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Opinions of Monday, 11 September 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Excuse me, Ex-President Mahama, who is a real patriot?

Let us face it, though, Ex-President Mahama may have a valid point when he recently poured his heart out to Ghanaians and suggested further that Ghana lacks true patriots.

I must, therefore, confess that I could not agree more with former President Mahama on his observation on patriotism in Ghana.

That said, former President Mahama was somehow not candid enough for seeking to exonerate himself from any blame with regard to his assertion that Ghanaians do not have solicitude and affection towards Ghana.

I will dare state that Ex-President Mahama is as guilty as the people he is seeking to accuse, if his debatable posturing during his tenure in office is anything to go by.

“A patriot is a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.

“Every patriot has qualities of bravery, devotion, and honour.

“The term patriotic refers to believing strongly in one's country and defending its honour.

“Naturally, a patriot is bound to feelings of national loyalty because of an intense and passionate love of country.”

In fact, if we were to go by the preceding extant acceptations of patriotism, we can confidently and honestly declare that Ex-President Mahama’s own patriotism is questionable.

Let me however venture to state that my kind of true patriots are Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory, Dr J. B Danquah, Edward Akufo-Addo, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, Ebenezer Ako-Adjei and William Ofori-Atta of blessed memory, who worked synergistically with other level-headed colleagues to gained independence for Ghana in 1957.

Historically, the patriots were the loyalists, colonists who remained loyal to England and King George. For the patriots, there was no alternative but to gain independence from England, the Mother Country.

In that regard, they worked strenuously to bring those men who were on the fence or neutral into their brood, knowing that they needed to build a massive support base. Patriots were masters of propaganda, as they composed literature to spread the cause of American nationalism.

Take, for example, Thomas Paine, a patriot and writer, shared the sentiment of his fellow man in a famous pamphlet called 'Common Sense.' His words echoed, 'These are the times that try men's souls,' and helped to incite the people's spirit against England.

Similarly, there were many great patriot leaders following the French and Indian War and leading up to the Revolutionary War because of the constant tensions between the colonists and British soldiers.

One such patriot was General George Washington, Commander-in-Chief. He led the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, which consisted of a patriotic crew of soldiers from all the colonies.

Apparently, Washington's bravery and ingenuity on the battlefield roused support from them, and they elected him the first President of the United States (Source: study.com).

Well, let us even agree with Ex-President Mahama that Ghana lacks true patriots. And, what exactly did he (Mahama) do to instil patriotism into the minds of Ghanaians when he was in charge of affairs?

After all, visionary leaders act as role models, motivate, provide meaning, optimism, enthusiasm, strategic thinking and stimulate the intelligence of their subordinates (Bass, 1985).

And more so a true leader influences our lives and always comes up with pragmatic ideas with a view to changing or transforming the lives of his/her subordinates.

And why must former President Mahama think that every single Ghanaian was oblivious to the happenings in the country when he was in power?

Let us be honest, there is nothing patriotic about former President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks conduct when a staggering GH51.2 million of Ghana’s money was doled out to Woyome for no work done.

How can you exonerate yourself from blame when the country’s scarce resources were capriciously and wilfully wasted under your watch?

Where is the patriotism when you allegedly gave two four wheel drive cars and a luxury bungalow (estimated to cost a staggering $470,000) to Madam Akua Donkor of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) for no work done, whilst other Ghanaians struggled to feed their families?

In fact, no one can convince me that the conspiratorial plotters who were involved in the scandals I have gloomily delineated below are true patriots than anyone else in Ghana:

• A supposedly patriot received a furtive gift of Ford Expedition Vehicle from a Burkinabe contractor without disclosure

• The dubious Embraer 190 aircrafts deal which prompted former President Mills to set up a Committee to investigate the then Vice President Mahama.

• The $200 million bill we incurred on the unsuccessful STS housing deal which was spearheaded by the then Vice President John Dramani Mahama.

• The bizarre GH800 million judgement debt payments over the last eight years.

• The inexplicable $30 million judgement debt payment to Waterville which the Supreme Court of Ghana ruled as unconstitutional and ordered the NDC government to retrieve, but to no avail.

• The wrongful $25 million judgement debt payment to ISOFOTON, which the NDC government has failed to retrieve despite the Supreme Court’s order.

• The scandal (create, loot and share) at the National Service Secretariat which cost Ghana millions of Ghana Cedis.

• The SADA scandal which deprived the people of the Northern Region millions of Cedis meant for development.

• The SUBA scandal which cost Ghana millions of Cedis meant for the improvement of the economy.

• The GYEEDA corruption scandal which deprived the youth of Ghana millions of Cedis meant for the creation of jobs.

• The amount of $250 million from the Euro bond which was meant for infrastructural development but lodged surreptitiously in an unauthorised bank account.

• The inflated costs of infrastructural projects (the former Minister for Local Government, Collins Dauda raised concerns).

• The infamous bus branding which cost Ghana millions of cedis meant for development.

If there was any sense of patriotism amongst former President Mahama and his appointees, how could they connive and surreptitiously import about 43 vehicles at a staggering cost of $9 million at the blind side of the incoming NPP administration?

If those cabals are not unpatriotic and insensitive to the plight of the impoverished Ghanaians, how come they conspired and paid dubious judgement debts to a tune of GH800 million to the detriment of the poor Ghanaians?

If they are morally upright and patriotic, how come they created loot and shared all the monies belonging to GYEEDA and SADA, which were meant to transform the lives of the needy in society?

Where is the patriotism when they squandered funds meant to transform the lives of the penniless in society through cloudy deals such as the Brazil World Cup, the infamous bus branding, SUBA among others?

You are indeed on point Ex-President Mahama; the word patriotism is not part and parcel of many Ghanaians day-to-day living activities. Disappointingly, though, some people rather prefer to preach patriotism and practise vice.

K. Badu, UK.