Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah, a former election observer and co-founder of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), has said in his book entitled My Ghanaian Odyssey that there is a risk of subversion in the upcoming elections if the current politically tense atmosphere is not kept under control.
He said although Ghana has handled its post election issues well, the possibility of a violent outbreak, such as those that occurred during the 2000 and 2008 elections, must not be underestimated.
In an exclusive interview with Joy News, Agyeman-Duah disclosed that during the 2000 runoff election, there were plots to compel then-President Jerry John Rawlings to declare a state of emergency with the goal of postponing the vote.
He explained that, “J. A. Kufour and Professor Mills were supposed to go for a runoff on 28th December, 2000. In between that period, I think an attempt was made by some individuals in the Armed Forces to find a way to mitigate the constitutional process.”
He indicated that the individuals in the Armed Forces, “were worried about the possible victory for Kufour and the NPP party", but that the then-Chief of Defense Staff foiled the plot.
Agyeman-Duah was quick to add that in his opinion, “the intention was not to have a coup d'etat …. I think it was a plot designed to … suspend the process, do whatever they wanted to do and the restore the process. But that in itself was subversion.”
As to how he got this information, he explained that working on the ground as an election observer in Ghana’s five presidential and parliamentary elections since the inaugration of the 1992 constitution, he has been privy to a lot of information.
“I can tell you that from a very credible source, very, very credible source. I have spoken to a few participants in the plot, so I know what I am talking about,” he assured listeners.
He added that, “the plotters at the time may not be around this time. Some may be but I don’t think they will ever think of repeating that kind of thing.” He nonetheless warned that because such a plot could be hatched in 2000, there is the possibility of a similar thing happening again.
“I think we are safe. But my point is that because this idea was conceivable then, it could be conceivable today or tomorrow and therefore as a nation we must learn from that and make sure our leaders (and) our institutions maintain the highest level of professionalism when it comes to these challenging times such as elections in our country.”