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Opinions of Sunday, 2 June 2019

Columnist: K. Badu, UK

Pardon me, Sir, putting Mahama and Anas in one basket is extremely problematic

John Mahama, former president Ghana John Mahama, former president Ghana

I must confess, I don't normally come out of my comfort zone and offer a brief annotation on a fellow columnist’s feature article.

But on this occasion, it has become necessary to pop out of my snug haven and confute an opinion piece by a certain prolific writer, whose article captioned, ‘The profound qualities of Mahama and Anas’ appeared on on 30th May 2019.

In order not to proceed garrulously and thereby putting off my dearest readers, I would be most obliged to outline the gist of the author’s prolixity.

The crux of the author’s argument is that, both Mahama and Anas are being vilified persistently, albeit needlessly by obdurate sceptics, despite their immense efforts in the nation building.

The author, however, notes that in spite of the ‘unwarranted’ attacks on the aforementioned gentlemen, they are keeping everything to their chests and hitting the ground running.

The columnist thus concludes somewhat confidently that Mahama and Anas’s have unparalleled qualities which keep them going regardless.

According to the author, “Mahama’s efforts provided Ghanaians some few developments, such as the Circle and Kasoa overhead bridges, schools, hospitals, to mention but a few, however, despite all what he did and his splendid humble character, the NDC party lost the 2016 elections and Nana Akufo Addo of the NPP became the new Ghanaian leader.”

Well, I do not intend to be condescending, far from it. But if governance is all about putting up infrastructural projects, then I will dare state that even my unlettered and untrained mother would perform exceedingly better than what the outgone Mahama government achieved with all the copious resources at their disposal.

Besides, since discerning Ghanaians are obliged to pay taxes, it would be boundlessly unconscionable for any government and its teeming supporters to hide behind social amenities and infrastructural projects such as public toilets, schools, roads, water, electricity, amongst others. After all, to whom much is given, much is expected.

After all, wasn’t Ex-President Mahama who asserted in somewhere 2008 that it would be an exercise in mediocrity for any government to take delight in infrastructural projects? Apparently, Ex-President Mahama meant to suggest that every incompetent government could easily undertake that role of governance.

By inference, according to former President Mahama, the erection of infrastructural projects is as easy as reciting ‘ABCD’.

Frankly stating, Ex-President Mahama and his teeming supporters are refusing to appreciate the fact that exemplary governance is not all about putting up numerous infrastructural projects.

It is, therefore, worth stressing that excellence governance goes beyond the provision of social infrastructural and amenities.

In fact, praiseworthy governance also involves continuous improvement of socio-economic standards of living.

Suffice it to state that the erstwhile Mahama administration failed wilfully to improve on the standards of living of Ghanaians, which partly accounted for their humiliating 2016 election defeat.

No offence intended, though, Madam Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) could put up more infrastructural projects if given the opportunity.

The columnist asserts: “Both the former Ghanaian leader, John Mahama and the investigative journalist, Anas, have had their share of media praises and humiliation, yet, there are certain qualities in them many will pretend they don’t know or see because the opposition in politics means greed and hate in Africa.”

Well, I would like to believe that the author is not suggesting for a minute that since the aforesaid gentlemen ‘possess unmatched’ qualities, they are above reproach.

So is the columnist saying that Mahama and Anas are not descendants of Adam, and therefore do not have any sin?

Let us be honest, in so far as Mahama and Anas may be excelling in the eyes of their brassbound admirers, they remain imperfect human beings and are susceptible to human foibles.

The author writes: “Frankly speaking, in my life, I have never seen such gentle people like Anas and Mahama. How on earth the two have been able to handle these insults and accusations without raising their voice is something that baffles me.”

With all due respect, it is far-fetched for the columnist to conclude that Mahama and Anas have kept mute over the alleged attacks and accusations.

If anything at all, we are well aware that Anas is in court with a Member of Parliament over a defamation case.

So, it is never true that Anas has kept mute over all the allegations being levelled against him.

And, Mahama has never buttoned his lip over the incompetence and corruption descriptive label.

Wasn’t the ‘patient and humble’ Mahama who lividly told Dr Bawumia, the NPP’s presidential running mate for 2016 general elections and now the vice president of Ghana to shut up and cease criticising him (Mahama) because he (Bawumia) had not been a president before?

Believe it or not, it is well-stencilled that during his tenure in office, whenever the suffering Ghanaians complained about the economic hardships, former President Mahama and his vociferous communicators would ungraciously chastise the same people who gave them the electoral mandate.

Take, for example, Ex-President Mahama was reported to have told the people of Ashanti Region that they are ungrateful and would never be appreciative even if all their roads are constructed with gold’.

I will, therefore, end by reiterating that, ‘all that glitters is not gold’.

K. Badu, UK.