Bawumia’s Vehicular Accident Exposes Politicians’ Infamy

Tue, 19 Mar 2013 Source: Pryce, Daniel K.

It was Max Weber who used the term “vielseitigkeit” to indicate a compendium of meanings found in the social world, a phenomenon he addressed as the “many-sidedness of reality.” This depiction of Max Weber’s comes at an opportune time and serves as a lesson for all Ghanaians, even as leaders of both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) trade accusations against one another regarding Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s recent vehicular accident, which, thankfully, did not result in serious injury to the learned politician or others in his vehicle and convoy. It was reported that Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, the National Chairman of the NPP, was involved in a similar accident, but, fortunately, he was unharmed as well. Although well-meaning Ghanaians are very pleased that both bigwigs are doing well after the gruesome accidents, statements made by the General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, and his NDC counterpart, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, shortly after Dr. Bawumia’s vehicular accident, should serve as a warning to all and sundry that careless perorations by those draped in the habiliments of political power can plunge the country into anarchy and mobocracy.

Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie’s unsubstantiated accusation that security agents serving in the current administration were behind Dr. Bawumia’s accident was both preposterous and treasonable. Does Mr. Afriyie have any evidence to corroborate his claim? The Ghanaian political terrain has been inundated with several immature statements, many bordering on the subversive, since the Ghana Electoral Commission announced in December 2012 that John Mahama had received the majority of votes to become president. Understandably, the leaders of the NPP have been unhappy ever since, but being unhappy should not translate into making ignominious statements that could derail our burgeoning democracy. Of course, the NPP’s substantive petition will soon be heard by the justices of Ghana’s Supreme Court, so I urge those with the power to make formal statements on behalf of the NPP to be cautious in their perorations, so we can continue to enjoy the peace we have had since the commencement of the Fourth Republic in 1992.

That said, I cannot, in good faith, address my concerns in this article without pointing out Mr. Asiedu Nketia’s pervasively tactless utterances ever since John Mahama was declared president late last year. It appears that Mr. Nketia has forgotten that political power is quite transitory, and that a party in opposition today could very well assume the reins of power in the next few years. Mr. Asiedu’s perorations have continued to border on the acrimonious, and I am beginning to worry that his bosses in the NDC administration lack the moral authority to put a stop to Mr. Asiedu’s peace-stultifying and unity-destroying perorations, all in the name of projecting the agenda of the NDC. The NDC is in office today because of the people’s goodwill – and those at the helm of the ruling party must not forget this simple fact! Constantly berating and belittling the main opposition party is not the best approach a ruling party can take in endearing itself to the hoi polloi. Because the winds of political power can change direction very quickly, those in power today should not assume that the voices of a rather vibrant opposition should not matter in the national discourse.

Mr. Asiedu’s statement that the NPP was behind Dr. Bawumia’s vehicular accident is just as disconcerting as Mr. Afriyie’s speech that the NDC administration was behind the car crash. In fact, Mr. Nketia, like his NPP counterpart, cannot prove his absurd claim of NPP complicity, which makes the statement no less treasonable than Mr. Afriyie’s. Neither General Secretary should use the national platform available to him to propagate the seeds of turmoil and confusion in the country. Too many people in both leading political parties have made incendiary statements since Election 2012, and I am beginning to worry that party leaders of both the NDC and NPP are not doing enough to curtail their lieutenants’ careless utterances. As a result, I call on the NDC’s John Mahama and the NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo to have serious discussions with their General Secretaries to make sure that incendiary political statements become a thing of the past. We, as a nation, are sowing the seeds of discord that would soon grow into unmanageable vegetation – nonetheless we can reverse course now before things get out of control.

Posterity may not forgive those entrusted with political power today if unbridled perorations made from privileged platforms lead to mayhem in the country. Ghanaians have worked very hard to build the pillars of their democratic edifice, and those superintending the affairs of the nation as well as those tasked with serving as sentries around the aforementioned pillars must discharge their duties with utmost diligence to preserve the peace we have collectively enjoyed the last several years. Finally, Ghanaian politicians must do the right thing to obviate military intervention and opportunism.

© The writer, Daniel K. Pryce, is a doctoral student who also serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Criminology, Law & Society at George Mason University. He holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the same university. He is a member of the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration in the U.S.A. He may be followed on Twitter: @DanielKPryce. He invites the reader to join the pressure group “Good Governance in Ghana” on Facebook.com, which he superintends. He can be reached at dpryce@cox.net.

Columnist: Pryce, Daniel K.