Feature Article of Friday, 12 October 2012
Columnist: Al-Waiz, Husseini Yushau Baba
”Truthfulness has never been counted among the political virtues, and lies have always been regarded as justifiable tools in political dealings.”
--- Arendt Hannah, 1006-1975
The story dubbed, “President Mahama is not Intelligent”, posted on October 5th, 2012 on your widely read web, attributed to the most notorious politician in Ghana today, Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin North Constituency is very strange and amounts to calling a spade a spoon not a spade.
It is only a lunatic who, due to his mental derailment would describe His Excellency President Mahama “…not intelligent, mediocre or useless”, and incite(earlier) an ethic tribe (Ashantis) to attack the Gas and Ewes. Even the NPP presidential candidate himself, Nana Akufo Addo attests to the God-gifted intelligence, sagacity and wisdom associated with his Excellency President Mahama. Why should you stoop to that low due to political expediency, burying your head like an ostrich to refuse to give credit where it dues?
Ken should ask his veteran members of parliament from his side of the political divide(NPP), who were contemporaries of President Mahama when he was an MP, during the first parliament of the fourth republic and they will tell him much about Mr. Mahama’s intellectual pedigree.
One particular instance that I quite remember vividly in the mid-nineties when President Mahama was the minister of Communications, spearheading the preparation of the Telecommunications laws, he was subjected into litany of questions, by the then shadow Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Nana Akufo Addo-a trademark of parliament before any bill is passed. And what I still remember was that, a politically savvy Mr. Mahama handled the questions so expertly with facts, figures, eloquence and coherence to the satisfaction of even some of his opponents in the house.
Right after that day’s parliamentary proceedings, I was waiting to have a word with Mr. Mahama and I eavesdropped an NPP MP from the north, name withheld, confessing to him in the huasa language that, they were fascinated by his outstanding performance in answering those questions posed by Hon. Nana Akufo Addo.
It is a known fact that, Mr. Mahama is a valuable assert for the NDC since the beginning of the fourth republican regime, because whenever the opposition would feel offended by the pronouncement of the government, Mr. Mahama would be called by the radio station hosts to make a damage control in a bid to restore back the government public relations image.
If Ken cares to know, Mr. Mahama has been contributing articles in an American magazines, Roots for a couple of years now. Has he or his presidential candidate, Nana ever been associated with an international a magazine by contributing articles on frequent bases, not alone to write a book?
Arguably President Mahama is the first ever African seating Vice-President in this contemporary time to have authored a book, in spite of his busy administrative schedule and even putting finishing touches on a second book currently.
It takes someone with a discerning and perceptive mind to be able to connect the dots, piece together words and phrases and emerge with a worth reading piece of feature or article not alone a book.
Reading President Mahama’s book(as I am half-way through)I was fascinated by some catchy and captivating comments by an array of global intellectual and literary experts, such as Chinua Achebe, a house name prolific author of the best selling Things Fall Apart, translated in over 30 languages, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Weep Not Child.
In fact whoever is here in the states during President Mahama’s book promotion tours, would bear witness to how impressed he was to the audience of mostly Caucasians and African-Americans academics and professionals, whose interviewed at the Schaumberg center in Harlem, New York was sporadically interrupted with standing ovation and after the book reading, all copies brought were sold out, as myriad of people queue for their copies to be autographed by the President. The book is interspersed with a wide repertoire of wit and wisdom as its gives revealing narratives of historical and political events in Ghana and Africa.
Below are Praise for his first book entitled, “My First Coup D’etat & other True Stories from the lost decades of Africa.” from great authors and literary experts for readers to evaluate.
“With crisp yet sweeping prose, John Mahama’s memoir, My First Coup d’Etat, provides insight into Ghana’s and, by extension, Africa’s struggle to weather its historical burden and engage with a world much removed from her dilemma. Without sentimentality or condescension, he exposes homegrown African pathologies and helps us understand several contradictions of our postcolonial condition. His is a much welcome nation.”
--- Chinua Achebe, author of, Things Fall Apart & many books
“These stories reminded me of Isaac Bashevis Singer, whose memories of a vanished world feel half like memoir and half like fairy tale. Readers will be charmed by them. They brim with humanity.”
--- Andrew Solomon, author of the National Book Award-winning, The Noonday Demon
“Mahama’s stories lure the reader into an unforgettable journey in which he interacts with history as a living tissue. The characters and the episodes are part of everyday but one imbued with magic and suggestive power that goes beyond the concrete and the palpable to hint at history in motion.”
--- Ngugi wa Thiong’o author of Weep Not, Child
“Mixing memory with history-and privileging neither- Mr. Mahama has given us a complex text. I’ve enjoyed reading these stories.”
--- Nuruddin Farah
“Warm and engaging…The view of a complex world in microcosm.”
--- Aminatta Forna, author of the Commonwealth Book Prize-winning, The Memory of Love
Would Ken continue to describe someone who could expertly give an extempore or off the cuff in-depth analysis of the state of the various sectors of the Ghanaian economy, whenever he meets Ghanaians abroad, flanked by these sector ministers as not intelligent, can he do that?
Ken should tell us if he or Nana Addo has ever won an honorary doctorate degree?
His Excellency President Mahama was honored with doctorate by one of the famous Universities in Nigeria for his good leadership and service to humanity, and is obvious that no person with a questionable academic pedigree like Ken Agyapong will deserve such an honor.
Our research has revealed that, Ken Agyapong, who has the audacity to castigate the President as not intelligent, dropped out from the University of Fordham in New York City, and has therefore no authentic certificate to claim for his first degree. If he thinks we are lying, he should submit a copy of his academic credentials from the US for everyone to see on this web.
Ken and his Party members are so desperate in chasing a mirage; they are therefore resorting to casting insinuations, character assassination and unsubstantiated allegations. But we take solace in the wisdom of Thomas Carlyle who said that, “No lie can live forever”, and he was buttressed by William C. Bryant “Truth crushed to the earth will rise again.”
I would like to urge his Excellency the President, not to worry about this member of the legislature, who always goes ballistic-ranting raving and raging on the airwaves to score cheap political points, but to ponder over the wisdom from Astor Nancy Viscoutess (1879-1964) who says, “You will find in politics that you are much exposed to the attribution of false motives. Never complain and never explain”, but as your progeny in the great AKATAMANSO Party that has blazed the trail for the betterment of Ghana, we deem it as our duty to continue to speak for you and put the likes of Ken to shame. He is certainly making a notorious history for the up and coming generation of Ghanaians to write and leaving a bad legacy for his children and grant children.
Husseini Y. Baba Al-Waiz, Press Secretary, NDC New York