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Opinions of Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Columnist: Boakye, Gilbert

RE: Nana Addo’s “Goodwill” Message Is Mischievous

RE: Nana Addo’s “Goodwill” Message Is Mischievous And Calculated To Achieve

A Diabolical Dent - Pratt

I have monitored with keen interest, the unfortunate twist being put on the farewell message sent by the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party to the President of the Republic, President Atta Mills.

Let me begin by stating that, I am appalled by the unfortunate remarks certain persons in the country who have for so long carried themselves as all knowing and as such some level of intellect, decorum and responsibility is expected of them.

I read a statement attributed to Kwesi Pratt and as usual of him he was at his hypocritical best. His hypocrisy does not really surprise me. But I am shocked that a man referred to as a senior journalist who should be elevating our political discourse through his actions and inactions could be pushed to make such reckless remarks with no sense of circumspection. As a Ghanaian I felt really proud that regardless of the political difference between the two old friends, Nana Addo and President Mills, the Leader of the opposition deemed it necessary to send a farewell message to the President. Honestly I saw that as a move that brings a sense of unity and oneness to some grass root members of both political parties who sometimes see themselves as political enemies seeking the downfall of one another.

It is interesting to note that these same persons who raise trivialities that continue to divide us along partisan lines walk into the media with the other side of their face to accuse persons of doing politics with every issue in the country.

For heaven’s sake! Where on earth and in what serious country will a farewell message be taken as a mischievous piece aimed at propaganda? If not one in which we have a Pratt!

In reading excerpts of his interview, Pratt admonished that the farewell message of Nana Addo should be read very carefully and proceeded to make an argument that appears to be driven by his affection for pettiness. Below are excerpts of Nana Addo’s farewell message and the speech of President Mills at the airport “…we have “learnt last night [Sunday] from President Atta Mills that he was on his way to the United States to see doctors for medical treatment……He [Mills] takes with him the thoughts and prayers of all Ghanaians who wish him good health and a safe return to duty in a few days… I hope the checks go well and he comes back fit and strong” - Nana Addo.

“What I have decided to do is to go for medical check-up. So I’m going for a few days and then come back. I’m able to sit down with the doctors and talk about things. Of course, there are all kinds of certain things which I believe I can strengthen myself for” - President Mills.

With the dullest of minds, it is clear that the phrase “a few days” emanated from the speech of President Mills but yet as cheap as people can be they expose their level of infantilism on radio making ugly noises and alluding to the use of “few days” as a trap. Is Kwesi Pratt therefore telling us the President set a “trap” to catch himself? Guff’s such as this can only be made by people with jaundiced eyes and clouded judgements who rush to score cheap political points and thence end up talking cheaply before thinking strategically.

In any case, how long is a medical check-up supposed to last? A month? Two months? or a year?

Driven by his unquenched appetite for mischief and cheap talk, Kwesi Pratt averts to the use of treatment by Nana Addo as an attempt toenforce a rumour that the president is sick. Again in that same statement anyone who appreciates words and their use will realise that treatment and check-up are used interchangeably in the statement with no diabolic intent what so ever, in any case, why Nana Addo should use a farewell message as an avenue to enforce a perception that has been given enough credence by good standing members of the NDC. Is anybody for a moment suggesting that the President has not undergone any treatment since he came into office? Is that what we are being told? It’s difficult to really understand why Kwesi Pratt could sink this low. But he explains it all by claiming in the unfortunate event of the President’sdemise, the NDC stands to benefit because it will draw votes of sympathy. My God! How on earth can Kwesi Pratt say that Ghanaians are going to abandon issues of education, health, water, security, corruption and all the basic necessities of life to vote for a person because the president passed away?

I am certain beyond reasonable doubt that the outcome of the elections will be determined by the basic necessities of life, and not trivialities driven by people’s desperation to stay on the payroll of their masters. If Kwesi Prat had claimed the much touted achievements will give the NDC a second term in an unfortunate event of the president’s demise, it would have sounded more matured than seeking refuge in votes of sympathy. No wonder this whole facade is calculated at the sympathy of Ghanaians.

To conclude, I should say it wasn’t necessary for the president to have used his last minutes before his travel in responding to rumours. We are in a country where communal violence and assassination attempts has marred the security in the country for more than two weeks and as such his last words to the country should have been a responsible appeal for calm and peace till he returns. But as usual of him, he made a move aimed at winning sympathy and cheap populism.

Boakye Gilbert

Member, TESCON-KNUST Communication Team 0248363283