‘Freedom and Justice’ has fallen short in Ghana – John Mahama
Freedom and Justice’ has fallen short in Ghana: Former President of the Republic of Ghana John Mahama says ‘freedom and justice’ are in short supply in Ghana.
The former President made this comment after the Supreme Court ruling on Thursday 25th June 2020 disallowing the existing voter’s ID card as proof of identity in the upcoming voter’s registration exercise by the Electoral Commission.
The court presided over by Chief Justice Justice Anim Yeboah and a Seven Member Supreme Court panel granted relief three of the suit which talks about the use of the old voters’ ID card for the upcoming voters’ compilation exercise subject to the prevailing C.I 126.
However, the prevailing C.I 126 prevents the use of the existing voters’ card as proof of identity in the compilation of the new register.
In a reaction to the judgement Thursday evening, John Mahama told supporters of the NDC at the party’s headquarters that the position of the court is very disappointing and the party is not surprised at the courts ruling.
“This is not just an NDC fight, it is a fight to rescue the very soul of our beloved country from the hands of those who seek to impose their will unjustly on the people. Our forefathers founded this nation with the motto “Freedom and Justice”, It is clear today that never in the history of our 4th Republic have these two lofty ideals been in such short supply”.
He urged Ghanaians to go out and register in their numbers if the registration exercise begins on 30th June 2020.
“I, therefore, urge all Ghanaians of voting age to channel the disappointment at the effort to exclude them from the electoral process into an opportunity to have their voices heard and turn up to register in their teeming numbers when the process begins next week Tuesday.
“The NPP and the EC are very much aware that the exclusion of the existing voter ID will significantly slow down the process of registration and create the real risk of people massing up outside the voting centres”.
John Mahama indicated that the NDC will still win the December 7th elections even if a new register is compiled despite the party knowing the NPP will do everything possible to rig the elections.
Below is the full address of John Mahama;
ADDRESS BY HE JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA, FLAGBEARER OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (NDC) ON THE SUPREME COURT RULING ON COMPILATION OF A NEW VOTER REGISTER
Good evening my brothers and sisters,
Earlier today, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Ghana gave its ruling in a case brought by the National Democratic Congress against the Electoral Commission over its decision to compile a new voter register.
Despite the well-reasoned reliefs we sought, the apex court of the land gave the leeway for the Electoral Commission to go ahead with the exclusion of the existing voter identification cards from the list of identification requirements.
We are deeply disappointed and strongly disagree with the court over this outcome, which has confounded many legal experts and thrown the country into a state of confusion.
Our legal team is examining this decision even as we await the full judgement.
It is worrying that the Court deferred the reasons for its decisions to the 15th of July, by which time the EC would have been two weeks into the registration exercise.
My brothers and sisters, throughout its history, the NDC has stood strongly for an inclusive democracy.
That is because the party is built on the principle that no one should be left out in the governance process of our beloved country.
This principle may be seen through the various programmes and projects upon which our democracy is built: the composition of the Consultative Assembly, which prepared the 1992 Constitution; the consultations for the review of the Constitution in 2010 (which stands out as the most comprehensive consultative programme in our history and the history of the sub-region); just to mention a few.
The NPP tradition, on the other hand, has since the founding of our nation always stood for an exclusive governance structure.
A structure, which seeks to leave out the ordinary men and women of our country.
A structure, which rather favours only a select few who consider themselves the owners of the nation.
To ensure this, the NPP has since its assumption of power in 2017, consistently put in place measures, which seek to systematically disenfranchise eligible citizens.
Such measures include restricting the identification mechanism for voter registration to documents, which are not accessible to millions of eligible voters.
We have been very clear in our minds that the decision to compile a new voters register was in pursuit of this long-held agenda, hence our efforts to stop the wholesale attempt to exclude vast sections of our population from the process to determine who leads them.
This represents the handiwork of a desperate incumbent that on account of its very poor performance in government sees its political survival only through the prism of manipulation of the electoral process to exclude a section of Ghanaians who they suspect may not renew their mandate at the polls.
