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Opinions of Saturday, 5 December 2015

Columnist: Appiah, Papa

Election 2016- We Can't Reward Failure

One rabbit joke of a presidency is enough for the long-suffering Ghanaian. We no longer have the energy to laugh. President John Mahama lists among the reasons for his abject failure, the eight month election petition, that kept the nation in suspense. One would have thought, that those eight months would have been an opportunity for him to have demonstrated to Ghanaians what he could do, just in case a new election was ordered by the Supreme Court. I do remember, that months after the petition was done and the results certified, our president was still going round the country, visiting churches and mosques, in a never-ending "thank you" tour. That was when I knew we were in trouble.

Good presidents hit the ground running and make an impact instantly. General Buhari has shown the way to do it. President Magufuli of Tanzania is only a month in his post, and yet the world is talking about him. We have a president who thinks "the mark of a competent leader is the ability to keep people together", including of course, shady characters reshuffled to positions at the presidency when they should probably be in jail. And when the going gets tough, we have a president who continually attempts to extricate himself from the web with a joke or two - a homely, clowning, yes-sir-bossing kind of president. Ghana can no longer afford that. "The day of the geechi is gone".(Apologies -A Soldier's Story).

Little things tell a big story. I still remember our president rushing to ceremoniously open one section of the Bui dam when the whole dam was not going to be completed for a few months yet and a proper opening ceremony was scheduled when President Kuffour, the man who actually initiated the project, was going to be present. I still remember our president posing in front of CNN as if on holiday, to have his picture taken. I promise you, he did look then like a president who was going to pay millions of dollars for guinea fowls which would fly to Burkina Faso. And one who was going to oversee a reafforestation programme where not a single tree survived, despite the injection of millions of dollars. He did not disappoint.

As I write, Woyome has not paid a single penny of the 52 million dollars created, looted and shared with accomplices in the government. And if President Rawlings is to be believed, these accomplices are parading the corridors of power, having worked themselves into positions in the NDC, to enjoy the protection the umbrella provides for corrupt officials. The National Health Insurance Scheme is crumbling, the potentially middle-income country Kuffour left is back to the IMF. Agriculture is struggling.

Beware of any promises President Mahama gives, especially when he strikes his chest while giving it. It is a sign, I have learnt, that it's just another joke. Actually, I think sod-cutting ceremonies should be banned in Ghana. The president, if he is not busy, can make an appearance when the project is completely done. There are too many sods cut, and nothing done or projects abandoned. By the way, what happened to Hope City? I never thought I'd ever say this, but Bawumiah has been right all along, we have one incompetent dude as president of Kwame Nkrumah's Ghana.

So come 2016, we have a choice between a proven incompetent president and Nana Akuffo Addo. Believe me, Nana is one of the worse politicians I know. He is old, he is short, he lacks charisma and has the tendency to put his foot in by saying the wrong things at the wrong time. But whether he will be a good president or not, we do not know. One may need to be a good politician to win an election, but not necessarily to run a country. As a floating voter therefore, rather than rewarding incompetence, I'll vote for Nana Addo and boot out the buffoon - one less joker for the country to be ashamed of.

Papa Appiah
Byhisglory2014@yahoo.co.uk