Adnan Adams Mohammed
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is hopeful of controlling Parliament outrightly with a majority of Members of Parliament as it is confident of winning the about five seats it will be contesting in court.
NDC, since the election night on December 7, 2020, has contested results of some constituencies and that of the presidential elections. It claims, the results collation of some constituencies were not done and others fraudulently declared for the NPP.
The leadership of the party at a press conference today at the party’s headquarters in Accra commended the 137 sworn-in MPs from the NDC side and the two other MPs from the New Patriotic Party’s side who voted for the Speaker of Parliament, Alban S. K. Bagbin.
“It is our hope that when the outstanding issues regarding the disputed parliamentary results such as Techiman South, Sefwi Wiawso, Hohoe, Tarkwa Nsuaem, Zabzugu etc are satisfactorily resolved, there will be a clear NDC majority in the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic”, Hon Johnson Asiedu Nketsia, General Secretary of the NDC intimated at the presser.
Below is the full statement read at the press conference:
AN ADDRESS BY HON. JOHNSON ASIEDU NKETIA, GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (NDC) ON THE ELECTION OF THE SPEAKER OF THE 8TH PARLIAMENT AND THE FALL OUTS, ON FRIDAY, 8TH JANUARY, 2020 AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE NDC.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the press. May I take this opportunity on behalf of the entire leadership of the National Democratic Congress to extend to you and all Ghanaians hearty new year wishes.
We have convened this press engagement to focus attention on the historic developments and other matters of grave concern relating to the election of Speaker and Deputy Speakers of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana which transpired two days ago.
From the outset, I shall like to salute and celebrate our gallant NDC Members of Parliament for the brave fight they put up in the defence of the Constitution of Ghana and our democracy. By their resilience and dogged determination, they were able to produce an outcome never before seen in the political history of our country.
In congratulating the NDC side of the House, I must also commend the true nationalists on the NPP side who put the national interest above partisan interest which led to this glorious outcome.
The election of the veteran legislator and perhaps Ghana’s most decorated Member of Parliament who has been an MP since 7th January 1993 is a refreshing development which presents positive prospects for our democracy.
That said, ladies and gentlemen, events preceding and during the election of the Speaker have cast dark clouds about our democracy and has once again exposed the undemocratic tendencies of the Akufo-Addo-led Administration. Indeed, some of these events caused serious embarrassment to the Ghanaian people and brought international shame to a democracy which was once the envy of many nations. The indelible dark imprints of 6th January, 2021 left many, including us in the NDC wondering how our once vibrant democracy has sunk and continues to be denigrated under the watch of President Akufo-Addo who has supervised the most fraudulent election in the history of our Republic.
Firstly, let me place on record the National Democratic Congress’s total condemnation of the dastardly acts of convenience to abuse judicial processes, intimidation, brazen disregard for the provisions of the 1992 constitution of Ghana, naked acts of robbery and disregard of the electoral laws of Ghana as well as the desecration of Parliament occasioned by the invasion of armed Commandos of the Ghana Police and Armed Forces; which acts constitute an affront to our Democracy.
Secondly, to formally commend the One Hundred and Thirty-Seven NDC members of Parliament for their display of extra-ordinary courage, gallantry, resilience, dexterity, loyalty and commitment to the course of Ghana and the National Democratic Congress in the manner they put up the needed fierce resistance even at gun-point to ensure a sound defeat of the forces of evil and the resounding triumph of our Democracy: and finally to congratulate Rt. Honorable Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin on the occasion of his election to the high office of the 8th Speaker of the 4th republic of Ghana.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, a brief accounts of the events that unfolded prior to, during and after the election of the Speaker of Parliament would establish the appropriate background to our submissions.
In compliance with article 95 (3) of the Constitution of Ghana which provides that “no business shall be transacted in Parliament other than an election to the office of Speaker at any time when the office of Speaker is vacant”, the Clerk of Parliament, Mr. Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah who was clothed with the authority to convene the house in the absence of a Speaker called the new house to order for the commencement of official business at 7 minutes after midnight.
When nominations were invited from the floor, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu (MP Tamale South and In-Coming Majority Leader) proposed Hon. Bagbin to take the chair as Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana.
Hon. Muntaka Mubarak rose to second the motion but in a bizzaire twist of events and in clear breach of the standing orders, the Clerk of Parliament (who was then presiding) recognized Hon. Afenyo Markin (NPP MP for Efutu) who rose on point-of-Order. Hon. Afenyo sought to find out from the Clerk whether he had received service of a Cape Coast High Court Order restraining the MP Elect of Assin North from being sworn-in as a Member of Parliament.
A debate ensued but before all sides could be heard adequately (Hon. Dominic Ayine was on his feet struggling to catch the eye of the Clerk) the Clerk ruled that he had received the court Order so the MP-elect of Assin North could not participate in the proceedings, a calculated ploy to reduce the voting strength of the NDC side.
However, the Clerk was compelled by his own embarrassment to reverse his earlier decision when he could not provide further and better particulars of the service including the name of the bailiff who effected the service. At this stage it became clear that an NPP official actually served the Clerk with the court Order, and not a bailiff. It is the considered view of the NDC that this act of connivance by Clerk of Parliament constitute serious misconduct on the part of the occupant of the high office of the Clerk of Parliament of the Republic of Ghana and must not go unaddressed.
It’s a big shame that the Clerk of Parliament scandalously lent himself as a pliant tool in the conspiracy to reduce the NDC’s Parliamentary numbers and give the NPP an unfair advantage in the speakership election. How an order of injunction that was allegedly dispatched from Cape Coast at 4:44PM could be served on the Clerk of Parliament at 4:55PM while he was within the precincts of Parliament performing his functions is a mystery which only the NPP and the Clerk of Parliament can explain. The NDC roundly condemn in the strongest terms, not only the contravention of due process of law by the Clerk of Parliament, but the shameful conduct of the Cape C
oast High Court.
Article 104 (4) of the Constitution provides that “Where Parliament is considering a bill to amend the Constitution, or where the voting is in relation to the election or removal of any person under this Constitution or under any other law, voting shall be in Secret. This provision was read and explained to the house before the commencement of the voting yet the NPP side of the house insisted on open voting where each of their members was compelled to display their marked ballot paper openly to their leadership before putting it in the ballot box. In the face of this clear breach of the Constitution and the unwillingness or inability of the Presiding Clerk to enforce the rules, the Gallant NDC MPs were left with no other option than to disrupt the voting and stop the perpetration of this impunity and fraud. Their demand was very clear and specific; either the vote is conducted according to law or there would be no voting at all.
When it became clear that the NPP side could not have their way in flouting the rules, the MP for Bimbilla and outgoing Minister of Defence ordered armed Commandos from the Military and the Police with the shameless assistance o Sup. Kwesi Fori of the Greater Accra Police Command to invade the house in order to intimidate and push away the Gallant NDC MPs who had occupied the Centre of the house to prevent the vote-rigging. There was a stand-off between the MPs and the soldiers which lasted for well over 15 minutes. Once again the forces of evil were eventually repelled amid boos of shame, thieves etc. Peace was restored and voting resumed peacefully after a meeting of leadership of both sides with the Clerk. It is important to note that a significant number of NPP MPs still managed to display their votes openly but were ignored.
At the close of polls there were signs of relief that the worse was over, little did anybody conjecture that the most disgraceful action the history of Parliamentary practice in Ghana was about to unfold under our very eyes.
After the sorting of ballots, the completion of the first part of the counting process which saw (1) rejected ballot (1) and (136) votes cast in favour of Prof. Mike Qguaye, the NPP MP for Suame, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensa Bonsu was seen directing Hon. Carlos Ahenkora another NPP MP for Tema West to the table where the ballots were being counted. Infact Hon. Bonsu was seen shoving another MP off to pave the way for Carlos Ahenkora.
Immediately after Hon. Carlos dashed to the table, snatched the heap of ballots being counted for Bagbin and took to his heels in a Usain Bolt style. Once again the gallantry of the NDC MPs was on display and within minutes the Ballot Thief had been arrested and the papers retrieved, after he had chewed and swallowed two ballot papers.
Surprisingly the same leadership of NPP who ad orchestrated this daylight robbery in Parliament unashamedly began calling for annulment of the election on account of the ballots having been tampered with!!!
The NPP demand for a re-run of the elections and the counter demand by the NDC for the declaration of Hon. Bagbin as the winner led to another two hours of stalemate before eventually evil had to succumb to the forces of Democracy and Common Sense
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, Parliaments in every democratic jurisdiction represent the bulwark of democratic freedoms and we insist that this excessive abuse of state power to intimidate Members of Parliament represents a desecration of our highly revered parliamentary democracy and a grave affront to the dignity of the legislative arm.
No other person than President Akufo-Addo as Commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces and Chair of the National Security Council was directly responsible for the unwarranted, illegal and despotic invasion of Parliament before it’s inauguration.
Ladies and gentlemen, on the night of the elections, specifically as midnight approached on January 6, 2021, one could see at play all the condemnable acts of violence, intimidation, abuse of the judicial process, misuse of the Ghana Armed Forces and the destruction of once revered state institutions that characterized the just ended December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections. What happened in Parliament from January 6 to 7 2021 was simply God’s way of bringing live to all Ghanaians the infractions and crimes the NDC has been complaining about since we went to the polls.
The NPP’s penchant to ignore due process, set the rules aside and use brute force to have its way has now played out before Ghanaians and the international community. We will like to urge the newly elected Speaker and our MPs to always remember the hard fought victory of that night and ensure they put the national interest first at all times.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the sad spectacle we witnessed in Parliament were just a repeated snapshot of what took place across the length and breadth of the country during the general election held on 7th December, 2020. The use of armed soldiers at various polling stations and constituency collation centers, snatching of ballot boxes, intimation, harassment and in some cases, killing of innocent unarmed civilians was what characterized the elections of 7th December, 2020. The circumvention of due process as we have witnessed in the election of a Speaker of Parliament was played out in the form of plain thievery and systematic rigging, culminating in the flawed and fraudulent declaration of 2020 Presidential electionwhich the NDC is challenging at the Supreme Court.
As the world witnessed the ugly events in the Speakership election, and the subsequent vindication of truth, we are quite confident that it is only a matter of time before truth once again prevails in the matter of the 2020 election petition filed by our Presidential Candidate in the 2020 Presidential Elections, H.E John Dramani Mahama.
It is our hope that when the outstanding issues regarding the disputed parliamentary results such as Techiman south, Sefwi Wiawso, Hohoe, Tarkwa Nsuaem, Zabzugu, etc. are satisfactory resolved there will be a clear NDC majority in the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic.
While at it, let me state unequivocally that, notwithstanding the inauguration of Mr. Akufo-Addo as President of Ghana, the NDC SHALL NOT RECOGNIZE Mr Akufo-Addo as the legitimately elected President of the Republic of Ghana until all the issues surrounding his flawed election are satisfactorily resolved.
We call on the Speaker of Parliament to commission an enquiry into the unfortunate events on the 7th January, 2021 in parliament, particularly the invasion of the chamber of parliament by Gun-wielding Military men, and the snatching of the ballot papers by dishonourable Carlos Ahenkorah and punish all those found culpable in accordance with the laws of this country and to forestall any such occurrence in the futre
We thank you for coming.