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Opinions of Monday, 3 October 2016

Columnist: Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei

Akufo-Addo is neither materialistic nor a thief

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo NPP flag bearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo NPP flag bearer

In developed societies, politics is all about improving the welfare of the people, while political office seekers are motivated by the desire to serve. Electioneering campaigns are largely focused on issues bordering on socio-economic well-being of the masses where cogent policies alternatives are clearly projected to the public to enable voters decide on whom to vote for in order for their future to be secured.

Because policies are clearly laid out by prospective office seekers, the voters are able to make proper choices. Empty talk is completely jettisoned and those who engage in it are swiftly taken off the pile by the voters.

Public accountability

Public accountability is greatly upheld and decency in governance is a priority.

Those in government and have been tasked with the responsibility of managing our taxes are the ones often put under the lenses by the media, in particular, and the citizens at large. The media in these developed democracies are therefore feared by public office holders because they never allow themselves to be compromised by corrupt politicians.

Coupled with the media, is the force of opposition political parties; they also expend energies in scrutinizing activities of government and its operatives to ensure value for money, in dissipation of the nation’s resources.

An opposition figure will only come under scrutiny when he/she is found to have been involved in a scandal that will make his/her occupation of the highest office of the land, practically untenable.

Anything besides that is not relevant when the ruling government is shamelessly mismanaging the affairs of state, with its operatives engaged in wanton looting of state coffers and enriching only their friends/family members.

This is the path these developed nations have traversed over the years, and have now become socioeconomic miracles which have become forces of attraction to the youth of Africa to embark on perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, during which thousands of them have been losing their lives through disastrous shipwrecks.

Re-eventing the wheel

So with these examples available for us to learn useful lessons from, it is woefully inconceivable for us, as a people, to re-event the wheels. But with democracy, also comes the baggage of foolish talk and sometimes shameless display of outright lunacy by some of the players; and as people committed to tenets of democratic governace, it is incumbent on us to tolerate such charaters, irrespective of the level of notorious absurdity to which they are prepared to take their self-conceited behavior.

However, putting up with such characters also does not mean we do not reserve the right to equally show them the way and bring them off the path of political waywardness, into the limelight of democratic uprightness. And this task of opening the eyes of such wayward political elements to the realities of the game, is actually the basis for this write-up.

Obuasi calamity

Now, when NPP lost the 2008 elections, a group of NDC supporters, numbering 14 including matured men and women, largely from the suburb of Tutuka in Obuasi, designed a wooden effigy of an elephant, put it on a truck and paraded it throughout the major streets of the city, while lashing the effigy with wire cables.

In the evening, they said the elephant had died so they laid the effigy in state with wake-keeping amidst blaring music, dancing and drinking; and went and buried the effigy the following morning.

Now, by the time we were going to the polls in 2012, all those who visibly spearheaded that act had died through mysterious circumstances, while some of those who actively cheered, have either gone mad and presently walking naked on the streets of Obuasi, with others down with stroke and other debilitating plaques.

Indeed, as Ghanaians, and for that matter, Africans, we have specific cultural norms which dictates our behavior and how to relate to each-other. These principles are not captured in our statutes, but rather, they are hidden in the laws of nature. Indeed, this is what KARMA is all about.

Sunyani death-wish

And at the NDC campaign manifesto launch at the Sunyani coronation park on 17th October, 2016, I witnessed a spectacle which was similar to the Obuasi one I have narrated above. And this was at the full glare of John Mahama and all the NDC top hierarchy.

And like I have always maintained, I know the caliber of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when it comes to respect for others, even if it happen to be adversaries. He therefore will never sit aloof for such act of abject despicably despicable despicability to be displayed at an NPP function, be it public or private.

Indeed, we are in a contest for the people’s mandate to serve, and this certainly does not warrant such antics of abject lunatically lunatic lunacy. The contest must rather be about preferring of cogent policy alternatives, tailored to the needs of the people, delivered in simple language, and with high sense of decently decent decency.

Brazen display of total madness and notorious buffoonery has no place in civilized societies where leadership puts premium on the well-being of the masses, and responsibility in political officialdom is strictly upheld.

Ghana is not a jungle so members of Ghana’s only “CONGRESS” which incidentally means “a colony of BABOONS”, should do away with their characteristics, and learn to behave as humans.

