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Opinions of Monday, 7 November 2016

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis

Shut your trap Mac Manu, the likes of you don’t own Ghana! 4

“A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns” (Mario Puzo, “The Godfather”).

AKUFO-ADDO AS ATTORNEY GENERAL

We should not overlook persistent sensational rumors that have it some anonymous University of Ghana law professors have been known to have secretly written legal briefs and arguments for Akufo-Addo as a lawyer of his firm and as Attorney General.

At least we know of one case where Tsatsu Tsikata reportedly wrote the arguments for Akufo-Addo “in the matter of the Republic vs. Agama” (“Tsatsu To Bloody Akufo-Addo’s Nose Again! Daily Post, January 4, 2016). The Daily Guide continues:

“…Akufo-Addo knew that he will be no match for Tsatsu. Thus, jittery, he committed blunders even first year university students will not commit.”

The paper continues elsewhere:

“Then as Attorney-General, Akufo-Addo proved to be no match for Tsatsu to the extent that after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favour of Tsatsu in the matter of the legality of the Fast Track Court, many Ghanaians began to call for the resignation or dismissal of Akufo-Addo as the Attorney-General. In the long run, Kufuor had no choice than to remove him from that position and appoint him Foreign Minister.”

Finally, we may recall the shocking controversy surrounding Attorney General Akufo-Addo’s filing the state’s case against Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata as “the President Versus Tsatsu Tsikata” rather than as “The State vs. Tsatsu Tsikata.”

Some still claim that this egregious procedural mishap irritated John Kufuor to the extent that he finally was compelled by it to approve Akufo-Addo’s secondment to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is the exclusive province of Mac Manu to disabuse the minds of Ghanaians that his boss is not a better alternative to President Mahama.

Thus far it has only been an emotional outpouring from the NPP camp. This is gnawing at Akufo-Addo’s political capital and his party’s electoral fortunes.

Still, we can only hope that Akufo-Addo will not carry this baggage of technical depravities and procedural lapses into the Flagstaff House should the NPP win the upcoming general elections.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Akufo-Addo’s going about literally begging the electorate to try him constitutes an emblem of outright desperation, a grudging failure in political strategy in pitching his candidacy as a formidable, convincing and viable alternative to the “trial and error” presidency of Mahama.

Trying to plant his candidacy as ansatz in the community psychology of the people may turn out to be counterproductive in the long run. Not that we are totally ruling out “trial and error” as bearing a mark of heuristic import of—or as being integral to—the human condition or experience.

Of course, trial and error is important in the natural sciences, mathematics, law and jurisprudence, discovery-based science and analytics, the social sciences, and experimental science.

The idea, however is that the NPP has woefully failed to pitch the candidacy of Akufo-Addo as deserving of a viable alternative desideratum.

Meanwhile, the leadership and supporters of the NPP mount their campaign trail and brand Mahama as “a trial and error president.

Yet the same people unabashedly present Akufo-Addo to the world as “a trial and error presidential candidate,” a political restatement of “pouring new wine into old wineskins.”

It means, among other scenarios that we are possibly going to have another “new” political song or anthem in the same old, trite sanctimonious voice of incompassion. It also means we have ideological “Siamese twins” whose political voices are almost indistinguishable. It turns out we are at the stage of a confluence of twinned stagnation in productive leadership. This is what happens when there is a dominant, entrenched schadenfreude duopoly in the political life of a people.

However, if what Akufo-Addo says is right that the people need a change in the status quo then from our perspective he, together with his policy advisors and strategists and campaign team, have not made a convincing pitch of his candidacy as a formidable contender for the Flagstaff House to the people, for change can also mean retention of the old order—of the status quo, as has been the structural motif throughout the Fourth Republic.

Certainly, we are looking at the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. When all is said and done, political and moral and social clamor for wind of change should not be an act of grinding, if not grudging, desperation.

That clamor of moral, social, and political instrumentalism, of course, must surely come from an inner conviction of intellectual, spiritual and experiential strength. It is the natural tendency of human beings to look where strength, not weakness, resides in leaders particularly in dispensations of popular frustration, hopelessness, and helplessness.

