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Opinions of Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Columnist: Akwah, Nana

The Mud-Slinging On Nana Addo Have Started

Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. And one who aspires to be a good leader must always keep his word. If you keep your word as a leader, you will be respected. And respect is the key determinant of high performance leadership. How much people respect you determines how well they and you perform. It is important for a leader to always act in a manner consistent with his inner most beliefs and convictions.

His detractors say he is arrogant! They say he is violent! Now, he is called "Olele", for he is old. All that they say is myth.

No matter where you are in life right now no matter who you are, no matter how old you are it is never too late to be who you are meant to be.

It was Albert Einstein who said, "yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever".

Fate. Destiny. Life. A critical observation of the three (3) words reveals a hidden wealth and strength; it is these that make you who you are, and who you will be, and make the present reality.

Myth: Nana Addo is thoroughly arrogant and deals narcotics.

Fact: Nana Addo "it is claimed that he is arrogant and deals narcotics" is the result of a multi-million dollar smear campaign.

It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts.

Nana Addo's critics spent or spends millions of hard Ghana Cedis on smear campaigns, knowing that the mere accusations are enough to tarnish his reputation. And they also knew that if they threw enough mud, some of it was bound to stick. But it is important to note that despite years smear campaign and millions of Cedis investigations, Nana Addo has been cleared on Foreign Affairs, Isophoton, CP issue, Gambia deaths, cocaine smuggling at JFK airport and dozens of other baseless accusations.

Argument

During Nana Addo's two presidential candidacy, a mythology has sprung up around Nana Addo claiming he is thoroughly violent. This impression is reinforced by the sheer number of accusations aimed at him. People tend to think, "Where there’s smoke, there’s fire." The sad reality of injustice was when the so-called or infamous "Kumasi Declaration Protocol" was organized under auspices of the Peace Council to gag him.

However, the smoke have or had been generated not by the fires of violence, but by a well-funded anti-Nana Addo machine.

As Hitler said, "The grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down." Hitler understood that a mere accusation is often as damaging to a person’s reputation as a conviction in court. This is one of the reasons why slander and libel are illegal.

Imagine that you are an average citizen who is completely honest and moral. But for some reason your neighbor hates your fortitude and stamina in coping with what alarms, repels, or discourages : perhaps because your religious or political beliefs are different.

Unfortunately, your neighbor sees it as his moral and patriotic duty to destroy you. Even worse, your neighbor is a billionaire, and has no problem launching a multimillion-dollar campaign to invade your privacy and assassinate your character. Furthermore, a portion of the public agrees with him, and will do anything, legal or illegal, to help him, especially if it means receiving his million dollar grants.

Soon you find newspaper stories accusing you of all manner of character flaws. People you have never met claim that you lie, cheat and steal constantly. Your past early life, health and school records are suddenly opened to the public, with all their embarrassing revelations. Some accuse you of arrogance and being violent. You are presented as immoral and spiteful person.

Are the accusations true? Of course not. They are generated from your opponents, not your true behavior. Where there is smoke, there is not always fire. But the accusations take their toll, and your reputation suffers.

The example above assumes that you are a completely honest and moral person. But in the real world, no human being is perfect. We all have flaws.

In which case, the above smear campaign actually fulfills a second function: if it throws enough mud, some of it is bound to stick. For example, you might be a relatively honest and moral person, but you subscribe to several adult magazines. Nothing illegal about it, but it is embarrassing.

When the reporters show up on your door demanding to know if it is true, you have three options. You can lie by denying it, look evasive by refusing to answer it, or you can admit to it. In the latter two cases, you become late-night joke fodder for satirists and your reputation is shot.

Several morals stand out in this example. First, no one has a right to gratuitously invade your privacy with their multi-million cedi investigations. The right to privacy is a deeply cherished one in Ghanaian tradition, because other people’s opinions are often prejudiced, hypocritical, sanctimonious, misguided, wrong, different, hateful, intolerant and more. We have a right to keep people from forming opinions on behavior which is none of their business. Invasions of privacy are justified only when there is a suspicion of wrong-doing.

Second, no one has a right to smear your name in the media with baseless accusations. Accusations should be investigated in secret, and publicized only when found to be true.

Third, and most importantly, questions demanding your confirmation or denial over legal but embarrassing behavior are themselves wrong. They are illegitimate questions. They place you in a lose-lose-lose situation: either lie, evade or humiliate yourself. Such grim options stem from a well-publicized invasion of your privacy that should have never occurred in the first place.

And what of Nana? It should be pointed out that the NDC cum Alan Kyeremateng scandal-machine produced endless accusations, but all failed to stick. After several years of multi-million fishing expedition, the NDC investigation found no evidence of wrong-doing coupled with scandalous accusations, cocaine smuggling at JFK Airport or any of the other dozens of smears aimed at Nana Addo. The only mud that stuck was his attempt to justify rebuff of intimidation, an entirely legal and justifiable affair that he had with Party members at Atiwa. The questions concerning this affair were illegitimate, because they did not concern illegal behavior such as harrassment, but presented him with a set of grim options after invading his privacy.

The irony is that Nana Addo stands as the most investigated, hounded presidential candidate in history, and the lack of evidence of wrong-doing suggests that Nana Addo is relatively cleaner than most politicians. This infuriates conservatives, who see Nana Addo as "obviously" arrogant, violent and spiteful. But then these critics must prove their accusations with evidence. They can’t either.

"When people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory," Martin Luther King, Jr.

When you find conflicting passions, aim to bring order. When you see the hungry, aim to provide relief. When you encounter desperate families, aim to salvage a livelihood for them. When you happen to have more than you need, aim to share the excess with the poor. When you notice abuses, aim to fight for the vulnerable.

"Let your light so shine before all people."Because when you are a light in the world, you dispel greed, angst, discrimination, abuses, biases, divisions, wars, and many, many human ills.

Let not the mud-slinging affect your psyche Nana Addo, God gave you shoes to fit you, so put them on and wear them. Be yourself, be proud of who you are.