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Opinions of Thursday, 15 December 2016

Columnist: Osei, Nana Yaw

Farewell Mr. John Dramani Mahama

By Nana Yaw Osei

So you see! Some of my articles were prompting Mr. John Dramani Mahama (JDM) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to beware the ides of March. From my personal commonsensical analysis, five main factors led to the fall of JDM and NDC administration. Kakistocracy (system of government by least qualified citizens.

However, not all JDM appointees were least qualified), Infiltration of New Patriotic Party (NPP) sycophants masquerading as family friends into JDM administration, arrogance of JDM’s appointees, intimidation and perceived corruption. These factors, jointly, severely and fundamentally culminated in the NDC- voters apathy that claimed the political life of JDM and NDC in the just ended presidential election on December 7, 2016.

I have also underscored the significance of assertive communication in Ghana’s political discourse. I recommended the use of “I” language instead of “he” or “she” language in some of my previous articles.

Psychological revelations assert that the pronoun “he” or “she” beginning a sentence is likely to be followed by a negative comment than “I” beginning a sentence. From the very onset of his administration, JDM gained the epithet: “Mahama the incompetent” from leading NPP members such as the incoming Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. Dear reader, kindly permit me to accord the sobriquet “Bawumia the competent” to our noble vice President.

At the Ghana Television and National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) organized presidential debate, JDM stooped very low when he accorded a pseudonym “the short man’ to his political opponent, Nana Addo Danquah Akufu Addo (NADAA).

The aforementioned name callings and descriptions of political rivals were inappropriate. In this world, if you are struggling for a political power and you think the one who is ruling does not fit to be there, when you get to the corridors of power, your success would be contingent on the extent of your competence versus the degree of incompetence of your predecessor.

After his electoral victory, NADAA made a significant statement: “President is a proud patriot who will not allow the country to be plunged into chaos over the election results. The John Mahama I know is somebody I believe is capable of rising to the occasion,” (Source: myjoyonline.com, December 9, 2016). Hmm! Nurtured from a responsible parent: from incompetent son to a true patriot must be interesting chapter in the annals of our political history. Mario Cuomo (1932-2015), an American politician was right when he asserted that politicians campaign in poetry and govern in prose.

There is nothing bad unless something bad happens. JDM must be congratulated for his monumental infrastructural development. The number of community senior high schools (about 137) constructed, hospitals, roads, interchanges, markets, renovations of Tamale, Ho, Kumasi airports are among the good things JDM did for Ghana. He upgraded Tamale airports into international Standard. Kotoka International Airport was equally given a facelift.

JDM must also be commended for the rebuilding of Komenda sugar factory, construction of fishing harbor at Elmina, Cape Coast Sport Stadium and many other related developmental projects. He also built President Mill’s founded University of health and allied science at Ho in the Volta region.

JDM reminded me of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah when he was conceding defeat. A good friend of mine, Mr. Godson Fianu reminded me of this “when Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown, and there existed spontaneous jubilations on the streets of Accra and many parts of Ghana, Nkrumah quizzed, why are my people jubilating?

I expect them to be sad, a good friend who was with him on their journey to Hanoi in Vietnam said, Mr. President your people were expecting milk and you were building factories, Kotoka will provide them milk. He asked again, is that all they wanted? I thought we had a future together. If I knew, I would have planted milk taps in their homes. But well, since I am not taking anything away with me, history will remember my time in office.”

Nkrumah, like JDM was accused of excessive borrowing and wanton dissipation of national treasury. The construction of Tema city, Tema motorway and Akosombo dam were described as prestigious projects. Nkrumah was accused of corruption and financial malfeasance. The National Liberation Council (NLC) established several commissions to probe Nkrumah’s government. Apaloo Commission, for example found Nkrumah himself guilty of corruption.

It findings revealed that Nkrumah had a cash property valued at over $6.5 million. There was no clear distinction between Nkrumah’s property and that of the state. Nkrumah was accused of building factories without proper feasibility studies.

Today, those who accused Nkrumah did not add any factory but rather sold the factories and public corporations he built. Example is Ghana telecom now Vodafone Ghana. Nkrumah built Akosombo Dam the then prestigious project for about five million population. The negligence of the successive governments let to the erratic power supply that bedeviled JDM‘s administration.

Indeed history tells us about the monumental achievement of Nkrumah. We cannot write the history of Ghana without the monumental achievement of JDM relative to infrastructure. All I can tell the jubilant youth is to be moderate in their expectations. I am not a naysayer, a natural pessimist or a prophet of doom, there is nothing new under the sun relative to rhetoric by African politicians.

Not until the governments whether NPP or NDC deconstruct our economy and education from its colonial frameworks, the youth will continue to vacillate between hope and apprehension relative to job creation and youth employment. We must change our attitudes toward locally manufactured goods. Ghana can also be successful if the political cleavage between NPP and NDC is nipped in the bud.

They must not see themselves as enemies but political players. However, those found to rob the state of funds must be allowed to face the law. The attacks on NDC supporters are inappropriate. Ghanaians attacking Ghanaians?

Notwithstanding the disagreement I had with JDM relative to his political appointments, he did very well for our mother Ghana. Farewell sir. “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrew 6:10). Ungratefulness is unrighteous, thus, let us be grateful to JDM. A tree is measured best when it is down.

In a related issue, Ghanaians must be moderate in their expectations and avoid putting too much pressures on the incoming administration. Building an economy begins with austerity measures and fiscal discipline. Ghanaians must be ready to swallow bitter pills. Mr. President-elect, beware of social pressure on you during the period of economic austerity measures.

The Indian jurist and political economist, B. R Ambedkar (1891-1956) asserted that “political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of its social democracy. What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life.” Mr. NADAA must also ensure the principle of equality to the letter in his administration. Police must not refuse to apply the law to NPP members as done by the current IGP.

It is my fervent wish that the bifurcation between NPP and NDC is resolved for the betterment of our beloved country. Love is stronger than hate. “We can conceive of a future without high rise. But a humanity without music and love is not just inconceivable: It is impossible (George Leonard). Show some love to JDM and his family. Good bye JDM. Congratulation NADAA, the president-elect. Well done Madam, Charlotte Osei. God bless our homeland Ghana and help us to resist oppressors rule. “I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing.” (Socrates)

Writer's e-mail:padigogoma77@yahoo.co.uk