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Opinions of Friday, 20 November 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide

President Mahama: Tirades without grace

Opinion Opinion

In the past few days President John Mahama has reacted rather angrily to the many charges of incompetence levelled against his government.

While he has the option to respond or not to such legitimate concerns raised by his compatriots whose mandate he has to manage their resources for maximum returns, such would be better without the generous application of innuendos, sarcasm and veiled insults as he did.

We are unable to tell whether this is going to be the cornerstone of his election 2016 campaign. We do pray though that last Monday’s and the previous one in Tamale would be unlike the preceding campaigns he is sure going to undertake repeatedly countrywide to convince Ghanaians that he is not incompetent as his opponents want them to believe.

It is for a purpose that persons who hold important positions such as he is privileged to be holding should not be reckless in their communications – verbal or written – with the people. Indeed diplomacy is not restricted to the realm of international affairs but in every communication involving dignitaries such as presidents, their assigns and the people.

When the foregone is breached, the president opens his underbelly for inappropriate attacks by the citizenry, thereby bringing the high office of the president into disrepute.

It was not surprising therefore that no sooner had he ended his tirades than Ghanaians commenced a regrettable spree of insults against not only his office, but his person, which we found avoidable and regrettable.

His reference to “useless criticisms” was unnecessary and not commensurate with the office of the president.

Even if Goebbels theory of repeated lies against one’s opponent would eventually be etched in the minds of the people as he pointed out, it is our position that the Nazi propaganda expert’s belief notwithstanding, the truth shall always be out, standing stronger than the mendacious remarks and statements put out by those paid to disseminate such lies to prop their paymasters.

We did not know, until the past few days, that the president is pained at such criticisms of his government. We thought that being a man ostensibly wielding a respectable level of communication skills, he would appreciate the importance of the criticisms from the recipients of the outcome of his policies – the people of Ghana.

Former Presidents Jerry Rawlings and Kufuor, unfortunately, are not the best persons to criticise government policies and performance – the two persons who by virtue of their exalted positions are unable to feel the heat in the kitchen as much as the ordinary Ghanaian does.

The temperature of the political space was overheated following the president’s ungraceful performance. It left many wondering what had pushed him to the brink – many who know him noticing a sudden change in his management of the pressure of the high office. No wonder many of such persons pointed at glaring symptoms of frustration.

Former President Kufuor appears to have found a place in the heart of the man whose criticisms of his (Kufuor’s) stewardship were so abrasive and polemic that they made headlines for newspapers at a time when he had never been a Number One Citizen. We shall return.