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Opinions of Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Columnist: Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby

Now that the comedies are over…

Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby

Against all the odds and dire predictions, the Electoral Commission of Ghana has produced the list of persons who registered with NHIA cards for the Biometric Voters register used for the 2012 general Elections.

Contrary to the wild and unsubstantiated estimates, the total turns out to be less than 50,000 out of a total of over 14,000,000 on the roll. Deleting and re-registering those affected can easily be accommodated within the now extended exhibition period planned to begin within the next three weeks.

Thus we have come to the end of the “comedies” for Election 2016, and we should all perk up, get our popcorn and soda, and settle down comfortably to take in the main feature film, titled “Wooing Ghanaians to vote for me as President on November 7 2016; starring John Dramani Mahama & Nana Akufo-Addo, plus a host of supporting B movie stars.

At long last, the attempts by the NPP and its misguided ventriloquists to impose a specific process for establishing the credibility of the electoral roll we will use for the forthcoming election has run its long and tortuous course, finally stuck in sand on a dead end alley. The mantra, Validation by any possible means: fair or foul” is now beached on the sands of dead end pier.

It is time to put the shattered vehicle into reverse gear, find the tarmac road and follow the EC’s road map and drive ahead as possible to the finishing line that is-but barely five months away.

Both of the leading men and their numerous supporting cast in the upcoming race have a lot to do to learn and deliver very convincing lines to we the people of Ghana, so we can rate their “last show” performance as deserving of the best actor Oscar trophy called the Presidency of the Republic of Ghana.

For now, the odds may appear to be favouring the man showing his trailer, “Accounting to the People” from the back of an information service van now doing a tour of the regions. However as we film buffs learnt from our unauthorised tutelage at Kumasi “Ocancil”, we should never discount the eternal cinema lesson of “Jack bewu lass show” Let me now try my hand at writing the screenplay and the potential winning lines for the two stars, starting with the challenger Nana Akufo Addo before tackling those for the man who is already miming his lines on the road show, John Dramani Mahama.

First and foremost, Nana Akufo-Addo and his supporting cast must apologise unreservedly to the women of Ghana, for the comments made by one his honourables, and generally for the misogynistic behaviour of the New Patriotic Party attitude and shameful disregard towards more than 50% of potential voters.

For me, no serious candidate for the office of the President of Ghana can or must tolerate the absurd notion that our women can only get to the top of the ladder of achievement when they offer their bodies as inducements.

The words spoken by Mark Anthony in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceaser are very apt for the Nana Addo & the NPP to imbibe: “O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts, and men have lost their reason. Bear with me. My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, and I must pause till it come back to me.”

My brother, this is the time for you to demonstrate statesmanship political savvies and sense of purpose by not allowing the manufactured, baseless and frenzied hatred of Charlotte Osei, to impair your judgment and allow your colleagues who have clearly demonstrated their loss of reasoning to put the majority of voters off the idea of voting for you.

In twi, the NPP’s lingua franca, “ Ma momfa wansena ho abofuo, ma mo nbere mo kuro” (to wit, Don’t allow your hatred of Charlotte Osei to destroy your appeal to the majority of the voting public.)

The NPP does not need its own American experience here. There the presumptive Presidential Candidate for the “Osono” Party, Donald J. Trump, has an unfavorable rating of over 70% among women who have also indicated that they are unlikely to vote for him. As a distinguished scholar supposedly leading a bunch of capable “men”, I need not remind you of the well worn quote: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.

Make haste quickly to nip this perception of you and your party that you are scornful of our women. As it is said also “one swallow does not a summer make”. My advice is to smite this defective swallow down now, or forget the dreams of a long and rosy summer.

For the other leading actor, your lines must be clear and focused. You and your supporting actors are coming to the end of an eight year career in the Ghana movie.

So you need to remember that the part of the audience who do not fawn on you irrespective, but are in to be persuaded by your demonstrated talent and its effects, will not take lightly to you offering promise of “happy ever after” for a future time when your acting career will have been long over and your movies will now be playing as “comedies”.

We the undulating audience will largely judge you on the effects of your past performances, especially those that made us cry in deep disappointment or inspired by the reality of your words and promises to moving our personal condition from Maslow’s Basic needs towards the top of the pyramid self actualisation mode.

Thus you will need to show us how the bricks and mortars; paved roads, shining overhead bridges etc. have Impacted positively on improving the quality of our individual and collective lives over the road traveled for the past 8 years.

It is people who will cast their votes on November 7. They will not do so on manufactured or paper statistics of jobs. Therefore, they will regard as cynical the state of shiny new school blocks in a milieu of long unemployed teachers; shiny new hospitals when qualified nurses have been without jobs for 3 years, branded shiny buses when the people are so poor they can neither afford the fare or be tempted to go spend their inadequate income on expensive basic services.

Whether Jack will die at the end, bad be replaced by the co-star is a judgement waiting for the “lass show” when the audience will be swelled by the “free show” hordes of undecided voters whose vote will count for the same value as the vote for those of us who either paid for expensive tickets or enjoyed VIP treatment on account of our unalloyed and jaundiced adoration of the two leading Men.

Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby is a 2000 Presidential Candidate and Chief Policy Analyst for Ghana Institute of Public Policy Options (GIPPO)