A caring, compassionate and responsible government would not push us to this brink at a time of a major pandemic like COVID-19 that is causing so much anguish among the citizenry.
It is deeply regrettable that the Electoral Commission, which should be independent, has made itself a willing tool in the execution of this most diabolic agenda.
The exclusion of the old Voters ID card, which has been used to conduct several elections under the current leadership of the Electoral Commission and from which the current President derives his mandate is aimed at deliberately disenfranchising some Ghanaians who have falsely been branded foreigners without any basis.
The restriction of primary identification to passports, Ghana Cards and the resort to guaranteeing for others is a ruse to create frustration in the hope that it will discourage millions from registering and in the process give advantage ab initio to a bungling incumbent.
The Ghana Card, which has been made one of two identification documents has not been rolled out in full.
As we speak, these cards are still being issued with no mechanism for verification.
The National Identification Authority itself has admitted to duplication of thousands of these cards
Therefore, the NDC’s decision to go to the Supreme Court was informed by the party’s time-honoured belief and commitment to an inclusive democracy as opposed to the NPP’s exclusiveness.
However, it was obvious from the outset of this struggle that inclusive democracy was not going to have a hearing, even against the resounding call by the National House of Chiefs, religious leaders, CSOs and the various trade and professional groups.
My brothers and sisters, the right to vote must however not be curtailed on account of this minor setback for inclusion.
We cannot throw our hands up in despair because the fight to insist on inclusion has been temporarily derailed by this ruling.
We can still make our voices heard even if we must endure some inconvenience and frustration.
To achieve the objective of taking part in the decision over who governs us, we must be willing to make the necessary sacrifices in the present circumstances.
I, therefore, urge all Ghanaians of voting age to channel the disappointment at the effort to exclude them from the electoral process into an opportunity to have their voices heard and turn up to register in their teeming numbers when the process begins next week Tuesday.
The NPP and the EC are very much aware that the exclusion of the existing voter ID will significantly slow down the process of registration and create the real risk of people massing up outside the voting centres.
But this is what happens when politics is put before the people.
While at it, let us keep safe by adhering strictly to all COVID-19 preventive protocols, such as social distancing, the wearing of face masks among others, particularly because of the increasing trend in the number of infections and deaths recorded.
I pray that the almighty God shall protect all our citizens who come out to exercise their constitutional right to register from any sickness or infection by any disease.
The process may be made deliberately slow and painful, but I encourage you all to endure it in so far as it would enable you to vote out this government that has masterminded that frustration in the first place.
We must always be willing to hold leaders accountable for bad decisions that impose difficulties on citizens and this is one clear opportunity to do so. Do not let the several hours you may spend at the registration centre get you to surrender your right to vote.
That would only embolden those who seek to disenfranchise you.
To the few who have passports and Ghana cards, make use of them and register.
To those who get the opportunity to register, I implore you to assist your brother, sister and compatriot by guaranteeing for them even if it takes a bit more of your time.
See this as a civic duty and your contribution to the effort to preserve the right to vote.
This way, we will undo the grand conspiracy to deprive us of the inalienable right to vote and we will in the process send a clear signal that it is only we the people who will decide who gets the opportunity to lead this country and not the governments we elect or state agencies who make themselves pliant accomplices in the attempt to disenfranchise us.
This is not just an NDC fight, it is a fight to rescue the very soul of our beloved country from the hands of those who seek to impose their will unjustly on the people.
Our forefathers founded this nation with the motto “Freedom and Justice”.
It is clear today that never in the history of our 4th Republic have these two lofty ideals been in such short supply.
I salute the all the diverse organizations, Civil Society Organizations, prominent chiefs, organized labor, professional groups and all well-meaning Ghanaians who have rallied around this cause to demand that the right thing be done in the larger national interest.
I call on all Ghanaians who yearn to see a change in the governance of this country to rise up and be counted for where there is a will, there is away.
No politically engineered register can save this failed government from the inevitable defeat that awaits them in the next 165 days.
