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Opinions of Friday, 3 November 2017

Columnist: Iddrisu Abdul Hakeem

It is unfair to blame Akufo-Addo for the unconstitutional activities of vigilante groups

In the supreme court of the hawks, the chicken is never declared innocent! Political detractors of President Akufo-Addo can do their worst to smear his image with regards to matters of Vigilantism in a country he's blissfully leading. That does not take away his legacy as a Lawyer and most successful politician.

After personally reading few pages of His Excellency the president’s biography, and autobiography of Nelson Mandela in his long walk to freedom, and considering his sense of humility exhibited as a “first son” or rather prince of Ghana that grew up in a lab of luxury, and juxtaposing that with the octopus of hardship Nelson Mandela went through growing up, I concluded that President Akufo-Addo is going to be Ghana’s most charismatic, influential, and perhaps most successful president in the annals of our history.

But when the long mouth of the dog is insulted, as our elders say, the crocodile in the pond is affected. Nevertheless, this could be a totally different scenario altogether. The insult of the dog would not have had any effects on the crocodile if it didn’t exist at all.

As Buddha says: three things cannot long be hidden; the sun, the moon, and the truth!

If there is any old and biggest political grandfather in this country who has received invectives hurled at him in our Ghanaian political parlance, it is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who has been politically damaged beyond repairs.

But the truth of his real self has exonerated him after becoming the president. Ten months after assuming power, we have not witnessed or heard someone loses his head masterminded by President Akufo-Addo.

I stumbled upon a tweet released by former President Mahama in which he was sort of “mocking” the NPP, asking them to “drink from their poisoned calabash of wine” for the “sorrow seeds sown” while in opposition when they recruited the famous “Forces” that constitute affable young and energetic men, who, in my view, exist for purposes of defending the integrity, values, ideals, and policies of the New Patriotic Party.

Ex-president Mahama might have forgotten about a similar group that calls itself “Bring Back NDC” (BBN) in the NDC that recently used a huge verbal hammer on him in a lengthy write-up in which they described him as an electoral liability for the 2020 general election. Of cause, this is how Vigilantism starts among party faithful. They issue out warnings first, and later take action! BBN group in the NDC are likely to show muscles by attempting to lock up the NDC’s headquarters and other offices, should, perhaps, Ex-president Mahama is endorsed to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC)!

So political thugs or Vigilante groups exist in every political party whose aims are not to disgrace and betray the party’s principles but for its protection and seeking justice among members.

We must, however, not link their activities to the leaders of their political parties especially if the attacks are from within. Nobody wants bloody nose for a political party they laboured for to come to power. The Vigilante Groups’ activities as many claims, are threats to National peace, is quite hyperbolic. How can a household’s fight generate war among surrounding neighbours? No matter the unquenchable appetite for proxy battles, no levelheaded person would take up arms just because others are fighting in their home. Ghanaians, therefore, have nothing to worry about. They should have only worried about their activities if they were attacking political opponents.

Be it as it may, the calculated attempt by some Ghanaians with “depleted integrity” I suppose, to besmirch the name of the president with the current violence, and seeking to link him to the activities of the Delta and whatever Forces, is the greatest form of the miscarriage of justice.

The political records and legacies amassed over the years by His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in more than four decades in frontline politics through his matchless, peerless and diligent service to this country must not be soiled with our long practised gutter political system.

That would be unfair and injustice.

Let’s have mercy and regard, for once, on this our only Savior and “Messiah of leadership” God Almighty has sent Ghanaians, to deliver us from the unpardonable political maladies, the many years of economic quagmires and tatters, parastatals corruption and mismanagements, and the numerous social woes and abominations we have suffered over the years as a people.

The president, indisputably, is a harbinger of democracy in the democratic world having chalked chunk of successes and monumental achievements by contributing significantly to the growth of our most misunderstood and immature democracy with a morally-ambivalent political ambience.

Clearly, his burning desire to become the president of the republic which was misinterpreted as an obvious demand to engage in political witch-hunting was never borne out of avarice as many of his political predators wanted unsuspecting Ghanaians to believe in the build-up to the various elections he partook in as a flagbearer. Rather, it was a quest to fulfil a legacy that had been bequeathed to him from his political ancestors especially his father Edward Akufo-Addo, and grand uncle, J.B Danquah.

The president championed the course of human rights, Justice, freedom, rule of law, and was well known for his free legal aid to the needy in his halcyon days as a veteran Lawyer. Akufo-Addo as an Attorney General repealed the Criminal Libel Law to add more spice to our freedom of speech, and to unlock and remove the manacles and shackles of the media intimidation! His constitutional achievements can’t all be mentioned here. He did it for Ghanaians, and it would be a betrayal of truth and history, an insult to common sense and intelligence to say that this same man who laboured for the attainment of these democratic credentials as a minister of Justice would now condone its opposite as a president.

It would simply be Judas on the part of any Ghanaian to see the president as a warmonger just because of the activities of some party foot soldiers who are seeking for the right thing to be done in their party.

Once more, it is unfair and injustice at its zenith for anybody to link the president to the vandalism that has been staged by the able men of the party who toiled and supported in diverse ways to bring the party to political Grace. And those “political Pharisees” who indulge in this linkage should get patriotic.

Ghanaians should know that these young men of the NPP are not “programmed robots”, where the president can sit at the Flagstaff House to remote control them. These are dyed-in-the-wool party supporters comprising of young men and women who hate to see the name of the party being brought into disrepute, and all efforts must be made to bring wayward members to book and undeserving office holders mistakenly appointed by the president must be named and shamed!

In a multiparty democratic constitutional or republican dispensation like ours, we can agree to disagree on several platforms but let no right-thinking Ghanaian vilify a president with the above democratic achievements with a non-issue like vigilantism.

President Akufo-Addo is not violent, has never been violent nor vengeful as he was being smeared. And citizens with Ghana at heart must not denigrate our “visible symbol” in the eyes of observing world with wicked and dangerous propaganda.

Benjamin Franklin once observed that “guests are like fish, they rot after three days.” Many, though, believe the president is still under the ecstasy of electoral victory and that, he would soon assume his own character as a “political terrorist” when the electoral victory’s euphoria subsides, even as he was quite categorical with his “biting remarks” of disappointment and condemnation of the issue as “acts of cowardice” in his State of the Nation’s address earlier this year.

Of cause, Canteen or stomach politicians might be behind all this mayhem, misdirecting and misleading the president’s hiring power in matters of appointment. But the youth should practice patience for the sake of the good reputation of the president. After all, doesn’t the Bhagwad Gita teaches that “Hell has three GATES: Lust, ANGER, and GREED? They (Delta and all the Forces of the party) should allow cool heads to prevail and allow the “cold-blooded” old man to enjoy his presidency as the greatest servant of our land!

Though their activities are not that alien to our political system, they are very normal things any political party would do, be it the Democrats in USA or the Labour party in UK, what is important is to do it within parameters.

Let’s get serious as a country. Let’s stop the vilification of our leaders for political cheap points!

Long Live President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,

Long live Ghanaian politics,

And long live us all!