asempa FM Tuesday, Stephen Atubiga, defeated NDC parliamentary hopeful for the 2012 election in the Binduri constituency, announced President John Dramani Mahama would not in any way be prepared to step down and hand over the presidency of the nation accordingly if the verdict of the Supreme Court went against him.

The president himself had said he won the 2012 election “cleanly and fairly” and that the Supreme Court would not have any choice than to re-affirm his supposed clean victory.

“Regarding the outcome of the Supreme Court [Election Petition], the president will not hand over,” Stephen Atubiga categorically, querying: “How can Supreme Court annul my vote simply because someone did not sign a pink sheet?

Stephen Atubiga, who repeated his warning yesterday on Boss FM, a Kumasi based radio station, added that members of the NDC would not sit aloof and allow the Supreme Court to hand over power to the NPP.

“The NDC will never vacate the presidency, should the Supreme Court declare Nana Addo and NPP victors of the case. We are not and will not in the future get out of government; whatever the Court will say will not be practical, unless such comments are in our favour,” he stated yesterday on Boss FM, adding “ there will be mayhem in Ghana if the Court in anyway call victory for the NPP”.

According to the member of the NDC communications team, it would be "a bitter-sweet victory" for the NPP even if the petitioners won their case because "Ghana cannot contain all of us".

He said the foot-soldiers of the NDC were prepared to protect the presidency of John Dramani Mahama, even at the peril of their lives, stressing: "We are prepared to meet the NPP boot for boot. We are ever ready; we will not hand over."

As the same time Stephen Atubiga was issuing the warning on Asempa FM, the Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser of the NDC, Kwaku Boahen, was also on Kumasi based Angel FM serving the same notice of the party’s evil plans against the nation.

“If the NPP is dreaming that a day will come in Ghana that the court will say the December 2012 election was marred with fraud and that the NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is the real winner, for the NDC to hand over power, they should forget,” he cautioned.

“Do you think NDC will sit aloof and watch the court hand over power to the NPP? Never! It will never happen in Ghana and anyone can mark it on the wall,” he stressed.

The public declaration of intention by NDC members not to accept a verdict in favour of the petitioners started gaining momentum after President Mahama had told party activists that he won the 2012 presidential election “cleanly and fairly”, and that the Supreme Court could not come to any conclusion that re-affirm his victory.

A member of the party’s communication team, Gabby Asuming, last week Thursday warned that any declaration by the Supreme Court that would make the first petitioner, Nana Akufo-Addo, the president of the nation would be a sure recipe for civil war.

“I tell you that, look, this election which the NDC has won genuinely; there is no place for Nana Addo. His Excellency President Mahama will make his four years mandate and there is nobody, Nana Addo, on the face of the pink sheet, to be a President; then, maybe, we are calling for civil war in this country; I am telling you,” the NDC communicator charged on OK FM.

Kakra Essumuah, also a leading member of the NDC, is on record to have declared his plans to support any coup attempt, should Nana Akufo-Addo be declared the president by the Supreme Court.

According to General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, these comments from leading members of the governing NDC “clearly indicate a deliberate agenda to lead this country into anarchy, by refusing to accept the outcome of the election petition, and this must be a matter of serious concern to all peace-loving people in the country and elsewhere in the whole world.”

In an interview with the New Statesman, Mr Owusu-Afriyie noted that leading members of the NDC “would not come out to make such comments if the party had not planned this evil and sinister agenda against the nation.”

He added: “The fact that the party has not officially come out to condemn these comments should tell everybody that they were only communicating what the party had planned, and this is where we expect the National Peace Council, the religious bodies and other civil society organisations to come out and condemn such utterances.”