Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday September 18, 2018
The abysmal performance of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the December 7, 2016 general elections is coming back to haunt Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, who is the party’s Director of Elections.
Mr. Ofosu Ampofo, who as doubles as Vice Chairman of NDC, is seeking to replace Kofi Portuphy, the National Chairman of the party.
But some NDC elements are using his ‘role’ as Director of Elections in the 2016 elections, particularly the collation of the presidential election result, against him.
His critics say he failed to supervise the collation of the results in the 2016 general elections which got the NDC ‘stranded’ on December 7 and 8, 2016 and cannot be trusted as the party’s leader.
Interestingly, by 11 pm on December 7, 2016, then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) had received about 80% of all the pink sheet results in the country and had made the calculations to know that their candidate Nana Akufo-Addo was winning the presidential election one-touch.
The Prof. Kwesi Botchwey-led committee that investigated why the NDC lost massively later established that the party did not build any official platform to collate results of the 2016 general elections.
However, Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo claimed recently that the party had the results and were only waiting for the Electoral Commission to ‘gazette’ the official results so that they could authenticate what the NDC had collated.
“When you go to the EC’s website the presidential result from polling station to polling station has not been gazetted and as a political party we are worried. We are holding our results and they (Electoral Commission) are also holding their results even though we both went into the room.”
“If you want to do proper analysis of the outcome of the elections you need to get a gazzetted presidential result to check it against what we (NDC) also had on the field. As we speak now the Electoral Commission is yet to gazette the presidential results almost 18 to 19 months after the elections,” he said.
Strangely, Mr. Ofosu Ampofo appeared before the 13 member Botchwey Committee to explain issues to them but the committee, in its report, made damning findings against the performance of the NDC Election Committee, headed by Mr. Ofosu Ampofo.
Despite the chants of ‘we are winning the election one-touch’ by then incumbent President John Mahama and later ‘we are in a comfortable lead’ mantra, it turned out the NDC did not collate the results but rather tied the party’s ‘destiny’ to that of Charlotte Osei’s Electoral Commission by relying on the EC’s IT system so when the EC’s system failed, the NDC was caught flat-footed, gasping for breath.
The NDC members rather relied on Felix Kwakye Ofosu’s ‘private’ arrangement to collate the result which also failed them miserably, according to the report.
Reports at the time said that the party was in secret talks with the Electoral Commission to get the results, a move which was unknown to the other political parties.
However, when the commission’s system of transmission was ‘compromised,’ according to the sacked EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei on the election night on December 7, 2017, the NDC was found wanting, scurrying for salvation which was too late.
According to DAILY GUIDE’s sources, the NDC contracted K-NET, the company building digital television platform, DTT at the whopping cost of over $82million, but the system failed to generate any results.
The panicky NDC leaders then resorted to Kwakye Ofosu’s platform but it was too late for them, as then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), which had a solid platform for the transmission, had collated results from more than 80% of the pink sheets, representing some 24,000 out of the 29,000 polling stations on election night.
It quickly realized that provisionally their candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, now President of Ghana, was leading incumbent President John Dramani Mahama (NDC), who was seeking re-election.
The Botchwey committee said on Page 33 of the 65-page executive summary that the party’s collation was “a complete mess.”
According to the report, a copy of which is available to DAILY GUIDE, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a former deputy minister of Communications set up a platform to collate results of the election but when the committee posed questions to him, he said it was just a ‘back-up’ for the party’s main collation platform.
The report said the party appeared to have relied on Kwakye Ofosu’s private arrangement when the main collation platform set up under the supervision of the Election Directorate, headed by Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, could have been strengthened to deliver, saying “the situation brought dysfunctionalism in the party to a head!”
“There were evidently two systems, one party based, and the other, according to Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a private initiative. The Election Directorate evidently regarded the Kwakye Ofosu’s initiative as primary whereas Mr. Kwakye Ofosu and his team regarded it only as backup system,” the report said.
The report said that “for reasons of its obvious importance, we treat the subject fully in the main report,” adding “our general finding is that the party’s collation efforts were a complete mess and a situation that brought the dysfunctionalism in the party to a head!”
Mr. Ofosu Ampofo is slugging it out with four others- Betty Mould Iddrisu, former Attorney General, Alhaji Hudu Yahaya, former General Secretary, Dan Abodakpi, former Trade and Industry Minister and former NDC MP for Keta, as well as Danny Annang, former member of the Council of State, for the chairmanship position.