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Opinions of Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Columnist: Agbenu, Charles

Mahama tribal argument is flawed and is even an insult to Asantes

President John 'Vote for me a Northener' Mahama cited ex-VEEP Aliu Mahama fate to embellish his tribally explosive point at a Lawra rally last week that NPP is Akan party thus:- "------Alhaji Aliu Mahama was VEEP under the NPP government. He served faithfully under President Kufuor and, so, when eight years was up and President Kufuor was leaving, the natural order of succession is that he should have been given the opportunity to lead that party but, 17 people contested him and defeated him.---------"

Undoubtedly, Mahama was seeing stars and sensing imminent defeat in the upcoming elections and acted childish and ignominiously desperate with that spew-out. He betrayed his understanding of the principles of democracy and also displayed his perfunctory approach to issues as well as his care-free attitude to governance despite his long spell in the game as MP, Deputy Minister, Minister, VEEP and finally as President. His thought that Aliu should have been given the opportunity is bogus in a democracy. Who should have given Aliu the opportunity and who did not give Aliu the opportunity in the democratic contest?

Of course, naïve and jealous Mahama should have been rather commending NPP for living up to their agelong democratic credentials at all costs in that contest. No wonder the NDC democratic pretenders frustrated a fellow NDC aspirant out of similar Presidential contest with Mahama early this year. Don't expect NPP to play such NDC hypocritical monkee games with democracy under any circumstances. Democracy is democracy and NPP does not need lessons from avowed democratic trickster as Mahama and his NDC pretenders.

In the Aliu contest aforesaid, is Mahama telling us that all the NPP delegates from the 3 Northern Regions voted for Aliu and that the latter was done in by the combined southern votes to warrant anti-North sentiments from Mahama and his bigots? A political science lecturer at KNUST Dr Charles Marfo rightly described the comments as ''childish and an act of desperation borne out of frustration and that President Mahama belittled himself '. He also questioned whether NDC chooses incompetence over diligence when choosing their flag bearers''.

Enter, a senior broadcast journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni in a write-up that --"''Since 1992, the NDC has been led by an Ewe from the Volta Region, a Fante from the Central Region and a Gonja from the Northern Region. But the NPP has never been led by a non-Akan, lending credence to the perception of the party as an Akan party..... '' refer http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/Manasseh-s-Folder-Mahama-isn-t-the-problem-our-hypocrisy-is-489865 . Manasseh was sort of topping up what Haruna Atta Ghana's Ambassador to Namibia said that the incumbent primary opposition leader Akufo Ado once told him that non-Akan Presidency in NPP is unlikely.

Seriously, to me, 24 years of democracy since 1992 is too short a time to make meaningful statistics of choice of Presidential/VEEP candidates and their home regions. NDC and their jealous agents somehow have been pushing the vicious agenda which by all standards is in the realm of mediocrity for ethnocentric advantage. Ghana is the poorer for such pettiness and narrow-mindedness fueled continuously by dishonest NDC.
Today I will enter the gutter with them and aver that since 1992, NDC have never fielded Asante or Akyem in their Presidential/VEEP tickets and go on to say, for that matter, NDC are anti-Asante/Akyem party. The whole argument of NPP not having been led by personalities outside Asante/Akyem is provocative. It does not make sense to me. What the advocates of that argument really mean is that Asante/Akyem must be cut off from the Presidency altogether. NDC clearly have never picked from Asante/Akyem and they agitate that NPP stop picking from Asante/Akyem. That means NDC goons want Asante /Akyem to be cut off from the Presidency altogether, dear reader.

I think it is an arrogant attack on Asantes. If NDC have been picking from all tribes including Asantes/Akim and NPP have been picking from the latter only, then the argument can be accepted that NPP pick from only that group and they should stop it. With the present case, NDC do not go to Asante/Akim to choose. At the same time, NDC dont want NPP to go there too. I think it is aggressively provocative and an insult to Asantes.
Has somebody picked on PNC who have consistently picked their candidates from the North since 1992? Annoyingly. the hypocrite, Bernard Monah of PNC does not see tribalism with his PNC who are stuck to Northern leaders but see everything wrong with NPP so- called hold by Asante/Akim.
Why are Ghanaians doing this to Asantes? Are Asantes not Ghanaians? I challenge NDC to pick an Asante as their Presidential candidate or VEEP to prove that they are not anti-Asante. I challenge also PNC and CPP who have been making similar ugly noises since independence to choose their candidates for once from Asante.

NDC think Northerners are being treated like doormats by NPP. In the same way, NPP also believe Asantes are being treated like doormats in NDC. Just tell me an Asante of clout in NDC. The Brogya Gyanfi's, Adu Boahene's, Kojo Bonsu's, Yamoah Ponko's, Ohene Agyekum's etc, all Asantes, are being used by NDC. I pity these Asantes who have been playing 2nd fiddle in NDC. Dr Agyeman Mensah the Minister of Works is an Asante token in Mahama cabinet of 19. He has no mouth. Who does not know that there is no Asante of repute in the military, Civil service, Immigration, NADMO, Police etc top echelons?

Another point is that NDC touting that they have been fielding Akans in their Presidential tickets is a hoax. The fact is that NDC have been using only Fantes since 1992 in their Presidential tickets. Let's name them, Kow Nkensen Ackaah, Atta Mills and Kwesi Amissah Arthur. They are all Fantes. Are Fantis the only Akans in Ghana to the extent that we have allowed NDC to bamboozle the electorate that they have been using Akans for 22 years in their Presidential tickets to make fun of NPP? The other Akans , namely Asantes, Akuapems, Bonos, Sefwis, Kwawus, Assins, Twifos, Akyems etc where are they in the NDC Presidential/VEEP reckonings since 1992?

I wonder why NPP/Asante/Akim should allow NDC to condescendingly play tribal cards against them. NDC are worse. All the commentaries above a clear example of Ghanaian expensive mediocrity but unfortunately fuelled by NDC vicious ethnocentric character.

Charles Agbenu