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Opinions of Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Columnist: Eric Bawah

When you throw a stone against the hip of an elephant

Former President John Dramani Mahama Former President John Dramani Mahama

Mr. John Dramani Mahama has started his campaign on a wrong note. In the first place he has no message except, to unnecessarily punch holes where there is no place to punch… He has not changed a bit and defeat is staring him in the face again. For now we find it very difficult to differentiate between Mr. Mahama and a serial caller.

I listened to him when he visited the Western Region to campaign and my heart bled. He still has the funny feelings that Ghanaians are gullible. The cocoa farmers he addressed were no children. They are aware of the way the NPP government under ex president Kufour did to them when he was in power. In fact, they are very much aware of what the current government is doing for them. For the nineteen years that the PNDC/NDC ruled Ghana they never dreamt of introducing the Cocoa Mass Spraying programme. Mr. Kufuor and his government dreamt big and introduced the programme which led to the increase in cocoa output.

When ex president Kufour introduced the programme, cocoa farmers experienced high yield and at a point in time one could not differentiate between a cocoa farmer who is an NDC supporter and an NPP supporter. The cocoa spraying gangs were made up of both NDC and NPP members. All cocoa farms were sprayed simultaneously. When the NDC held the reins of power, they made sure NPP supporters who were members of the cocoa sparing gangs were removed and replaced by NDC supporters. That was when the programme started the nose diving.

The worst scenario was when they decided to abandon the farms belonging to NPP supporters and rather concentrated on the spraying of only NDC farmers. They were not wise enough because it did not occur to them that when you spray a cocoa farm infested with Akate and leave the one which is not infested with Akate, in due cause the Akate will move to the cocoa farm which was not sprayed and destroy the farm. And what was worrisome was that NDC leadership in the cocoa growing areas clandestinely sold the chemicals to some people who had their farms in Ivory Coast. And yet this accomplished and incompetent presidential candidate shamelessly told his listeners that they did the best for cocoa farmers during their time in office.

When Mr. Mahama was in power, his government colluded with criminal contractors to inflate the cost of the construction of cocoa roads and the booty was channeled into their campaign war chest. When the NPP took over power, they set up an audit team to look into the award of cocoa road contracts.

It came out that most of the cocoa rood contracts were inflated. Today as I am writing this epistle, GH?3 billion has been located to the construction of cocoa roads. The handlers of John Mahama are doing the same thing that they did to him in the run-up to the 2016 general election. When they tell him to jump like a monkey, he does so without thinking over the idea. That is why he continues to lie through his teeth…

In fact, all those who are close to John Mahama and misinforming him are aware that he will lose again but they want to share with him the booty that he made and when finally he experiences his second electoral defeat they will ditch him and go home to enjoy life. Since he started his tour, have you ever seen any of the old horses in the NDC making any comment or going with him during his tour? Everybody wants to save his or her image. After all, respect is not sold at Super Markets.

You see, if you throw a stone at the hip of an elephant, it has no effect. It rather urges the animal to move faster. In his attempt to criticize everything that Nana Addo and his men and women are doing, he is rather encouraging them to continue with the good things that they are doing. Instead of stooping low like John Mahama did when he visited the Western Region, Nana is meeting with the chiefs and opinion leaders while mending broken hearts, mending fences and calling on the people to unite for the development of the nation.

Since Nana started his tour in the six newly created regions, the chiefs in those areas complained bitterly about the horrible state of the roads. The chief of Sankore for example thanked the president for not coming to the area with a helicopter but by road so that he could see the bad nature of their roads. Meanwhile, candidate Mahama shamelessly continues to toot his success story as far as the construction of first class roads is concerned.

Recently, when the President visited the western corridor and saw the deplorable state of the so called first class roads that John Mahama said he constructed he could not believe his eyes. Fortunately newsmen who followed the president showed us the state of the roads on TV. Meanwhile Mr. Mahama collected a Ford Expedition luxurious car from Mr. Kananzoe, one of the contractors who worked on the road and admonished Ghanaian contractors to emulate the good work of Mr. Kananzoe.

What is going to daze Mr. Mahama is the arrival of the SinoChina deal. In a matter of time, Mr. Mahama will have nothing to say again because that deal is going to be a game changer. Yes, indeed the nation is facing some challenges which are not the making of the new regime but of cause the mismanagement of the booted John Mahama regime. I admire the president and his team because they believe winners see problems as just another way of proving themselves.

When I hear people talk about someone ‘has a lot of baggage’, meaning they are carrying around a lot of problems with them that really is not necessary. If you face problems, you try to avoid the gradational pull of dispensable weight and move forward like the President is doing. That is why the wise man told us to hold the bull by the horns. When a president consistently tells his people that he will surly keep all the promises he made to them his foot might be on something. The universal adjective is CONFIDENCE

On a lighter note, if Dr. Bawumia had told me that he was visiting Cuba, I would have begged him to buy me a pack of Havana cigar because I am about to start puffing my favorite cigars again.