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Opinions of Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Columnist: Eric Bawah

The President who opened Pandora’s Box!

Opinion Opinion

In Greek mythology, Pandora’s Box was a large jar given to Pandora, the first woman on earth created by Zeus which contained all the evils of the world. One day Pandora opened the jar and all the evils of the world flew out, leaving only Hope inside.

Today the phrase “To open Pandora’s Box” means to perform an action or say something that may seem small or innocent but which turns out to be severely detrimental with far reaching consequences.

There he stood on the dais in Accra during the launching of the NDC Agenda 2016, swaggering and throwing his weight about as if somebody has stepped on his balls. And there they stood, gullible and ignorant party supporters clapping their hands as if they have seen Jesus Christ triumphantly entering Jerusalem.

When President Mahama on that day mentioned that he will not listen to ‘useless insults’, I laughed my heart out. Aaah, so some insults are useless in Ghana toady? When the other day the president told the world that Ghanaians were shortsighted and forgetful, I knew he did not know what he was saying. He did not know that what he said was an insult to the people he rules.

It is he rather who is forgetful because he has all too soon forgotten the insults that he heaped on the good people of this country.

Since Ghana had independence fifty eight years ago, no president had ever insulted the people of Ghana more than this man called John Dramani Mahama. If you are reading this piece and you are close to the president relay the following insults that he heaped on Ghanaians to him and tell him that he has not seen anything yet.

It is payback time. It was he who first opened the Pandora’s Box, thereby, allowing all the evils of the world to fly out and as such he should gird up his loins for more ‘useless insults’ because opening a Pandora’s Box is like opening a can of worms. It is always difficult to close such a can since all the worms will try to get out of the can at the same time.

When the government of the NDC decided to mortgage our oil money for the STX housing project which turned out to be a hoax and the good people of this country kicked against the idea, President Mahama looked straight into our lean faces and told us that it was ‘foolish’ for people to criticize the idea.

The elder son of Mr. Kufour is older than Mr. Mahama but when the government caused the arrest of Hon. Kennedy Agyapong in the run-up to the 2012 general elections for making inciting comments and Mr. Kufour in an interview said the action was like killing a fly with a sledgehammer, what was Mr. Mahama response? If Mahama had forgotten, somebody out there should tell him that he insulted the ex-president by telling him that his government will rather use a bulldozer to kill a fly. What is more “useless insult” than what John Mahama said to the old man?

This is a president who has not learnt any useful presidential habits and has been using words like “baloney” ‘silly” ‘stupid’ “senseless” ‘useless’.

When Ghanaians complained that the government was borrowing too much but too little is being seen in terms of development, the president went to Kyebi, Nana Akufo Addo’s backyard to commission a water project and thumped our noses and said he did not borrow to buy drinks or buy meat. Was that not an insult? You see, Mr. Mahama you do not have the moral right to complain that people have been insulting you.

If you go and rape a woman and you are caught and taken to the chief’s palace and punished, you have completely lost the moral right to tease another person who has also raped a woman and was taken to the chief’s palace and punished.

If the president stops insulting Ghanaians, they too will stop insulting him but as long as he continues with the insults he will receive insults from Ghanaians because what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander.

Instead of wasting time complaining, Mr. Mahama should rather spend his time learning some useful presidential habits. I want to teach him a few of such presidential habits free of charge. Always be above board and treat criticism as a weapon to improve upon your performance.

Listen more and speak less since silence is golden but speech is silvery. If you decide, hold on to it and avoid taunting your political opponents since by doing that you open your underbelly for more blows. Swallow your anger, avoid being intemperate and strike your mental delete button anytime you feel insulted, for after all you are the number one servant of the people living in this country. But will this man learn?

We never heard Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Professor Busia, Dr. Hilla Limann, Prof. Atta Mills and even Rawlings who was a military ruler insult the good people of Ghana. When out of extreme provocation Mr. Kufour told a reporter that Rawlings was a devil, the gentleman was made to retract it during one of the People’s Assembly series in Accra.

It took a simple woman to ask the president to retract and he did with an apology. Not so with swaggering Mr. Mahama who is always on an insulting spree but arrogantly refusing to retract.

No wonder the sages say respect is reciprocal. When his goons and rented press were insulting Nana Akufo Addo in the run-up to the 2012 general election, we never heard John Mahama condemning them and today he is bitterly complaining about people insulting him. If you plant dragon teeth what do you expect to reap? Mr. President get out there and cool yourself if you think the kitchen is too hot.

Anytime the president goofs, he receives the loudest ovation from his gullible and ignorant NDC supporters. Dr. Bawumia never said that John Mahama was incompetent and the president confirmed that at the Accra rally.

The man said “Mahama’s government was incompetent”. Even though Mr. Mahama is the head of the government, there is a very sharp difference between “John Mahama is incompetent” and “John Mahama’s government is incompetent” Think about that. If the president thinks one has to be a president before he could criticise a sitting president’s administration of being incompetent then I am sorry he has missed the boat.

From 2000 to 2003 when he was an MP and a panel member at GTV Newspaper Review programme and used to acidly criticize the Kufour administration, was John Mahama a president or had he been a president before? This man should stop behaving as if he is speaking to kindergarten children because we know his background.

In the run-up to the 2008 general election, John Mahama who was a running mate to Professor Mills and who was nowhere near the presidency went to Wa in the Upper West Region and told supporters of the NDC that Mr. Kufour’s administration was incompetent and the worse that ever happened to Ghana. And today the same man is bluffing that Dr. Bawumia has no right to criticize his administration because he has never been a president before. Habba, Bole/Bamboi macho!!!

Anyway, why is Mahama targeting Dr. Bawumia when so many Ghanaians have said his government is incompetent. Is John Mahama jealous of the fine brain in Bawumia? Did Mahama hear Dr. Paa Kwasi Nduom when he categorically said he, John Mahama in particular was incompetent? Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, the Former First Lady and the former 1st Vice Chairperson of the NDC recently told Ghanaians that John Mahama was incompetent. Is John Mahama afraid of the Iron Lady or he is afraid that if he mentions her name her husband will start attacking again like he did to the late Professor Mills?

The handlers of John Mahama are not doing him any good or maybe he does not listen to their advice. In other jurisdictions even rotten eggs and shoes are thrown at presidents but such presidents do not go wild and start contracting verbal diarrhea.

Politics and governance for that matter, are about solving problems but not complaining and blaming your opponents. Everybody, including John Mahama himself knows very well that the ship of state is in troubled waters. What is needed is to steer the ship ashore and not to launch Agenda 2016 with the main aim to steal election in order to continue looting the state coffers.

Sometimes I have a softer heart for Mahama. Having failed abysmally as far as the fixing of the economy is concerned, the man has become very desperate and jittery.

He knows what happened to Tsatsu Tsikata, Ibrahim Adam, Sippah Yankey, Victor Selormey, Kwame Peprah and others when the NDC lost the election in 2000.

These gentlemen who were untouchables found themselves behind bars when Kufour took over the reins of power. We have less than one year to go for elections and it is too late for him to fix the economy he mismanaged. Such people are very dangerous.

If his psychiatrists and physiologists fail to work beyond exhaustion to save him, the man may go gaga. Excuse me while I fill my fountain pen with ink to continue writing next week!!!