It is often said that each bubble in a cooking pot of soup fights hard for supremacy that none listens to the cry of the pot itself, so when the pot burns, all the bubbles perish. If we don’t eat yam for the sake of palm oil, we eat the palm oil for the sake of the yam.
I had never envisaged a situation where the ‘All powerful’ Afari Djan would be brought down to the level of ordinary mortals to enable him have a taste of life at the other side of the great divide. Here was a man who started life as an ordinary man, but has mutated to become a snarling snake and a ravening marauding beast. He arrogated to himself powers he did not legally possess and felt like a powerful deity who has soared above the reach of ordinary mortals. Afari Djan forgot that he had started life as a proletariat. He has now become a bourgeoisie and is acting and talking like one of them.
When Ghana ushered in the Fourth Republic after more than a decade of military dictatorship, he was appointed a member of the INEC (The Board which oversaw the electoral process in the country). The demise of Nana Oduro Nimapau paved the way for our now discredited Dr Kwadwo Afari Djan to be catapulted to the exalted position of Chairman of the Electoral Commission.
Once he attained the pinnacle of his career as head of the Electoral Body, he put in measures to ensure that everybody, from the highest papacy to the lowest clergyman became subservient to him. He became the Lord and Master of all that he surveyed. He raved, shouted, intimidated, insulted, kicked and even cursed ordinary Ghanaians whom he despised very much. He became arrogant and had no patience with the ordinary man on the streets. He radiated and gravitated towards the rich and the powerful. For money he has it in abundance. His buildings are uncountable. He has an uncompleted building at Ayigbe Junction, Israel, near Alhaji. Work on the project had been in abeyance until the last two years, giving credence to the rumours that he might have compromised his position as an impartial referee in the December, 2012 Elections. Ghana Must Go Bags might have done the deed.
He had absolute power which corrupted him absolutely to bring him down from the top of his supposedly mount Olympus abode.
Afari Djan tested the pulse of the nation and came to the conclusion that we are ‘pliable’ because we did not complain about his dictatorial tendencies. He became emboldened and started stretching his tentacles until he felt he had got almost everybody at his beck and call.
Who could stop him? Who could cage him? None, he thought.
His cheerleaders goaded him on, and they were many, all ready to do his biddings for their own “noko fio”. All kinds of accolades were heaped on him. Some even went to the ridiculous extent by describing him as the best thing that ever happened in the country and on the continent. Whilst some advised caution, those who did not have the interest of the nation at heart suggested that he, Afari Djan must be given a blank cheque to embark on his chosen route to Golgotha.
But the worst was yet to come. In accordance with the adage which states that “those that the gods want to destroy, they first make mad”, 2012 began the eventual fall of “Almighty” Afari Djan from grace to grass. This man of great controversy allowed the praises being heaped on him to becloud his sense of reasoning. He saw himself as a demigod with the rest of us as his devotees and acolytes.
Like Rehoboam in the Holy Bible, Afari Djan, surrounded by praise singers, threw caution to the winds and courted mischief for himself and the country. Those who offered constructive criticisms were tagged saboteurs and enemies of state. Under such circumstances, one could only keep quiet and wait for the propitious moment when fate would smile on us with the disgrace of “almighty” Afari Djan. And it was not long in coming.
It was Afari Djan who, against all intent and purposes decided to create 45 New Constituencies with less than Four Weeks to the December 2012 Elections. Genuine concerns were expressed by Civil Society, The Clergy, Professional Bodies and other individuals about the “foolishness” of such action. But in a move which could only be construed as having disdain for opponents of the move, Afari Djan went ahead and created the so-called 45 Constituencies. He dared his opponents to go to court if they had “balls”.
“Almighty” Afari Djan had stated in clear and unmistakable terms that if it came to issues involving Elections in the country, he (Afari Djan) was that EC personified. He exhibited his “one man show” posture during the submission of nomination forms by Presidential Candidates of various political parties and their representatives.
He showed disdain for lesser mortals when he raved and shouted and cursed some of them. He even tore the forms of others with the explanation that they had submitted them. No amount of explanation would placate him. Those who were aggrieved with his fatwa could go to court, so said “almighty” Afari Djan.
Thus, many Candidates were prevented from participating in the December 2012 Presidential Elections on very flimsy excuses. This deprived the nation of revenue which might have accrued to the coffers of the EC, if Afari Djan had been a little bit flexible.