Besides, true and strong leaders do not beg; it is only the weak ones who do so. On the other hand it is the people who rather approach these leaders and beg them to lead them. This was in the case of Kwame Nkrumah. Sadly, Akufo-Addo’s presidential candidacy does not exude this bold assertion of political strength. His inexcusable lame idea of riding on the presumed sympathy of the masses to political power does not cut the mustard. Sympathy can be tricky.

Perhaps public perception will eventually radically change toward Akufo-Addo at the eleventh hour, when he will be ushered in as the occupant of the Flagstaff House, an interesting working hypothesis whose theoretical eventuation we happily look forward to.

But, alas, the voting psychology of the Ghanaian electorate is as reluctantly or grudgingly fickle as the leopard or cheetah spots of the chameleon.

For the rest, we live to see!

CONCLUDING REMARKS

“Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones. Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert.

“Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers” (Martin Luther King, Jr.).

More so, President Mahama is the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces and therefore has the added advantage of using the military to quell any post-election violence.

If there is post-election war for any reason, no one including Mac Many will be the beneficiary.

Our security outfits should therefore stay alert and light years ahead of potential subverters both within and outside the NPP and the NDC.

When all is said and done, Ghana is all we have as a people not for the present generation but for generations yet unborn.

Here is Nelson Mandela again:

“The African Nationalism for which the ANC stands is the concept of freedom and fulfillment for the African people in their own land…Poverty goes hand in hand with malnutrition and disease…

“The incidence of infant mortality is one of the highest in the world…These diseases not only destroy the vital organs of the body, but they result in retarded mental conditions and lack of initiative, and reduce powers of such concentration.

“The secondary results of such conditions affect the whole community and the standard of work performed by African labourers.

“…There are two ways to break out of poverty. The first is by formal education, and the second is by the worker acquiring a greater skill at his work and thus higher wages…

“Poverty and the breakdown of family life have secondary effects. Children wander about the streets of the townships because they have no schools to go to, or no money to enable them to go to school, or no parents at home to see that they go to school, because both parents have to work to keep the family alive.

“This leads to a breakdown in moral standards, to an alarming rise in illegitimacy, and to growing violence which erupts not only politically, but everywhere.”

Is Mandela not speaking to our present conditions, our plight?

These are some of the familiar problems we need to come together and solve, and not to engage in unnecessary warlike rhetoric and political divisiveness. There is no need politicizing everything!

Besides, war or anarchy is not the answer to rising disease burden, hunger and malnutrition, homelessness, poverty, infant mortality, problems with developmental psychology, and so on. War or anarchy will aggravate these conditions.

In fact, war must always be the last resort in the pursuit of conflict resolution strategies.

In the meantime we shall ask our leaders to desist from talking about war and rather think about how we can fight poverty. Here is Mandela for the last time:

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

A WORD OF ADVICE TO GHANAIAN AND AFRICAN LEADERS

We need to unburden ourselves of this Sisyphean juggernaut of harsh social, economic and political realities. Thus we cannot continue in our stinking vomit of arrested development. Hence political pragmatism, non-partisan interest in the implementing social intervention programs, social responsibility, accountability and transparency, patriotism, pursuit of gender equality, political correctness, inter-ethnic respect, and hard work should be the guiding principles for Ghanaian leaders.

Let us, therefore, shun the politics of imperial cultism and get down to the business of doing right by our country and people.

Mandela and Nkrumah, both of whom properly belong in the martyrology of political and moral greatness, are closely watching us to see where exactly we are taking the continent!

End of series!

REFERENCES

Jeremy Diamond. (October 20, 2016). “Donald Trump: 'I Will Totally Accept' Election Results 'If I Win.'” Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/20/politics/donald-trump-i-will-totally-accept-election-results-if-i-win/

Ghanaweb. “NDC Not Ready To Relinquish Power—‘Montie Trio’ Member.” October 30, 2016.

Max Fisher. “Read The Most Important Speech Nelson Mandela Gave.” The Washington Post. December 5, 2013.

Ghanaweb. “Akufo-Addo Saved Ghana From Doom—Dr Anthony Baah.” November 1, 2016.

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