The announcement was slow in coming. Both sides of Ghana's political divide were anxious. The NPP were hoping they will get enough votes to go a second round. The NDC had had to stop celebrating along the way because they hadn't heard officially from the Electoral Commission; and they knew until Dr. Afari Gyan speaks, it's not over yet.
I often times don't consider myself a journalist or a photojournalist is because of the industry's morbid appetite for bad news. Anytime, Ghana has a free, fair, problem-free election, it is pretty much no news. This very election was treated almost like that until the NPP folk started crying foul, chanting war songs, threatening to spill blood.. and then the Western Media woke up. At some point, I didn't know which behaviour was more shameful: The losers who couldn't man up enough to admit graciously, or the vultures who can't seem to outgrow their repugnant appetite.
Anybody who had followed election-related discussions on twitter, facebook and generally on the internet, would have believed the NPP was going to win or that some of the smaller parties were going to pull surprises. When some parties started getting votes that looked like binary equations, quite a number of people were shocked.
What most people don't realize is, every voter, no matter how smart, educated, informed, rich, powerful, illiterate or poor they are, has only one vote each. I see a lot of politicians mistake noise for votes and they always get punished for it.
I head off to Cote D'Ivoire on assignment today, and I couldn't be more grateful that it is all over. Elections are expensive to organize and run. The young man above was celebrating what they call the "one touch" because President Mahama got more than 50% of the votes so there won't be a need for a second round. I am just happy... it's all over.
My heart really goes out to Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo, the NPP's flag bearer. This is the second time he's lost and both so narrowly. You can tell being president has been his life-time dream and it is sad to watch a man miss his mark. I hope he takes it in good faith and still prove to the world that "the downfall of a man is not the end of his life". His experience reminds of the life lesson: "Another word for failure is nearly".
I saw a tweet yesterday that went like: "Only in Ghana does one win elections with a lousy slogan like 'E dey bee k3k3" and someone aptly replied "What slogan is worse than 'All die be die"? In other words- both parties run terrible campaigns. Oftentimes, I caught myself asking: "Who advises these people?" There are a few more photos below. Enjoy them and have a great week.