I am putting this issue on the table, because it is like a poison arrow that could fly directly to the very heart of our being-ness as a republic and even continent, meaning it has the potential to cause confusion in our great nation of glorious destiny or pick any germinating confusion and hasten it into a catastrophe that could crush our current peace ? or better still, disquiet ? and whole sense of oneness. 

These days the headline issue on public agenda is the historic case brought by three persons before the Supreme Court challenging the Electoral Commission?s (EC?s) declaration of John Mahama as winner of the 2012 presidential polls.  And the temptation for any writer, such as Ti-Kelenkelen, to be pre-occupied with it is high indeed.  But I have smashed my hat on the ground on the decision to resist that temptation, so help me God.  I will thus throw my fog light on another issue so fundamental that it could be the spark that turns this disagreement over the presidential polls (or even any innocuous challenge) into a conflagration.

Antecedent

In 2009 everyone knew Election 2012 would be highly competitive, but I wonder if anyone suspected even in 2012, that the presidential poll will be determined by the Supreme Court.  Interestingly, Election 2012 has recorded many firsts ? we adopted biometric verification as the standard for authenticating voter identity, voting took place on two days instead of one, and although parliamentary results have landed in court before we now have a record of forty (40) results set to be challenged in court.  To cap all firsts, the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party for the 2012 elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; his Running Mate, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumiah, and; the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP,) Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, are in court challenging the results of the presidential polls declared by the EC.

A Foreboding Conversation

In Week One of January 2013, I had business at Ridge and the cab I picked took me along Castle Road from the Roman Catholic Cathedral-Polyclinic junction and past the Ridge Roundabout with the hospital on the left and the EC on the right.  I was surprised to see a blue police armoured car parked on the EC junction with uniformed policemen sitting about there.  A basic question flashed through my mind, and I decided to talk to the policemen later.

Walking towards the EC later, I bypassed a young woman in a dark mauve-white dress going in the same direction as myself.  Facing the highway, the armoured car was parked on the cobblestones inside the Y-junction at the EC.  Now standing beside the armoured car and facing the EC, there were two policemen sitting on the left pavement and about six more under the low trees directly beside the EC wall coterminous with Castle Road.

Just as I was approaching the two policemen, the young woman in the mauve dress walked past me and headed along the road in front of the EC that loops all the way to Databank-Calvary Methodist Church.

I introduced myself to the two policemen and showed them my press card.  One was elderly with greying hair, possibly in late fifties, while the other was younger, in his forties.

Below is an edited version of the dialogue that ensued.

Ti-Kelenkelen: Please, may I see the leader of your team?

Elderly: What is it?

Ti-Kelenkelen: I wish to talk to him.

Younger: What do you want?

Ti-Kelenkelen: I?d prefer to talk to the leader.

Elderly: Don?t worry, talk to us.

Ti-Kelenkelen: Okay.  There has been elections, the EC has declared the winner [of the presidential polls,] it [EC] has finished its job, but now I see policemen here plus the armoured car, and I?m wondering what you are all doing here?

Younger: Go to police headquarters and ask for the PRO, Cephas Arthur, and ask him that question.

Ti-Kelenkelen: Sir, definitely they told you why you have to be here now.

Younger: You go to headquarters?

Ti-Kelenkelen: Okay.  (About to turn around)

Elderly: (Smiles) My friend, why are you behaving as if you?re not in this country?

Ti-Kelenkelen: (Smiles) No, that?s not it?

Younger: Just let him go to headquarters.

Elderly: (Easily) You know after the election there is a court case?

Younger: (With some vehemence) Let him go to headquarters.

Ti-Kelenkelen: (Ignores Younger and addresses Elderly) Oh sir, but the case is at the court, not here.

Younger: (Sits up and speaks with rising voice) You go? and speak to the PRO.  Tell him you saw some policemen at the EC junction, so what are they doing there.

Ti-Kelenkelen: Okay, I?ll do that.  (About to turn and walk in the direction of Cathedral, but stops)  Are there policemen on the other side of the EC too?

