Request for ‘presidential pardon’ – By Ato Kwamina Dadzie
Dear Mr. President, congratulations on your victory over Nana Akuffo-Addo in the elections of December 7. Not only am I surprised that you won but I am also quite anxious about the future of my two little toes, which I wagered that you would lose. As I write, I don’t know whether I was wise in wagering my toes or I was foolish in placing a wager in the first place. All I can say is that you surprised me. Your victory defied conventional wisdom on many levels.
First, as I said in my wager statement (see attached) you didn’t have a message. Even if you did, it wasn’t well articulated to the electorate. Secondly, you had just five months or so to campaign. Third, the man who was president before you didn’t do a good job with the job at hand – being president. Matters also seemed worse because Jerry Rawlings had stayed away from all your campaign platforms. And finally, Mr. President, this was your first time trying for the highest office in the land. How on earth was someone making a wager expected to place his bets on you? You seemed bound to lose, even though, I felt it would be by a small margin.
But somehow, you flipped the script and pulled off an amazing victory that would effectively end the political career of one of our country’s most illustrious Fourth Republican politicians.
I don’t know how you did but you won an incredible victory and now I have eggs all over my face. My two tiny toes are also at grave risk.
Some say there was rigging, but they have to prove that in court. Others say, it’s a clear indication that people do not believe in your opponent’s offer of free education. I really thought it was a very populist promise. I have also heard people say that, perhaps, Nana Addo was so obsessed with free education that he failed to bring up the issues that would have weakened your bid. Incumbency advantage might also have played a major part in your victory. All of these are issues for the political scientists to investigate and come up with a body of knowledge that should help strengthen democracy in Ghana.
All I can say for now is that you have proved to be the most formidable politician in the Fourth Republic. You caused a major upset with almost all the odds stack against you. For that, you deserve all the credit there is. Enjoy your victory but, please, don’t gloat. If I know you half as well as I think I do (which, really isn’t much) I believe you won’t gloat and you’d find a way to reach out to Nana Addo. I know he’s yet to concede and he might even challenge the results of the poll in court. Don’t worry about that. A man cannot concede to his opponents unless he’s able to first concede to himself. Give him time to heal. Help him heal in whatever way you can.
While at it, Mr. President, I am respectfully asking that you grant my endangered toes presidential pardon. Even those who didn’t take me up on that wager are clamouring for my toes and I fear someone might grab me on the streets somewhere and chop them off. That’s not the worse that could have happened, I know. It could have been my neck. So, at least, I am grateful that my head has a neck to hold it in place. I just feel that since I chose not to stick my neck out, you should realize that I didn’t completely write you off. In other words, I had few doubts in Nana Addo losing than in you winning. For this reason, I respectfully believe that a presidential pardon for my toes will not be out of place.
Once again, congratulations.
I hope my request, as they say, “will meet your kind consideration”.