With or without a new voters register, the NDC shall win this election by the grace of God.
I leave you with this famous quote by Emperor Haile Selassie:
“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”
I thank you for your kind attention.
Keep your receipts because I’ll audit COVID-19 Funds – Mahama
Keep your receipts because I’ll audit COVID-19 Funds – Mahama
Mr. John Dramani Mahama has indicated he will audit the COVID-19 fund that has been created to finance activities relating to the fight against the pandemic.
He cautioned all persons who use the funds to keep their receipts because “the day of accountability will come”.
The government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo created the COVID-19 Trust Fund to solicit funds from the general public to help fight the pandemic.
The Fund, according to President Akufo-Addo has accrued GH₵8,750,000.
“I’m very grateful to individuals and institutions who have responded to my appeal for donations to be made into the COVID-19 National Trust Fund. A total amount of some 8,750,000 cedis which includes 600,000USD has been received.
“I’m happy that so many appointees of my government have also followed my example by donating their salaries to the fund,” President Akufo-Addo said.
But in a Facebook Live presentation on Thursday April 23, Mr Mahama called on Ghanaians to demand accountability in the disbursement of the Funds.
“I don’t think I need to become President before we demand accountability. All those spending the COVID-19 money should be keeping the receipts because the day of accountability is fast approaching,” he said.
He added: “Let us all join hands in demanding accountability and transparency from the government in the management of the COVID-19 funds, after all these are public funds contributed by tax payers.
“I am passionately appealing to the government to ensure a timely release of these funds to the institutions, health and non-heath, so that they can discharge their duties appropriately and according to plan.”
Read FULL JUDGEMENT of the 2020 election petition
Read FULL JUDGEMENT of the 2020 election petition
The Supreme Court, by a unanimous decision, has affirmed the victory of President Akufo-Addo in the 2020 presidential election.
“The petitioner has not produced any evidence to rebut the presumptions created by the publication of CI 135 for which his action has failed. We have, therefore, no reason to order for a rerun … we accordingly dismiss the petition as having no merit,” Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah ruled.
With this unanimous, seven-member decision, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition.
The court determined that the petitioner had based his case on an error made by the chair of the Electoral Commission during the declaration of the election result on 9 December 2020, but that the error could not void the will of the people in electing a president.
The Supreme Court also held that the error made by the EC in using total votes cast as the basis for reckoning the total valid votes during the declaration was corrected, and that the correction was made in accordance with the law.
Read full judgement below:
Tell us how you bought those two V8 Land Cruisers – Asawaase NDC youth pour their anger on Sammy Gyamfi
The youth of the opposition National Democratic Congress in Asawaase constituency in the Kumasi Metropolis have written a cold catching open letter to the party’s national communication officer Mr. Sammy Gyamfi for attacking the honorable Speaker of parliament Mr. Alban Bagbin, Hon. Muntaka Mubarak, and Hon. Haruna Iddrisu after parliament approved three NPP ministerial nominees which included Hon. Kwadwo oppong Nkrumah, Dr, Owusu Akoto Osei, and Hon. Hawa Koomson who were disapproved at the appointments committee level.
After the speaker of parliament delivered the results of the voting to the plenary which outrightly favored these contentious ministerial appointees, the party’s national communication officer took to his Facebook wall to denigrate the integrity of the party’s leadership in the parliament. He wrote on his Facebook wall;
Comrades, the betrayal we have suffered in the hands of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, the leadership of our Parliamentary group, particularly Hon. Haruna Iddrissu and Hon. Muntaka Mubarak, and dozens of our own MPs, is what strengthens me to work hard for the great NDC to regain power.
They brazenly defied the leadership of the party and betrayed the collective good for their selfish interest. And we, must not let them succeed in their parochial quest to destroy the NDC, the party that has done so much for them and all of us. The shame they have brought on the party will forever hang like an albatross around their necks.
These are hard times for all of us but we should not let the betrayal of a few quench our love for the great NDC.
Rather, let it strengthen us to fight for this party. We all have an equal stake in this party. They are few, we are many. Some have sold their conscience but ours is intact.
