Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, July 08, 2017
It is becoming increasingly clear that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) desperately hatched a plan to rig the December 7, 2016 general elections.
However, the plan failed because of extra measures put in place by then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Opponents of the NDC had always claimed the then (NDC) government designed a systematic rigging plan but Information Technology (IT) system breakdown on election day thwarted any effort to ‘rig’ the elections and deny the people the rightful winner of the election.
Comments being made following the release of the report of the 13-member Kwesi Botchwey Committee the party set up to investigate why it woefully lost the 2016 general elections appear to imply that the party’s candidate, John Dramani Mahaha, who was seeking re-election, was unprepared as far as the collation of the results were concerned and were ‘relying’ heavily on the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) alleged tacit support to hang on to power.
This revelation has angered some leading members of the party.
They wonder how the party is going to win at basic collation centres.
Alhaji Sanni, a former Ashanti Region Chairman of the NDC, who described the party’s 2016 defeat to the New Patriotic Party as the “mother of all defeats,” said the party had no collation centre in the region, even though it had made a lot of noise about winning 1.5 million votes.
He stated that the party did not prepare properly for the important elections, yet the leadership constantly bragged that they were winning the polls.
Another NDC activist, Della Coffie, was not charitable to the handlers of John Mahama who led the NDC to the embarrassing defeat.
Della said, “Are we too daft or too scared to see the truth? Six clear months after such a humiliating electoral defeat, the NDC cannot even boast of its own independent collated results (something which took the NPP six hours to put together after close of poll). And yet folks who led us into this political abyss, obviously suffering from withdrawal syndrome, are busy telling us that the same man who reduced our electoral fortunes from 50.7 in 2012 to 44.4 in 2016, as an INCUMBENT, is our best bet going forward, and these guys think we should just trust and obey and follow sheepishly without asking questions?"
“The lies we tell ourselves can be very nauseating at times. Unbelievable!”
The 455-page report submitted on behalf of the committee by its Chairman, Professor Kwesi Botchwey, had recommended, among other things, that the party must find ways and means to ‘improve the collation of election results.”
In fact, Prof. Botchwey, during the handing over of the report, said that it was time for the party to find means of collating its own results from polling stations to the top ‘independently.’
The Committee’s recommendation on collation of election results feeds into the widely held perception that the NDC had all along been having a ‘secret affair’ with the EC when it came to issues of election collation.
It’s being alleged that during the keenly-contested December 7, 2016 general elections, the NDC tied results collation platform to the EC’s system and therefore when the commission suffered results transmission breakdown, the party was found wanting.
By the time the transmission glitch was restored by the commission, the then opposition NPP had collated more than 80% of the pink sheets which represented over 24,000 out of 29,000 polling stations, and knew their candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was winning hands down.
During the time difficulties were being encountered by the EC in respect of the results transmission, the NDC told the public that its flagbearer was in ‘comfortable lead.’
At an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting recently, the EC allegedly admitted that it suffered IT system crash during the collation of the 2016 results.
Kofi Adams, NDC National Organizer, who doubled as Campaign Coordinator for John Mahama, also claimed after the crashing defeat that IT system failed the NDC, without providing any explanation since the country doesn’t vote electronically.
Another leading member of the party, Rashid Pelpuo, has also thrown a bombshell, stating that the party’s collation system broke down ‘completely’ at the most critical moment of the election when the results were trickling in.
The former Minister of State at the presidency, who is currently the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wa Central, said the breakdown made it difficult for the leadership of the NDC to have ‘a full grasp of the turf’ when the NPP began ‘churning’ out some of the results.
He confessed on Citi FM that “as at the time the NPP was churning out results and claiming victory, the NDC had not gotten a grasp of what was happening. Our system even broke down and we could not assess the results the NPP was getting, neither could we see what we were even getting; so there was a problem there.”
“Our ability to utilize technology to understand what was happening and to be able to get into the depths to know the votes that we got was lacking, and that eventually was one of our setbacks. Even if you are losing, you still need to know that you are losing.
“We were being told we were losing from our opponents and we did not have enough information to counter it. There was a technological deficit.
“There was inadequacy in technology in responding to the challenge at the time, and I believe it is one of the areas that will be tackled in the very near future when we are going into the next elections,” he averred.