"It was the politician in him that was speaking not the former president and indeed he was not addressing the nation, he was addressing party partisan," says the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako.
The renowned journalist was reacting to comments made by former President John Mahama in response to the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the compilation of a New Voters' Register.
The SC unanimously dismissed the National Democratic Congress (NDC) case against the Electoral Commission (EC) saying the EC is an independent body and will only be directed by the court if it acts contrary to law.
Their ruling also says the existing voter ID card and birth certificates cannot be used as proof of identity to register in the upcoming voter registration exercise.
In reaction to this, the largest opposition Flagbearer said "We are deeply disappointed and strongly disagree with the court over this outcome, which has confounded many legal experts and thrown the country into a state of confusion.
Our legal team is examining this decision even as we await the full judgement.
"It is worrying that the Court deferred the reasons for its decisions to the 15th of July, by which time the EC would have been two weeks into the registration exercise".
“We have been very clear in our minds that the decision to compile a new voters register was in pursuit of this long-held agenda, hence our efforts to stop the wholesale attempt to exclude vast sections of our population from the process to determine who leads them."
According to him, “this represents the handiwork of a desperate incumbent that on account of its very poor performance in government sees its political survival only through the prism of manipulation of the electoral process to exclude a section of Ghanaians who they suspect may not renew their mandate at the polls”
Kweku Baako, who was speaking on Joynews Newsfile programme said "when you do a content analysis of his (Mahama) speech supposed to be to the nation, it was more directed at party partisan; he rallied us into the realm of interrogating conspiracy theories; he played on the emotions of his supporters".
The Seasoned Journalist also had cause to express concern over comments made by the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, minutes after the Supreme Court's decision.
Asiedu Nketiah’s Verdict
The NDC General Secretary told pressmen that the court had ruled in the party’s favour by calling for the inclusion of the existing voter ID card as one of the source documents for registration during the upcoming voter's registration exercise.
This, however, turned out to be a wrong interpretation of the ruling.
Kweku Baako was of the view that "they (NDC) didn’t take their time to review what had been delivered; otherwise the General Secretary would not have done what he did...and saying all sorts of things".
NDC Engaging In Shifting Cultivation
With the apex court having put paid to all the brouhaha surrounding the need for a new electoral roll, the leadership of the NDC is now urging its members to take part in the registration exercise which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, 30th June 2020.
But to Kweku Baako "from day one they (NDC) has embarked on a trail of shifting cultivation….today this, tomorrow that...the confusion, the conflicting signal the contradiction over a period; incoherent and there are times I don’t get their message"