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Opinions of Monday, 24 March 2014

Columnist: Yeboah, Kwame

The day Nana Addo was president

I woke up rather early, quite understandably. The day was 7th January 2013 and for all those who follow Ghanaian politics, this is the day newly elected Presidents are sworn in after each elections. Well, this time it was even more special for me. My idol, my grandfather, my inspiration- Nana Addo Dankwa, is finally going to be sworn in as President. What a relief! What a battle! What a fairy tale!
My eyes was firmly glued to my television set as though my mere existence depended on it. I was in no mood to miss an iota of this historic event. I prayed quietly in my head that ECG and GTV would consider this event as important as I viewed it.
“I, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, having been elected to the high office of President of the Republic of Ghana do in the name of the Almighty God swear….” And that was all I heard. The remaining were shouts of “Free education now”. The crowd was roaring with spontaneous ecstasy. Who could begrudge them? After years of ‘dumso-dumso,’ ‘babies with sharp teeth’, ‘dzi wo fie asem’ and the vicious reign of the despicable foot soldiers. It is not surprising that the feeling of relief could stimulate such a reaction from the crowd.
Getting increasingly frustrated, I found myself virtually tiptoeing in front of my television in my quest to catch a glimpse of President Nana Addo. I guess his height is not helping much too, I moaned. Someone should have asked the IEA how they pulled it off (lol). It was over an hour before I could finally have a view of the VIP stand. The first person I noticed was ex- President Mahama. Maybe because he was the only one wearing a pair of jeans and a polo shirt. I have always had a problem with his sense of fashion; this time around, I cared less. If for nothing at all, he is giving us a good reason why he has been booted out of power. I looked down to his feet and he at least had a pair shoes on. Gosh, it could have been worse I whispered to myself. Thank Goodness, he is not wearing a flip-flop nor busily playing ‘grand theft’ on his Samsung tablet.
I looked to his right and there sat good old Papa Jay. He seems to have become a constant fixture at such events. Who can blame him? Retirement can be boring when all you have are three stubborn dogs and a house by the lake. I did not bother to look out for his outfit. He might have been having problems with his ‘boom’ speeches, but his dressing is always spot on. The only thing remarkably different about him this time, was that broad smile arrogantly advertised on his face. Quite unusual. We have gotten used to him wearing an uninterested grin and routinely snapping on his camera when a pretty lady passes by. On other occasions, he is seen busily playing with the shoulder pad on his wife’s dress. Certainly not this time. He looked very much in-tune with the events of the day. Intermittently, he will wave enthusiastically to the gathered masses anytime shouts of ‘free education’ beckoned. A wind of change was blowing through ‘Gyeedaland’ and like an old leaf; Papa Jay was obviously being blown along.
On second thought, perhaps Papa Jay’s unusual countenance was to be expected. It is well known how Mr. Rawlings publicly flirted with Nana Addo prior to the elections. His public criticism of the NDC and the subsequent formation of the National Disgruntled Party (NDP). I personally recall how Nana Konadu threatened to claim her eagle headed umbrella if the party did not revert to the virtues of probity and accountability, which her husband espoused. We all know how it ended- the NDC did not revert to the virtues of probity and accountability and Mrs. Rawlings did not get her umbrella back. I guess they both deserve their present predicament, I sighed.
Enough of the Rawlingses and their issues. Time to refocus on the momentous event unfolding at the polo grounds. I looked around and my eyes quickly caught the presence of a few dignitaries. I read in the news the previous day that we should expect 23 Presidents from Africa, a delegation from the British parliament and that of Australia, and the US Secretary Of State.
One person who aroused my curiosity however was Mrs. Portia Miller, the Prime Minister of Jamaica. Her invitation to the inauguration had solicited all sorts of rumors and conspiracy theories. The most ridiculous amongst them was that she was in town to lay the groundwork to lobby Nana’s government towards the legalization of ‘wee’. I can imagine ‘General mosquito’ screaming on radio… “Our ‘wee’ smoking President is inviting the President of the country with the largest collection of ‘wee’ smokers to his inauguration”. “What does it tell us”? The thought of this happening nearly made me puke. I quickly flashed these thoughts out of my mind and turned my attention to my television. It is just a case of soar grapes I said to myself. As far as I am concerned, Nana Addo is a fine gentleman who has accomplished enviable feats. Nana too ‘koraa’ with all these allegations, why will you invite the President of Jamaica to your inauguration, I found myself asking. Especially, when Ghana does not have any form of documented foreign relations with Jamaica in the past. These are trivial issues I assured myself, Nana is an expert in foreign relations and I am certain he has something up his SHORT sleeves.
My face suddenly lit with a beaming smile when the cameras finally captured President Nana Addo. Spotting a nice pair of kente cloth, he seemed to have followed the dress code of his predecessors. To his right was Dr. Bawumia and his left was his beautiful wife Rebecca Akufo Addo. He leaned towards Bawumia and whispered some words into his ears. I was obviously in no position to hear what he said. However, from the way they all turned into the direction of ‘General Mosquito’, I suspect he said something like this… “look at ‘General Mosquito’, after four years of the Bui-dam cash; he still doesn’t fit into his suits. Maybe, the food at Nsawam will add some much needed flesh”. I burst into uncontrollable laughter as these thoughts run through my head. Then suddenly I felt a sharp pain on my head. I found myself being thrown out of my bed. What is going on here, I asked. “You traitor!!” “We just lost an election and here you are laughing in your sleep”. What day is it, I inquired. It’s Monday, the 7th of January 2013, my friend replied. I jumped out of bed and made my way to my living room. I switched on my television and the first thing I saw was President Mahama wielding the ‘sword of office’. Clad in an immaculate white flowing gown, he looked nothing like the man I thought I had seen a few minutes ago in a pair of jeans and a polo shirt.
It was all a dream I had to painfully admit. If I still had any doubts, the shouts of ‘e dey bee k3k3’ was perhaps the last awakening I needed. We had indeed lost the elections!

Kwame Yeboah