Accra, the nation’s capital, bounced back to life immediately after the Electoral Commission (EC) declared the results of Sunday’s presidential run-off to ease the tensed atmosphere that had gripped the entire country.
Activities in the capital were very brisk following the opening of shops, most of which had been closed following fears that a state of emergency was likely to be declared.
Government workers also reported for work.
The vehicular and human traffic situation in most parts of the city peaked, with sympathisers of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) dancing and singing to high-pitched music provided by loud speakers at vantage points of the city.
The sale of NDC paraphernalia also boomed.
The mood was set soon after the EC’s declaration on Tuesday evening when jubilant people across the city popped out of speeding vehicles decorated with NDC flags and other paraphernalia to show their excitement.
Following the EC’s inability to declare the results of the run-off on time, speculations and rumours were rife that the results were to be changed, to be followed by the declaration of a state of emergency.
Most shops and workers closed earlier than usual and the streets were rid of traffic because people were afraid the untoward would happen.
People who spoke with the Daily Graphic on Wednesday described the EC’s declaration as very strategic, in view of the tension that had mounted, saying that by the time the election in the Tain Constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region would be conducted, the tension would have died down.
However, New Patriotic Party (NPP) sympathisers were optimistic and looked positively towards the Tain election because, according to them, it could go either way.
All those with whom the Daily Graphic spoke commended the Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, for a good work done and indicated that but for the manner he handled the situation, the country could have been plunged into trouble.
“Because of the excitement in the atmosphere, people seem to have forgotten about the deep tension that entangled the nation. As things are now by the time the final results are declared, people would have become used to the reality on the ground,” declared Mr Emmanuel Acheampong.
Some Ghanaians in the capital labelled democracy as an expensive commodity, maintaining, however, that it was the best way to govern in the 21st century.
“This election would have ended long ago and a new president declared if the country was operating a military system of administration,” Betty Mensah, a trader said.
A trader who gave his name as Nana Kwaku wondered why the EC could not declare a winner, adding, “Another run-off is going to cost the taxpayer money.”
He added that the government could build hospitals, schools, post offices or some other social facilities with the money that would be spent on the election.
A trader at the Hawkers Mall at Circle, Francisca Manu, said while the government was spending a lot of money on the elections and political parties were also spending so much on their campaigns, “our businesses are suffering as a result of the anxiety and fear created by political activities”.
A trotro driver, Daniel Bortey, said the elections had affected his work over the past few weeks. “There are no passengers, all because of the elections. I have been driving empty all day,” he added.
A pastor who would not mention his name said though most churches did some worship on December 28, they still lost some of their Sunday collections to the EC because most supporters of the two political parties did not go to church.
Civil servants at the Ministries resumed work in earnest on Wednesday, following the announcement of the results of the run-off by the EC on Tuesday.
Some of the civil servants who were tensed up after the announcement of the results left their offices early on Tuesday, with some leaving as early as 1 p.m.
A visit to the Ministries by the Daily Graphic showed that the civil servants had reported to work.
Some of them told the Daily Graphic that they had been apprehensive over the delay in the announcement of the results of the run-off between Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP and Prof John Evans Atta Mills of the NDC.
The Chief Personnel Officer of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr Kirk Mensah, said some workers had not been sure of what the situation in town would be after the announcement of the results, hence their decision to leave their offices for home.
He said the change in the time the EC was scheduled to announce the results created anxiety.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr Frank Siaw-Otu, corroborated the information and indicated that about 50 per cent of the workers had reported to work as of 7:08 a.m. when he reported for work and that by 8 a.m. virtually all the workers had reported.
A security man at the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department, Mr Yakubu Hamidu, said on Tuesday some workers started leaving their offices from 2 p.m. apparently for fear of any reprisals after the announcement of the results.
An officer at the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment who declined to give his name said some of the workers had left unusually very early on Tuesday.
He said the situation at the ministry was normal, as all the workers were at post.
Source: Daily Graphic