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Opinions of Monday, 4 February 2013

Columnist: Asantewaah, Abena

The Boomerang of Politics of Propaganda and Lies

The Boomerang of Politics of Propaganda and Lies; The Nana Oye-gate

Some of our politicians have a tendency to use propaganda and lies to undermine their opponents when running for office. Many can recall how politicians of the two leading parties (NPP and the NDC) made allegations against each other, some of which were clearly below the belt.

In particular, the NDC did everything to undermine, demonise and lie against the presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo. It appears that the propaganda was successful, assuming that the Electoral Commissioner declaration of John Mahama as the winner of the presidential election is valid. Without prejudice to the outcome, the NDC engaged largely in character assassination of Nana Akufo-Addo and largely ignored the issues important to the electorate.

While the NDC demonized Nana Akufo Addo, the party marketed Prof. Atta-Mills and John Mahama, their presidential candidates in the 2008 and 2012 general elections, as the most God-fearing politicians that have ever lived on this planet. Atta-Mills was even compared to Jesus, the Prince of Peace (akan: 'Asomdwe Hene'), because of his 'humility' and 'peaceful' nature. Ghanaians witnessed his 'ascension' to heaven, where he is now believed to be seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for NDC members. How arrogant, blasphemous, deceptive and manipulative can a political party be? Now according to the NDC, John Mahama is even more 'humble, peaceful, and pious' than his mentor, Atta-Mills.

In 2011, the NDC accused the presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, of meeting a lobby group of homosexuals to seek funding for his campaign. According to the NDC propaganda, this funding obliged Nana Addo to legalise homosexuality and to impose the practice on the country. As it turns out, Nana Akufo-Addo was actually meeting the prime minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, a meeting that had nothing to do with the accusation and propaganda by the NDC.

In furtherance of this propaganda on Nana Akufo-Addo’s support for homosexuality, then President Atta-Mills, after pressure from the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, stated that 'no responsible leader will legalise homosexuality' in Ghana. Of course, it was apparent that President Mills’ statement was mere politics as there was no evidence that he or the NDC had instituted any anti homosexuality policy and agenda. Quiet the contrary, the NDC showed no commitment to that position and I predicted that the NDC will advocate and legalize homosexuality in Ghana, if the party won the 2012 general elections.

At the same time as the NDC was engaging in this propaganda, its then presidential candidate, John Mahama, was meeting Andrew Solomon, a well known gay activist. In his book, 'My First Coup d'état,' Mahama acknowledged Andrew Solomon, 'for providing a gracious quote. Andrew Solomon was generous with his referrals and other such literary resources. I will always remember the fantastic dinner party Andrew hosted for me in his Manhattan home that set the ball rolling.'

Lo and behold, the hypocrisy of the NDC has once again been exposed. “President” Mahama, one of the most God-fearing and 'humble' 'Presidents,' has appointed a human rights activist Nana Oye Lithur as minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection. The minister-designate, unanimously confirmed by her NDC MP friends, is probably the nation’s fiercest and consistent advocate of homosexuality. Her appointment to the Children’s ministry is clear evidence that “President” Mahama and the NDC intends to actively promote and legalize homosexuality, given his close ties with the gay activist, Andrew Solomon.

Members of the vetting committee feigned amazement when Nana Oye refused to answer questions about her past pronouncements and her personal view on the act of homosexuality. Instead of given straight answers to simple question, Nana Oye applied the legal definition of human rights, which is enshrined in the 1992 Constitution. In the end, her lack of candor did not matter as the "President" and the Party had sent instructions to their MPs on how to vote.

To be sure, I too believe that everyone, including homosexuals, is entitled to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. My current qualm is with the hypocrisy of the NDC and the party’s resort to vicious propaganda. Just as Nana Oye’s past pronouncements caught up with her, “President” Mahama and the NDC too finally were caught drowning in their sea of propaganda.

The late Kwame Nkrumah once said: “If you want power, sell your mother to get it. You can then use the same power to get her back.” This statement is only partly correct when applied to President Mahama and the NDC. They have, no doubt, sold their mothers for power. But having obtained power, they have no interest in reclaiming their mothers, choosing to use the power to engage in massive corruption and enrich themselves.

God save Ghana.

Abena Asantewaah©, a concerned Ghanaian contact: