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Opinions of Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Columnist: Ayeboafo, Yaw Awuah Boadu

Is President Mahama a rogue? (1)

By Ayeboafo, Yaw Awuah Boadu

Rogue variously describes “a man who is dishonest or immoral, a man who causes trouble in a playful way, a scoundrel, a mischievous person and a horse inclined to shirk or misbehave”.

Observing the man over the years; his political rhetoric, reading his book my First Coup D’etat, his public policy choices, strategy and the numerous alleged corrupt practices against his administration, one increasingly gets convinced, president Mahama fits the description. The roguish Mahama question will be exposed in couple of articles over the weeks.

As a rogue leader he sets unpopular example by pardoning the montie trio against all odds. He goes down in our history as the first president who invoked his prerogative of mercy to spite and hurt the feelings of so many Ghanaians.

Many presidents including Mahama have used their pardon power in the past to show the Ghanaian sympathy and kindness but not as a power to spite and arouse partisan considerations. None of the pardons before his recent raised public concerns, disgust and rebuke. There seems little doubt regarding the constitutionality of the pardon granted by the president.

However, did the president exercise his power in a manner that upheld the spirit and morality behind presidential pardons and the expectations Ghanaians have of their presidents in exercising such power? The answer seems resounding “NO” given the public outcry and outrage.

The deliberate and reckless manner the montie trio subjected the judiciary to scorn, disrespect, and public ridicule was alarming, threatening and offended not only the independence of the judiciary but our basic values as a nation and no wonder there was huge public outcry and rebuke against the president not to grant the pardon.

Yet, the rogue we’ve, stampeded by partisan influence and consideration shirked his responsibility to the nation and pardoned the trio to spite the judiciary and majority of Ghanaians with the exception of NDC members and few Ghanaian lawyers whose justification for the pardon seems different from the real motivation of the president-Thou shall not touch my boys.

Indeed, the argument that the trio regrets their misdeeds and deserve the pardon cannot be proper given the fact that many convicts regrets their crimes barely 24hours after their imprisonment but do not receive presidential pardons because they do not have the voice or political influence to reach the president.

If regret was the basis but not partisan politics, then the president should as well be fair by freeing all prisoners rotting in our jails because they have long regretted their misdeeds.

Let us have the guts to describe this pardon as what is-a partisan pardon by a rogue president to incite foolhardy support and enthusiasm of its base prior to the election in December as part of his rogue strategy to win.

Let us rise up to vote against president Mahama for his rogue strategies and policies plunging our nation over the years. Ghana cannot endure four more years of president Mahama and NDC.