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Opinions of Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Columnist: Daily Statesman

Mahama's shameful tribal campaign must be condemned

Bereft of solid campaign message to win the hearts of the electorate, President Mahama has decided to engage in petty, dirty, tribal campaign, especially among the people of the North, after creating the opportunity for his family and friends to steal funds meant to promote their well-being.

But what is clear is that President Mahama is pursuing the Northern agenda for his personal gains. He cares not about the severe socio-economic plight of the Northerner, and the evidence is clear on the ground.

Paralyzed with the premonition of his demise as far as the upcoming elections are concerned, Mr Mahama is engaging in a type of campaign which defies logic, and virtually reduces him to the level of a typical NDC serial caller or footsoldier.

His latest rendition of attacks on Mahamudu Bawumia, NPP running mate, baffles all Ghanaians who are clothed with decency. For a president to descend into the gutter to speak like a footsoldier is tragically paradoxical. Mr Mahama has become too pedestrian with his politicking to deserve another term of office.

Having exhausted all the arsenals coined and saved for the ultimate ‘benefit’ of Dr. Bawumia, who has become more than a thorn in his flesh, Mr Mahama now makes the most weird, unreliable and politically infantile claim that the NPP would use and dump Dr Bawumia eventually.

According to President Mahama, therefore, the good people of the North should vote for him not because he has promoted their well-being, but because the NPP will now allow Dr Bawumia to run on its ticket for the presidency because they did same to the late Aliu Mahama.

This comment could only have been generated from a feeble mind, and we at the Daily Statesman never felt the leader of Ghana could think that way, and go to the extent of inviting others to think same.

The NPP has always used democratic means to elect it Presidential Candidates since its inception in 1992, and the decision of the delegates has always prevailed. Where therefore lies the sagacity in the president’s claim that the party did not allow the late Aliu Mahama to become the president?

We are challenging the president to come out now to declare his Vice President, Paa Kwesi Amissah Authur, the automatic NDC Presidential Candidate for the 2020 elections, and tell all his party members to accept it, if he wants to be seen as a person with any modicum of sincerity in his genes.

President Mahama has failed woefully to deliver opportunities to the people of the North. These people he claims as his own are wallowing in acute poverty; they are helpless. And the worst of it all is that an initiative such as SADA that was supposed to be used to promote their well-being was used as a conduit by President Mahama and his family and friends to amass wealth.

And now they want these same people they have consigned to abject poverty to give them another mandate so that they can enjoy their ill-gotten wealth in comfort. Mr President, this won’t happen because the people won’t allow you to take them for fools again. They are paying you back according to your lack of care for their well-being.

Now, unlike Mr Mahama who is asking the people of Northern Ghana to vote for him because he is from the North, Nana Akufo-Addo, during his tour of the Eastern region, which is his home region, asked the people, particularly his own Akyem tribesmen, to vote for him note because he is one of them, but because he has "better policies and programmes to positively transform the lives of all Ghanaians".

"Mr. President, please campaign on your record in government and stop the tribal politics. That's bad leadership," Nana Akufo-Addo challenged the president while addressing a rally at Akim-Oda.

Indeed, the good people of the north are not stooges. They will vote for a party whose policies will address their demeaning status. Nana Akufo-Addo's Northern Development Authority will not be like the corrupt smokescreen called SADA.

Ghana is a unitary state where resources are to be equitably distributed, and political leadership must be obtained solely on merit and not through senseless divisive bigotry.

The Daily Statesman therefore wish to encourage our brothers and sisters in the north to rise and demand absolute discontinuation of Mr Mahama's divisive, shameful, childish and dangerous northern rhetoric which has no place in modern day politics among any decent group of people.