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Opinions of Thursday, 8 November 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Stop living in a denial: Discerning Ghanaians won’t send Mahama to Jubilee House

We cannot deny or hide the fact that the brassbound NDC loyalists have been going through a process analogous to Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief.

Indeed, we have unfortunately been witnessing unbridled reactive emotional responses from the diehard supporters of NDC ever since they lost the 2016 election to the NPP.

It is worth noting that Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross developed the grief model in the 1960s with the view to explaining the grieving process.

Suffice it to state that the grief model has since been widely utilised as a method of helping people to understand their reactions to significant change or upheaval.

Take, for instance, Dr Kubler-Ross grief model posits that a terminally ill patient would normally progress through five stages of grief when informed of their illness.

She further proposed that the model could be applied to any dramatic life changing situation such as the NDC’s 2016 humiliating election defeat and the subsequent upheaval.

The five basic stages of Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s grief are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

According to Dr Kubler-Ross, during the denial stage, individuals who are grieving over their loss are often unable or unwilling to accept that the loss has actually taken place.

In other words, the grieving individuals would feel as if they are experiencing a bad nightmare and would often hold an elusive conviction that the loss is unreal.

Dr Kubler-Ross thus explicates that when individuals who are grieving over their loss have gone through denial stage and have thus accepted that the loss has occurred may enter into the anger phase. For instance, they would become extremely angry at the loss and would thus throw tantrums to evince their pains.

In the bargaining phase, according to Dr Kubler-Ross, individuals in the grieving mood, such as the NDC supporters, would relentlessly beg their "leaders’" to do something about the defeat, saying things along the lines like, "We’ll not vote if you failed to bring “the former president” (or Mahama ) back ".

Interestingly, however, Dr Kubler-Ross asserts that once it becomes crystal-clear that anger and bargaining are not going to alter the loss, individuals grieving, like NDC faithful, may then enter into a depression stage where they come face-to-face with the reality of the loss and their own unpardonable infelicities that contributed to the loss.

During the depression stage, however, the grieving supporters may weep bitterly behind the scenes, and may experience sleep or eating habit changes, or withdraw from other relationships and activities while they process the loss they have suffered.

Some followers may also blame themselves for having caused or in some way contributed to their defeat, whether or not it is justified.

Lastly, according to Dr Kubler-Ross, individuals would enter into a stage of acceptance when they have overcome their initial grief emotions and, are able to accept that the loss has occurred after all, and cannot be undone, so once again they are able to plan for their future and re-engage in daily life or politics.

Amazingly, whilst the Mahama loyal supporters have promised to move heaven and earth to bring him back as the party’s next presidential candidate, the critics of Mahama are insisting that he was perceived as corrupt and incompetent during his time in office and must thus be replaced with an incorruptible and competent flagbearer.

In as much as the critics have a genuine concern in respect of former President Mahama’s irrevocable incompetence, the diehard supporters will somehow succeed in their quest to bring back Mahama as their flagbearer.

In any case, the vast majority of the NDC loyalists are living in a denial about former President Mahama’s much touted incompetence, and will thus choose him over any other presidential aspirant.

But the question one may ask the brassbound Mahama loyalist is: where is the justification about former President Mahama’s competence when a GH9.5 billion debt former President Kufuor left in 2009 rocketed to an incredible GH122.4 billion in just eight years with a little to show for?

How can the diehard supporters convince some of us about former President Mahama’s ability to lead Ghana again when he woefully shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion to $40 billion in five years?

How could the gleeful supporters justify former President Mahama’s suitability to lead the nation again when he abysmally dragged an economic growth of around 14 per cent in 2011 to a squeamish 3.6 per cent as of December 2016?

Apparently, President Mahama and his government’s unpardonable incompetence and corrupt practices resulted in excessive public spending, less efficient tax system , needless high public deficit and destabilization of national budgets, heightened capital flight and the creation of perverse incentives that stimulate income-seeking rather than productive activities.

On the whole, the successive NDC governments have proven to be worst economic managers who can never improve upon the socio-economic standards of living of Ghanaians.

But despite their unpardonable coarse governance which brought about their heavy defeat in the 2016 general elections, the NDC faithful hold a faint hope that they will soon unveil Mahama as their 2020 flagbearer and bounce back and recapture the power from the NPP.

Nevertheless, I, for one, do not envisage the NDC returning to power anytime soon with former President Mahama, judging from the unprecedented economic mess he left behind.

The unbridled corruption, the arrogance of power and the unobjectionable incompetence which culminated in economic hardships are still fresh in the memories of discerning Ghanaians.

Unfortunately, politics has ceased being the noble profession it used to be. Needless to stress that politics has been dominated by wolves in sheep’s clothing.

It would thus seem that the vast majority of the modern day politicians ostensible preoccupation is to manipulate their way to power and pursue their vested interests.

K. Badu, UK.

k.badu2011@gmail.com

References:

www.ekrfoundation.org/five-stages-of-grief/

grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/

Badu, K. (2017), ‘NDC’s Facts Finding Committee: Don’t Look Beyond Mahama’, (online). Available: www.ghanaweb.com

Badu, K. (2017), ‘Presentiment: NDC’s Ongoing Bickering Presages A Split Within Sixteen Months’ (online). Available: www.ghanaweb.com