And we, can work together to rebuild the party from the ashes of 3rd March, 2021, which I call “Black Wednesday ”- Our day of self-inflicted shame.
This is the time for us to insist on the right changes in the leadership of the NDC group in Parliament or forget about them completely. The current leadership have lost their moral authority to lead and are not fit to sit on the front bench of the NDC side of the house.
More importantly, it’s about time we understood, that we don’t have any NDC Speaker of Parliament. No we don’t! We have a Speaker who rode on the back of the NDC into Office to pursue his own parochial agenda and nothing more. You trust them, at your own peril.
The hypocrites can choose to remain quiet or even condemn us for speaking up, so they can remain in the good books of the renegades. But I and all who are pained by this act of betrayal will not keep quiet, because we don’t fear anyone and don’t wish to be in their good books. If they can defy the party leadership and interest openly and subject all of us to public ridicule, then they can and must also be called out openly. The NDC party is supreme and it must be cleansed.
Speak up, we can and must! And let nobody stand in our way. But, when all is said and done, let’s work for the NDC with all our might and strength. Quench not your love for the party. Hope must not die. This storm shall pass. The NDC will survive and shall bounce back stronger for victory. So I say to you, be strong!
*Sammy Gyamfi Esq.*
In replying to Mr. Gyamfi’s fierce comment, the party’s youth in the Asawaase constituency led by the constituency’s Director of Communication have written to Sammy Gyamfi asking 3 critical questions that bother on his integrity. They wrote;
Comrades, the so called statement of betrayal by Sammy Gyamfi has come to our notice.
If one is to talk about betrayal, it is the leadership of the NDC party in which Sammy Gyamfi is part that has betrayed us. It is the leadership of the party that is not being truthful to us and betraying us, not our hard working MPs.
The leadership of the party held meeting with the leadership of the MPs caucus, they presented all their challenges in parliament as far as this voting of nominees are concern, as a vibrant communication officer as you claim you are, wouldn’t it have been prudent enough for you to make us aware of the reality on the ground than trying to incite us against our MPs?
So if you have failed to assume your responsibility as per your rules of engagement please accept it for us to move on. Come to think of it, you can’t be more Catholic than the Pope.
You can’t be more NDC than The speaker of parliament, Hon. Muntaka Mubarak, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu and other hard working NDC MPs.
As you are touting yourself with integrity than these hard working NDC MPs with rich experience in which you yourself know is not true and can’t be true with unsubstantiated allegation.
We would like to caution you to desist from this undeserving misconduct of a national officer of our great party, more importantly, the barrage of attacks on our hard working Member of Parliament, Hon. Muntaka Mubarak and his colleagues.
Mr. Sammy Gyamfi if you live in a glass house don’t throw stones and if you can’t take blow please don’t throw blows, let us have some integrity test for us to see if you will indeed pass this test for “he who comes to equity must come with clean hands”;
1. Can you tell us with all honesty a company or an institution in Ghana that you have worked with before possessing all that you have today and at what salary base Mr. Integrity?
2. What do you do for a living now to lead the kind of life that you are having?
3. You have two (2) V8 Toyota Land Cruisers; can you tell us how you bought those cars and for how many years of service to a company or an institution if any?
Just to mention a few.
Sammy Gyamfi enough of your baseless and misplaced outburst, if there are people who have contributed immensely to our failure as a party in election 2020 which subsequently left us with bruises, then there is no other people than the people of which you are part of.
Instead of you to concentrate on reorganizing the party, you are rather blowing the trumpet of divisions and attacks on our own. If other constituencies will allow you to do that, please we at Asawase Constituency will not allow you! Not at all! You can’t sit somewhere and mislead us.
It won’t happen! So trek with caution.
Director of Communication Asawase Constituency
Meanwhile, honorable Muntaka on his radio station in Kumasi Zuria FM has warned Sammy Gyamfi not to enter his territory with his crass arrogance and disrespect.
However, we are yet to witness any reactions from the speaker as well as hon. Haruna.
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