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Opinions of Saturday, 11 May 2019

Columnist: Daily Guide Editorial

What a former president!!!

All things being equal, former presidents are automatic statesmen. The status such dignitaries assume in society or better still the political spectrum is special. They should not be seen to be making remarks which erode or even deny them respect in society.

Former President John Mahama has lost that reverence accorded members of the revered club of ex-heads of state in the Ghanaian setting. In his case, all things are not equal considering the litany of puerile conduct credited to his name in recent times.

Sometimes we are tempted to wonder whether those remarks originate from him given his status as a former president. The fact that he does not deny the smelly remarks leaves with us with no option but to concur that they originated from him.

His case is compounded by the fact that he seeks to return to the presidency he lost by an unusual margin.

We would not have responded to his recent streak of nonsense and outright misconduct but for its unusualness as it touches on national security and use of words incommensurate with his status as a former president.

Which former president would subject a state institution such as the police to the kind of ridicule former President Mahama did a couple of days ago while reacting to the invitation to the opposition party's National Chairman by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service in furtherance of an investigation?

Under such circumstance, an elevated person in society even if they have some reservations about a police invitation would not go to town with such populist traits.

Some observers say he deserves empathy given as they think his action could stem from a form of abnormality associated with frustration or desperation. Under the circumstances, they think he rather needs an expert intervention to reverse the state in which he is now.

To think that he would use the word 'useless' to describe the police invitation to his party's national chairman is unfortunate.

That a man seeking to be voted for as president of the country can debase himself to such a level is something which should engage the minds of Ghanaians as he incessantly bombards them with his verbal nuisance.

Campaigning for votes should not include such loose talk and display of unnecessary bravado on air. A former president should not be associated with such irresponsibility especial when the objective is to incite citizens against the police and to reduce the deference of the law enforcement institution in the eyes of respectable members of society.

The matter being dealt with by the police is a serious one because it borders on national security. It is in the national interest that the truth is let out about those who are behind the spate of kidnappings and fire outbreaks that have rocked the country in recent times.

The law enforcement outfit is only doing its work of investigating a suspected criminality and if in the course of this assignment the name of a person is mentioned, it does not matter whether they are politicians or not they must assist in relevant investigations.