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Opinions of Friday, 27 April 2012

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Vice President, John Mahama Should be Ashamed of Himself!

In the global arena, Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa is held in high esteem because he is seen as a man of peace and wisdom. When he was expected by all odds to revenge against the apartheid government following his release from prison in 1990, Mandela surprisingly gave priority to reconciliation, while introducing policies at combating poverty and inequality in his home country. He remarked; “We have to surprise them (the apartheid government) with compassion, with restraint, and generosity, all of the things they denied us. But this is no time to celebrate revenge?” These were some of the reconciliatory messages Mandela gave to his people. Couldn’t our vice president for once, learn from the value of Mandela’s efforts?
As a young Member of Parliament and a Deputy Minister of Communications in the late 1990s, John Dramani Mahama was admired by many a Ghanaian for his communication skills and charming face. He was largely acclaimed as a fine and appealing gentleman cast in the mode of the US president, Barack Obama, hence he was nicknamed, ‘Ghana’s Obama’ during the 2008 campaign period. Mr. John Mahama was therefore expected to live up to the expectation of all and sundry. However, his actions, inactions, and pronouncements have corroborated the notion that, not all that glitters is gold. John Mahama’s hypocritical nature, his lies, as well as his moral behaviour reveal him as the most cunning politician of all times. I hope after reading this piece, Ghanaians who consider John Mahama as a potential president will revise their notes in this regard, for that could be an unwise political decision that may be made by any political group. It may not only be a setback for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), but also it will be recipe for backwardness, moral decadence, and under-development for our beloved country.
In his inaugural speech after being chosen to partner Mills in April 2008, John Mahama pleaded with Ghanaians for forgiveness and promised a New NDC whose actions and behaviour would be different from the ‘Old NDC’. He urged the electorate to give the New NDC a second chance since the party has learnt its mistakes well, having been in opposition for 8 years. “Mpanin se, afidie yi aboa a nesu nko, 3na egyae aboa nso a, nesu nko ampa”. John Mahama’s role as the number two citizen of this country has been a big disappointment. Though I am not morally upright to pass any judgment on him as a man, but if the vice president’s four wives, six concubines, and fifteen children, most of whom he failed to take responsibility, were something worthy of emulation for the Ghanaian youth, then I leave it for the judgment of readers. He made history as the only vice president whose official website was infested with pornographic scenes. When he was caught red-handed on this immorality, he denied knowledge of it thinking that Ghanaians are so naive to accept his explanation.
John Mahama’s arrogance is taking him to a level that if not checked, it will fast track his way to the political grave. The vice president is reported to have belittled the good counsel given by His Excellency, J.A. Kufuor in the heat of Hon. Ken Agyepong’s outbursts and his subsequent arrest by the police. As to what John Mahama wanted to portray with his childish statement of ‘bulldozing any fly that disturbs the peace of this nation”, we are yet to get further clarification from him. I never knew John Mahama and his cohorts have access to such bulldozers in the country. But Mr. Vice President, don’t you know such bulldozers will serve the interest of Ghanaian farmers, especially those in the northern part of the country whom Mahama Ayariga is exploiting with his ‘stolen’ tractors? This could boost agricultural production in the country, reduce hunger, and increase government revenue. Again, if bulldozers were weapons to ensure peace in a country, what has prevented you from ‘bulldozing the flies’ in the Dagbon State and Bawku, the two troubling places your New NDC promised to ensure peace within 100 days into your administration?
The adage that says; two wrongs do not make a right should have guided John Mahama in his response to ex-president Kufuor’s statement. Social justice, according to Pope John Paul II, cannot be attained by violence because violence kills what it intends to create. Indeed, Hon. Agyepong might have gone too far with his pronouncement which has been treated with the contempt that it deserves, but calling for his blood might be a misjudgment on our part. As a democratic country the law should be allowed to take its course. Where were you and your bulldozers in 2009 when the former Ashanti Regional, Kofi Opoku Manu urged NDC members to slap any NPP member or sympathizer who criticized your government, Mr. Vice President? Your party chairman, Kwabena Adjei threatened to 'kill cats' and Asiedu Nketia warned of a civil war if the EC went ahead with the verification of the biometric voters' registration. Did those not amount to hate-speeches?
In July 2011 the vice president turned himself into one of the country’s best artistes singing “Tika, Taka, Gangare” song at the Sunyani Sports Stadium during the FONKAR – GARI titanic game. His aim was to reconcile the NDC factions because he saw the sense in unity at the time. Could the vice president have done the same in this circumstance or because Ken Agyepong is an outsider? "Koto de3 nebo dw3, nyaanyankyer3 de3 onfa neho". How many bulldozers did John Mahama use to trample the NDC foot soldiers who killed 4 NPP members at the Agogloshie market in a broad daylight? These foot soldiers have beaten and chased DCEs, MCEs, and other government appointees from their offices yet the vice president never saw them as ‘flies’ to be trampled upon with his bulldozers. How impartial is our vice president, if I may ask?
