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Opinions of Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

And so Bugri Naabu knows what a bribe is?

Bugri Naabu Bugri Naabu

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

His statement both insults and vindicates the man who has come out to publicly state that the younger brother of President John Dramani Mahama offered him a cash sum of GH? 500,000 and a Mitsubishi V-6 vehicle, with an additional promise of the sum of GH? 3.3 million and a Toyota Land Cruiser, the SUV of choice of many a Mahama government appointee, if the Northern Regional Chairman of the country’s main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Daniel Bugri Naabu, would publicly characterize Nana Akufo-Addo, the 2016 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, as “a divisive figure who hated northerners” (See “We Have Given Bugri Naabu Several Gifts in the Past – Alfred Mahama” 12/1/16).

We need to quickly point out the fact that until his elder brother acceded to the Vice-Presidency and subsequently the substantive Presidency of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. Ibrahim Mahama, the proprietor of the mining firm of Engineers and Planners, was widely known to be either a prominent member or staunch supporter of the New Patriotic Party. Mr. Ibrahim Mahama has also been rumored by some reliable sources to have even boasted that he was the undisputed Kingmaker of the New Patriotic Party, and was determined to ensure that no formidable presidential candidate capable of literally giving Elder Brother Little Dramani a run for his money got nominated as NPP presidential candidate.

But what is significant and worth highlighting here is the fact that Mr. Alfred Mahama, the elder brother of President Mahama, clearly vindicates Mr. Bugri Naabu by his public statement that the latest “gift presentations” are not the very first of their kind to have been presented to the NPP Chairman by the Mahama Brothers, most notably Mr. Ibrahim Mahama.

His statement vindicates Mr. Bugri Naabu because it clearly tells us that the Northern Regional Chairman of the NPP knows the difference between a payola – or bribe – and a gift. And so if he is telling us that the latest gifts from the Mahamas were intended to virulently prejudice Mr. Bugri Naabu against his own party’s nominee for the 2016 presidential election, then there ought to be absolutely no doubt that the recipient of the aforesaid gifts knows precisely what he is talking about.

We must also quickly and significantly add that the much older Mr. Bugri Naabu, that is relative to Little Dramani, has also publicly stated that he was buying and driving his own fairly expensive cars, and other vehicles, when the now-President Mahama was a secondary school student.

The preceding fact may very well explain why all the previous gifts to Mr. Bugri Naabu did not register their desired impact, on the part of the givers. We also find Mr. Alfred Mahama’s statement to the effect that Mr. Ibrahim Mahama has been routinely benevolent to many of the NPP leaders to be both insufferably insulting and nauseatingly patronizing, in that it suggests the woeful inability of these opposition leaders to care for themselves and their families without the necessary financial and/or material support of the reportedly heavily indebted high-on-the-hog living proprietor of the Engineers and Planners firm.

Mr. Bugri Naabu’s allegation also has incontrovertible credibility because throughout his electioneering campaign, at least since 2012, President Mahama has made anti-Akufo-Addo ethnic bigotry the central plank of his platform, especially in the so-called Three Northern Regions where he has consistently staked the invidious claim that it was only a presidential candidate of northern ethnicity who had the best interests of northerners at heart.

Indeed, it was on the lurid basis of such electioneering primitivism that the then-Interim President Mahama caustically criticized Nana Akufo-Addo for daring to promise to remarkably improve the living standards and working conditions of female head porters – or Kayayei – in the country who are known to be predominantly of northern descent.

Four years later, Mr. Mahama has yet to show any evidence of having remarkably facilitated the improvement of the lives and working conditions of these wantonly exploited and most deprived of hardworking Ghanaian citizenry.

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