But earlier on, the EC under Afari Djan had done the unthinkable when it did away with the services of Teachers during the Registration exercise. Some of us cried foul, but the EC Chairman, cheered on by hired press and crowd countered our arguments with verbal insults.
I am therefore surprised to hear the EC attributing its statutory breaches and violations during the December 2012 Presidential Elections to incompetence and inexperience of its staff.
This admission of incompetence goes to confirm that Afari Djan is gradually coming down to earth to stay with the people who had helped him to the top. But will the people accept him as one of their own? He has to prove to them that he is not the “Saul” we know in the Holy Bible. Saul showed genuine repentance, was baptized and became known as Paul. But has Afari Djan repented? And if he were to be ‘christened’, what would be his new name? I think Jammed would fit him well.
Almighty Afari jammed had before the December 2012 Elections made certain pronouncements about the conduct of the election. He had said it loud and clear that nobody would be allowed to vote if the person did not go through biometric verification. He had also said that if there was over-voting by even one vote in any polling station, the result of the entire polling station would be annulled. And these edicts were enforced in some polling stations.
In a polling station in O.B.Amoah’s Constituency (Aburi/Nsawam) there were three extra votes. The contending parties took the case before “Almighty Afari Djan who decreed that the three extra votes be taken away from NPP’s tally.
Again, it came as a shock to hear the EC state in its response to the NPP petition that everybody who voted in the December, 2012 Election had gone through biometric verification. But the NDC has alleged that at the Kibi Magistrate Court’s Polling Station in Akufo-Addo’s background, people had voted without being biometrically verified – a fact which has been corroborated by the NPP. So, what is Afari Djan saying here?
But the “Great” and “Almighty” Afari Djan exhibited his abhorrent for criticism when he refused to listen to the NPP’s appeal to postpone the announcement of the Presidential Election Results by 48 hours to enable it present evidence to back up its claims that there had been statutory violations in the conduct of the Presidential Election. But Afari Djan would have nothing of that.
Listeners will bear me out that the December 7, 2012 Election had been inconclusive on the first day and voting had to be extended to the following day. Therefore Afari Djan’s insistence on announcing the results on Sunday to meet up the 48 hour deadline does not hold water. The Election had ended on Sunday and between Saturday and Sunday makes it 24, not 48 hours.
Afari Djan’s weird logic here could only mean one thing. Mad Emperor Nero’s spirit had taken possession of his soul, spirit and body. His intransigence has taken us to where we are today.
So, I wasn’t surprised to hear him exhibiting disdain for ordinary mortals like Fiifi Boafo of Oman FM/Net 2 fame. His vitriolic and unprovoked attack on the presenter exposed him as someone who was possessed by demons and needed some form of exorcism which was provided when he made his appearance at the hearing petition of the NPP before the Supreme Court.
But did you see that miserable man in glasses chewing gum during the hearing? And the cameras did not help matters when they made him the focus of attention. Here was somebody, who about five months ago was the Capo of King-makers in the country. He was the Coach, Match Commissioner, Referee and Linesman at the same time. He determined who to use in a match and the position to be played by each actor. He will remove you from the team if his countenance likes you not.
The gum chewing began at a slow pace and graduated to a quicker pace. At a time it was if he had not eaten for days and the gum was to assuage his hunger and thirst. A friend called to say that he could hear the audio effect of Afari Djan’s gum chewing on the television.
But was the man smiling, sneering or talking to himself? That I do not know. But something also caught my attention. His glasses were removed and put on many times during the proceedings. I counted the number of times this was done. They were ten and that reminded me of the last press conference of General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong before he was executed.
He removed his glasses and put them on Eighteen times before the end of the press conference. I wonder what was going on in the mind of the executed Head of State as he made his press conference. At the thought of that, my usually strong heart melted and I began to have pity on Almighty Kwadwo Afari Djan.
But does he deserve any pity? Does this “troubler of Israel” deserve your pity? I guess not. For here is a man who disregarded all ethics of nature and became “untouchable” “unreachable” and “unstoppable”. But power is not permanent but transient. The masquerade around Afari Djan has been unmasked leaving only the hideous face of Medusa. Who say man no dey? When iron meets iron, one of them will bend. It seems the iron in Afari Djan is about to cave in
Is this the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end of the Great and All Powerful Kwadwo Afari Djan? Only time will tell. But for now Afari Djan has jammed. This is the simple truth.
Credit: Knocking them cold with Uncle Dan, DAYBREAK newspaper (every Tuesday)