President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo retained his seat as president
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party’s ‘4 more to do more’ dream has become a reality as the Electoral Commission has declared the candidate winner of the December 7, 2020, presidential polls.
At a press conference at the Commission’s headquarters in Accra to announce the results of the presidential poll which was a re-election push for incumbent Nana Akufo-Addo and former president John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Electoral Commissioner, Jean Mensa declared that the president has been retained.
Nana Akufo-Addo polled 6,730,413, representing 51.595% while John Mahama garnered 6, 214, 889 representing 47.366% in the 8th election in the 4th Republic that had a dozen candidates.
Occupying the third position is Ghana Union Movement (GUM), with 105,565 representing 0.85%
Convention People’s Party (CPP) came fourth with 12,215 (0.093%), followed by Ghana Freedom Party who polled 5,575, representing 0.042%.
Great Consolidated Popular Party is next with 3,574 (0.02%), People’s National Convention with 10,887 representing 0.083%; Progressive People’s Party, 6,848 (0.052%), National Democratic Party, 6,612, (0.050%) and taking the last position is Alfred Kwame Asiedu Walker, an independent candidate, 9,703 (0.074%).
The Electoral Commission indicated that these results were without those from the Techiman South constituency as they were still being contested. She however maintained, that even if the entire results from the said constituency was added to that of Mr. John Mahama, he would still be behind as far as the percentage margin for winning is concerned.
Controversies prior to the announcement
The NDC had on three occasions claimed victors and cautioned that any attempt by the EC to massage the figures to turn their eventual win into a defeat would come with “serious consequences”. John Mahama who addressed the third press conference on December 8, without mincing words, said the party “would resist any attempt to subvert the will of the people”.
Mr. Mahama motioned and accused the President of resorting to undemocratic means to steal the will of the people.
“Some of what is happening is unacceptable and Nana Akufo-Addo continues to show credentials that are very undemocratic. You cannot use the military to try to overturn some of the results in constituencies that we have won and, so, we would resist any attempt to subvert the sovereign will of the people. The right thing must be done.
“We’ve collated our results and we thank the Ghanaian people for the confidence they have in us and we will give further details later … and our people should remain calm as we wait for the final verdict but we are happy that Ghanaians have voted for change”, he said.
The EC in response however said the process renders results insusceptible to manipulation. At a press briefing same day, Chairperson Jean Mensa having observed the concerns said: “The process that we have is a very transparent and participatory process and I think every interested Ghanaian is aware that at the polling station, we had a political party agent with our officials at the polling station.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Atta Mills Institute, Koku Anyidoho, who is the immediate former General Secretary of the NDC however seemed to have a view contrary to what his party expressed. In an interview, he described the conduct of this year’s parliamentary and presidential polls as “super, free and fair.”
“The electoral process itself, for me, Jean Mensa and her EC, as we have commended all from the days of Nana Oduro Nimapau to Justice Ofori Boateng to Dr Afari Gyan through Charlotte Osei and now Jean Mensa, as a nation, we must just tap ourselves on the shoulder and say we have progressed since 1992,” he remarked.
“This is the eighth and this year, what Jean Mensa and the EC have done is super. The initial narrative as if to say the BVDs have been programmed to run the election in the direction of one political party is not true. Those BDVs were not programmed to run the election in the direction of one political party, it verifies everybody…” Mr. Anyidoho added.
Early Wednesday, some supporters of the NDC stormed the EC office to demand declaration of results. Some of the supporters who spoke to GhanaWeb claimed they had picked reports a delegation from the National Peace Council had headed to the residence of Mr. Mahama to persuade him to concede defeat.
The action of the supporters elicited a reaction from State security as they stormed the place of convergence.
“The security has done very well. They’ve been very professional,” GhanaWeb’s George Ayisi reported.
As typical of every election, this year’s had countless polls and surveys from different entities and virtually all were in favour of Nana Akufo-Addo. Pollster Ben Ephson and a survey by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana (UG), for instance, predicted a one touch victory for Akufo-Addo. While Ben Ephson tipped Akufo-Addo to win with 52.6%, UG’s was 51.7%. John Mahama was to place second with 45.7% and 40.4% respectively.
The NDC, however, vehemently discredited the polls as they questioned the methodology.
Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP had on several platforms touted the achievements of the government and the need to be retained. He took pride in the introduction of the Free Senior High School, Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Factory policies; construction of some major roads and the introduction of notable social interventions which he said the NDC despite being a social democrat could not offer the Ghanaian people.
In its policy document titled ‘Leadership of service: Protecting our progress transforming Ghana for all’, the NPP, among others pledged that if retained, all tertiary students – except teacher and nurse trainees receiving allowances – will get the option to obtain a student loan without the requirement of a guarantor.
It also promised to set aside $100 million as a seed into a new National Rental Assistance Scheme (NRAS) it intends to set up to address accommodation problems and build 94 regional and district hospitals across the country.
The NDC, on the other hand, accused Akufo-Addo of failing to protect the public purse as promised, alleging that he has rather been protecting offenders because he was deep-rooted in the canker. The party also accused the president of running a ‘family and friends’ government although he criticized the NDC of doing same when he was in opposition. Akufo-Addo was not spared of accusations of excessive borrowing and mismanagement of the economy. For the NDC, the best person to redeem the country from the economic quagmire and what it termed as the ‘mess’ of the Akufo-Addo-led government was its ‘incorruptible’ candidate John Mahama.
The NDC in what it dubbed ‘The People’s Manifesto’, promised to make Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) cost-free at all levels, legalise okada business to create more jobs as well as introduce the National Apprenticeship Programme to reduce streetism and curb unemployment.
Both political parties, as expected pooh-poohed the policies of each other, made allegations all in the quest to convince electorates they are the best to manage the affairs of the country.
The religious front appeared divided with some notable pastors and Islamic clergies giving prophecies that favoured both parties. Leader of Glorious Word and Power Ministry, Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah, and Prophet Elisha Salifu Amoako of Alive Chapel International, without any equivocation, said it was a foregone conclusion that Akufo-Addo would win.
“As I speak to you in the spiritual realm, Akufo-Addo is still on the seat. I see 52% for Akufo-Addo,” said Elisha Salifu Amoako.
For Owusu Bempah, God had rejected John Mahama because he had soiled his hands with blood. “I want to tell him [John Mahama] to understand that all his campaigns across the country will yield no result.”
The narrative was different from the spiritual eyes of Prophet Emmanuel Badu Kobi, Glorious Wave Church International; Nigel Gaisie, Prophetic Hill Church Prophet; and Mallam Shamuna Uztaz Jibril, an Islamic clergy as they prophesied John Mahama’s victory.
Conspiracy theories and numerological interpretations of ballot paper positions
The NPP went into the December 7 elections with the mantra “4 More 4 Nana”. During the balloting, the NPP representative picked the number one (1) spot. In the first round of balloting to determine the order of balloting for positions, however, the NPP picked number four (4), meaning their representative was to be the fourth person in turns to pick a number.
The NPP crafted different interpretations to their number one (1) spot, all of which according to them reinforced their campaign message. The party said its position was paramount as it signifies the party’s achievements as well as a one-touch victory.
The NDC, on the other hand, picked number two (2) and interpreted it as the second coming of John Mahama. While it said the NPP’s number 1 spot signifies that Akufo-Addo will be one-term president, the NPP said NDC’s number two (2) spot signifies a second defeat for John Mahama who lost in 2016.