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Opinions of Friday, 12 October 2007

Columnist: Antwi, William

The Gutter Politics Of Prof Mills' Health

For the past couple of weeks, the health status of Prof Mills, the leader of the NDC, has become center folder in his detractors’ dirty, sleazy but well co-ordinated campaign to derail his presidential ambition and the NDC’s return to the Castle. Their sleaziness reached epic proportion when two local newspapers - The Moon and the Punch - shamelessly published some baseless claims about the revered Prof’s state of health. Not to be outdone, some vicious NPP hacks started singing the same ugly tune on the internet. The real question is; why has the NPP (so soon) unleashed their political attack dogs this early in the political season? This malicious political tactics has all the trappings of a very desperate opponent!

Isn’t it doubly ironic that this vicious and disgusting media campaign is coming on the heels of the "disappearance" of our president from the face of the earth from September 15th until September 22 when he miraculously resurfaced in New York for the UN General Assembly meeting? Is it a mere coincidence? Isn’t this media blitz an ugly way of diverting needed attention from the President’s reprehensible conduct of traveling outside the country when the nation was in deep mourning over the deaths of some of our folks as a direct result of the devastating flood that decimated the North? And, here, I am not even talking about the total destruction of properties running into billions of cedis! Aren’t they finding it so hard to explain away the president’s insensitive towards the victims of such a devastating national tragedy? As a matter of emphasis, would the president have left the shores of Ghana had any of the victims been his wife or children? Holy cow! Isn’t the president our first citizen? Isn’t he our emotional leader? The one who should rally the nation when tragedy hits? Can any reasonable Ghanaian think of a President Mills leaving the country to attend a "non-existent" conference in the heat of an emergency or tragedy? Aren’t these the gripping issues that should occupy Prof Mills’ detractors and the nation instead of these unwarranted attacks on him?

What is really upsetting is that Prof Mills has truthfully - and with dignity - answered at every turn, all the legitimate questions about the status of his health. It is no secret that Prof Mills was sick some time back. That is not shameful. What is shameful is the indecency with which his despicable detractors are peddling this health issue into a political bonanza. They are senselessly behaving as if Prof Mills is a super human being who is not supposed to get sick! Since hitting the campaign trail, he has known no rest! In fact, he has visited every constituency in the country since he returned home from South Africa. What about his numerous trips outside Ghana? That is a pure display of energy! His house-to-house campaign is now the talk of the town! And, yet, these shady characters keep coming up with more dark, disingenuous stories about the his health. Needless to state here that the health of our presidential candidates is fair game but to engage in rumors, innuendos, half-truths, outright lies and in fact, to wish ill-health for any of them is the height of political lunacy! It is a clear indication that politics has really gone to the dogs!

We understand why Prof Mills’ detractors are desperate. They are so demoralized by their own abysmal record of managing the country that their only hope of perpetuating their tragic rule is to engage in gutter politics. Why are they blaming Prof Mills for their internal poll numbers that look terribly bad in any contest with the man who has been described by renowned security agencies the world over as "as pure clear water"? His integrity as a politician is etched in stone. He is the purest of the pure! How on this earth are they seriously going to compete with such a man of unquestioned integrity, experience, intelligence, resiliency, fortitude, honesty and above the "vision thing"?

As Prof Mills continues to emphasize, neither he nor his campaign will engage in gutter politics. That is laudable! While his bitterest opponents engage in gutter politics, he should continue to do those great things that are winning the hearts and minds of great majority of our people across the political spectrum. He should continue to campaign on those bread-and-butter issues that will move our nation forward in a dignified manner: Those pertinent issues that will unite all tribes and bring dignity and prosperity and a sense of belonging to every home, hut and hamlet in the country.

Enough of the gutter politics!

Ghana deserves better.


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