Younger: Don?t worry.  When you go to headquarters, you can ask the PRO that too.

Ti-Kelenkelen: Thank you. (Takes a step along street in front of EC)

Younger: You can?t pass there.

Ti-Kelenkelen: (Stops) Why?

Younger: (Points to his right) You came from here, take that route and go.

Ti-Kelenkelen: (Points to young woman in mauve, who had just walked past the EC main entrance in the distance) That woman is using the road.

Younger: (Belligerent) I will prevent you from using this road.

Ti-Kelenkelen: Why?

Elderly: My friend, don?t let this become something else?

Ti-Kelenkelen: I don?t see why it should. This is a thoroughfare, so what is he saying?

Younger: You are the one who came here to confront us.

Ti-Kelenkelen: (Smiles) I came here to ask questions, not to confront you?

Younger: I will prevent you?

Ti-Kelenkelen: (Thoughtful while he was talking) Thank you.

Ti-Kelenkelen walks away past the other set of policemen and head in the direction of Cathedral-Polyclinic.

Discretion

Obviously, the younger policeman is the kind of person who is disgusted with ?nosey? journalists.  And though the best rebuff to any journalist in that circumstance was his first statement to me, he was not smart enough to realise it.  While the elderly policeman was trying to turn the dialogue into a friendly conversation, the younger one was obviously angry.  Thus in insisting he would prevent me from using the EC street, he was expecting me to insist on my right to use the road, so that he could use brute force on me.  I refused to give him that satisfaction.

There are some who may interpret my taking another route as an act of cowardice, but I had two strategic reasons for doing so.  Before saying ?Thank you? I was thinking: I will not give myself to this uninformed, fanatic of a policeman, who does not know his left from his right, to touch me let alone hit me.  Because if he does, his bosses will argue that he was simply doing his job, that he has the law on his side.

The younger policeman was a fanatic of something, and fanatics are thoughtless.  I had to use my head to defeat his proclivity to violence, which he could easily cloak in police duties. Besides, I had already figured out how to obtain the information he thought he was preventing me from getting.  Altogether, I applied the idiom, ?Discretion is a better part of valour.?

Analysis

I hear in Week Four of January, the police withdrew their men and armoured car from the EC junction.  Here, however, is the most disturbing part of the entire issue.

I have been in this inky sibliternity (my own coinage) long enough to know that within public institutions, such as the police, there are secret cartels that have sectional interests that have nothing to do with national interest.  Definitely, all the policemen on duty at the EC were given general orders before being dispatched there.  Those orders, Ti-Kelenkelen is sure, were to protect the EC.  However, any anger anyone could have against the EC was appeased when the issue landed in court, and so the EC, practically, needed no protection after the election.

After the general orders, however, another officer must have called aside the fanatics in the contingent, the likes of the younger policeman, and told them: When you go to the EC and those NPP people and journalists come there to do their too known beat them; the law is on your side, and I will defend you.

There are such secret cartels of fanatics within public institutions.  The US calls them rogues, and when they are fundamentalists we call them terrorists.  All they know how to do is take illegal orders, and they neither think nor ask questions before they act.  They despise certain people for the wrong reasons, and will do illegal acts against them without asking ?How will I feel if another does same to me??  The worst part of being a fanatic is that they are easy tools in the hands of selfish person with agenda that run against national interest.

Such secret cartels of fanatics are dangerous to the internal affairs of the institutions they are in.  And it is such fanatics in the security services that are used by tribalists and wayward politicians, whoever they are.  This time around, they could easily be used by wayward politicians to tip over this disquiet we term peace, and jeopardise the cohesion of the Republic of Ghana.  When peace and mass consciousness of oneness go out of the window, nothing else is left for a people, but restlessness, conflict and a shattered sense of nationhood.  And there are too many too obvious examples of that everywhere you turn.

Highlight

?The policemen on duty at the EC were? [there]? to protect the EC.  However, any anger anyone could have against the EC was appeased when the issue landed in court, and so the EC, practically, needed no protection after the election.?

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