John Mahama led a government delegation to Korea to sign the infamous STX Korea deal at the expense of the Ghanaian tax payer. He bragged to build 200,000 houses within the next 5 years and 30,000 of those houses would be given to the country’s security officers. Where are the keys to those houses, John Mahama? In the same vein, it was John Mahama who used his position to reinstate the license of Amajaro Ltd. to enable them trade in the country’s cocoa after Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ revelation of massive corruption against this particular company. How does Mahama convince Ghanaians that he never took a bribe from the company’s officials in London? Which political party instituted the Heroes Fund to award and compensate victims of electoral violence, and what is the role of the Special Forces Unit of the Ghana Armed Forces?
Fellow Ghanaians, it was this same John Mahama who promised 10% of the oil revenue to the people of Western Region and when the chiefs of the region matched to the Slave Castle to demand their share, John Mahama left the shores of this country. Again, it was this same John Mahama who brought a new vocabulary “BALONEY” into the Ghanaian political dictionary. When the opposition and other civil groups opposed the use of the oil find as collateral for further loans by the NDC government, he referred to us as ‘foolish’ people. Though his government conned Ghanaians with several corridors – eastern, western, northern, and southern corridors with the help of the loans, we are yet to see the said projects with over $20bn loan contracted within the last 3 years.
Ironically, our vice president has filled has plugged ears with wooden materials and therfore many of the derogatory remarks made by a chunk of the ‘greedy bastards’ and 'born dogs' - Benyiwa-Doe, Fiifi Kweetey, Kofi Awonor, Anyidohu, Victor Smith, Ablakwa, Otukunnor etc have gone unnoticed. During their ministerial vetting, all that was said was that they were mere ‘political talks’. There was a time a by-election was declared JIHAD and when right-minded Ghanaians demanded explanation and apology from Baba Jamal, we were told that it was a political joke, for after all black sheep could be turned into white cows. How would the vice president and those calling for the head of Hon. Agyepong fare, should he come out to say his was also a mere political talk? There is no need to put so much weight on Ken’s intemperate language. He has no power to declare war in Ashanti Region. That is the prerogative of the occupant of the Golden Stool and Otumfuo could only do so when the Stool (a symbol of Asante power, unity, and strength) comes under threat. This, I don’t foresee in the next million years. It was against this backdrop that not a single attack or attempt was made to butcher our fellow Ghanaians in the region. Former President Kufuor was humiliated, insulted, and provoked to the extent that an attempt was even made to eject him from Accra by the Ga-Adangme youth. He was denied his office by the current administration, but none of the above resulted in any form of retaliation from Asantes. In whatever way that Ken's statement is looked at, we must not lose sight of the fact that it has served a very useful purpose. It has exposed the partiality of the police, awaken the public on the need to protect our unity and peace, and more importantly put an end to the politics of insults that the P/NDC has pepertuated in our political discourse.
Personally, I see John Mahama as too arrogant. His mind is full vindictiveness and he is behaving like a reserve football player on the bench. His prayer is simple; get injured or perform poorly so that I could get the chance to play. Sensing the poor health condition of President Mills vis-à-vis the mediocrity in the current administration, John Mahama’s prayer is geared towards the resignation or demise of Atta Mills. Remember, John cried foul when the current administration was tagged Mills-Mahama government. John Mahama has travelled across the globe more than the sitting president. In 2010, he promised to make Ghana a car assembly point as he sought to bring Brazilian investors to that effect. The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), which his government promised to pump GHC600m into it annually, has come to a standstill. His vow to provide meaningful jobs to all the “Kayayo” (head potters) in order to take them off the cities is yet to be fulfilled. John Mahama, for me, has been the bane of Mills’ failed administration because he is sabotaging Atta Mills in order to take over from him. I expect Mr. John Mahama, who has been a beneficiary of free education in the north, to come out and tout his achievements to the public with regard to his role as the vice president. After all we know the former vice president, Alhaji Aliu Mahama was the champion of discipline in the country. Aliu spoke against indiscipline, especially among the youth anytime he had the platform. John Mahama could learn from his predecessor.
In winding down, I urge the vice president to be submissive in his endeavours, be circumspect in his pronouncements, and be more matured in his dealings with the general public. If I were him, I would render an unqualified apology to Ghanaians in order to redeem his dented image. The role of a vice president is non-partisan and the fair treatment of every Ghanaian by Mr. Mahama would go a long way in cooling the political temperature. His silence on then candidate Mills' visitation of Kenya on Ghanaians, his inaction on his spokesperson, John Jinapor's verbal abuse on Ms Ursula Owusu, and his failure to condemn Nii Lamptey Vanderpuije'a apartheid against Akans in the ongoing biometric registration make John Mahama a partisan and hypocritical leader. But our vice president must be reminded that no amount of bulldozers or Special Forces can stand the might of the ordinary people. Ghanaians need nothing but PEACE. A word to the wise, they say, is in your home region, 'the north'!
God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Hull. UK.
Official blog (www.katakyie.com) katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk 07944309859
“Vision, coupled with persistency, results in true success”