‘Ayarigacious’ syndrome

In recent times, Hassan Ayariga has been generating a damn useless conversation with his equally useless claim that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo lives in a house built by his father so that makes him a non-achiever. And I have seen my boss Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko reacting to him. AS a matter of fact, he has publicly confessed to the fact that he is on a personal crusade to tarnish Nana Addo’s image.

But in my view, I guess the task to provide commensurate response to Hassan Ayariga should've been left to some us.

First of all, a property lawfully bequeathed to an individual, be it a child, friend, relative etc., explicitly becomes the legal property of the beneficiary. So those claiming Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo still lives in his Father's house are societal riff-raffs whose appreciation of the law is totally deficient.

Secondly, if you are not fortunate as a child and you happen to grow up having parents not blessed with the capacity to offer you a normal upbringing in a conducive environment where the basics of life are available, then, you’re likely to grow up with a complex of inferiority which makes you talk by-heart.

Thirdly, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, if he was selfish, could have simply chosen to focus his energies on his unmatched legal profession, made his money and minded his own business.

But this is a person who, inspite of all the privileges, has decided to sacrifice his entire life in the struggle to stop dictatorship, broaden the boundaries of democratic governance and ensure equity and personal liberties of all Ghanaians.

Fourthly, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as a minister of state in high capacities as Attorney General and Foreign minister, for close to 8 years, never took per-diem, drove official vehicle, drew free fuel and other juicy freebies associated with public office.

Cumilatively, he could have built over 10,000 filling stations from proceeds of these legitimate entitlements which he decided to forego. So I ask; which is patriotic and responsible; his decision to forego these entitlements or rejection of looting state coffers to pile-up ill-gotten?

Now, is Ayariga saying if his father had been hardworking, forward-looking and bequeathed a house to him, he [Ayariga] would have refused to accept and occupy it just to prove the point he is “not irresponsible”?

Would Ayariga have rejected such a gesture from his father and rather preferred living on the streets as a youngman growing up? And when Ayariga dies and bequeaths his so-called many houses to his children, would they be classified as a bunch of failures when they take occupancy?

In any case, If Nana Addo has only one house and he is content with it, does it concern anybody?

Ironically, these characters foolishly pouring scorn on Nana Addo for not dipping his hands into state coffers, amassed ill-gotten wealth and invested it in multi-billion-dollar mansions, like we are currently witnessing under the John Mahama-led government, are the very ones who turn round to praise Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah for not owning a house as a President.

Unmaterialistic Akufo-Addo

From personal experience, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the NPP Standard-bearer, wakes up in the morning, and he assists people from all walks of life, till he goes to bed at night. With the level of kindheartedness the man exhibits, is simply legendary. He is a man of substance but never prides himself in materialism.

As a matter of fact, with his unmatched successful private legal practice, coupled with two key ministerial portfolios [Foreign Affair and Attorney General] he held under the NPP administration, Nana Addo could, genuinely, have easily owned over one million houses and uncountable petrol filling stations which these social misfits, through plain-faced thievery, are now boasting of.

Indeed, in any society where truth, integrity, decency and uprightness are held in high esteem, a personality as Nana Addo would have been pleaded with to be president; but because we find ourselves in a society where these noble qualities have been supplanted by corruption, thievery, lies and unadulterated affinity for injustice which could only be motivated by nothing but wicked wizardry, this noble personality is rather being disparaged.

On the contrary, Hassan Ayariga and his cohorts who go about claiming to be men of substance, in reality, are rather shameless puppets whose mouths are firmly transfixed under the dining tables of corrupt agents of the ruling NDC socioeconomic highway hoodlums.

Indisputably, those making such injudicious pronouncements, are clearly, characters who were deprived of all the basics of life during their childhood years, and have therefore become adults with no grain of self-esteem; and they are erroneously under the illusion that they can gain some pride by groundlessly vilifying a noble, decent, selfless, kind, humble and incorruptible Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Indeed, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo could easily have been the richest Ghanaian alive, if he was avaricious, egotistic, circuitous, devious and corrupt like characters as Hassan Ayariga and his ilk. After all, why must we lose sleep over pronouncements of a fool who can be hired just to engage in fictitious coughing in public?

Newton-Offei Justice Abeeku