By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
November 25, 2010
I will say it loud and clear outright that the NPP’s functionaries have begun doing “gutter politics,” which will backfire to dash their hopes of winning the 2012 elections. In spite of claims and assurances by the party’s leadership that their politicking toward the 2012 elections would be devoid of “personal insults,” events have proved that they are throwing dust into people’s eyes. They can’t do without mischief and will pay dearly for it.
Misguided utterances and direct insults already being hurled at President Mills by characters such as Akufo-Addo, Ursula Owusu, Frances Essiam, and Kan Dapaah, among others, belie that claim to eschew insults. Their foul minds and mouths will always betray them.
These NPP activists have mischief up their sleeves; they have done politics through mischief and cannot survive without resorting to mischief whenever they feel their backs pushed to the wall as far as public sentiments are concerned. The height of it all has just been demonstrated through pettiness and immaturity in a vain attempt to deflect public interest away from the drug use allegations against their Akufo-Addo that is bringing him closer to the very nadir of hop that torpedoed his earlier Presidential ambitions. Here is why:
The youth wing of the opposition NPP has printed T-shirts with the name “ecomini” embossed on them. According to the National Youth Organizer of the party, Anthony Karbo, the T-shirts are just for comic relief and to ease tension in the much tensed political environment in the country.
Humour or comic relief, indeed! Using a petty human weakness as the butt of humour just because they think it will help reduce tension in the country? Arrant stupidity!
Do these self-righteous but immature NPP politicians know that perfection is not a human quality and that the slip of the tongue that made President Mills drop the word “ecomini” is just a confirmation that human and mortal beings are fallible? Seeking to mock this human frailty and foible in the hope of making political capital out of it is abhorrent and shameful.
Throughout history, records indicate that human beings have mispronounced words or indulged in malapropism, mostly because it’s only human to be found so wanting. It’s not because they are mentally unstable or incapable of discerning wrong from right. But the NPP will use this particular instance for its shallow political game. These fatuous acts of desperation will have a boomerang effect on them. The earlier they stop being disgusting, the better it will be for them.
In President Mills’ case, the slip of the tongue occurred at the time that the NPP had led the campaign to calumniate him with the claim that he was too sick to be Ghana’s Head of State. Thus, as if praying for such a slip to jump on as a confirmation of their suspicions, they made much noise about it and encouraged the use of that “ecomini” faux pas as ring tones for cell-phone users.
It is shameful for the NPP functionaries to descend into the gutter this way. In any case, I don’t blame them for what they’ve resorted to now because they are wont to see the mote in other’s eyes without noticing the beam in their own eyes. So full of their own self-importance, they fail to appeal to the discerning voters and fall flat on their faces in electoral defeat.
I want to inform these NPP activists that the 2012 elections will be fought and won on principles and an objective assessment of the various political parties’ manifestoes vis-a-vis the current government’s performance. A mere rabble-rousing through circus performances, music carnivals, and name-calling will not be enough to return the NPP to power.
Ghanaians who voted for President Mills in the second round of the 2008 Presidential elections to place him above Akufo-Addo knew why they did so even though we all knew that President Mills had trailed Akufo-Addo in the first round. The sudden change of fortunes to his advantage was not an act of magic. It was a purposeful and calculated decision that the voters made because of what they saw in President Mills. These voters will not desert him now just because he has brought out what is human in him.
Let the NPP functionaries dig down to bring out anything they consider “humorous” about President Mills and emboss it on their party’s billboards, scarves, and T-shirts. Let them print all manner of T-shirts, billboards, posters, funeral cloths, Asante Kente, and many more as their campaign paraphernalia. They will suffer for nothing because the Ghanaian voters are discerning and intelligent enough to see through all that chaff. They will certainly know how to separate the goats from the sheep at the polls, not because of one’s slip of the tongue but because of more serious considerations.
For the NPP’s information, the “owners” of the English language themselves are not perfect in articulating words. They make more mistakes than President Mills’ “ecomini” will get them falling head-over-heels to trumpet as his weakness. How silly can these NPP functionaries be?
Let me give them some peek into the former US President, George Bush’s use of the English language, which tells me that the Fantes who gave their town the name “Brofoyedru” deserve tons of praise. For their information, George Bush began making serious mistakes in his use of his mother-tongue (English) long before he became the US President and continued doing so but won a second term in office. Civilized people look beyond petty human frailties and foibles of the sort in making vital decisions to elect their leaders. I trust that Ghanaians are civilized enough not to fall for this arrant stupidity.
Here are some of the Bushisms for the NPP activists to ponder over before cheapening themselves with this dry humour about President Mills’ “ecomini”:
• “This thaw—took a while to thaw, it’s going to take a while to unthaw.”—George W. Bush, on liquidity in the markets, Alexandria, La., Oct. 20, 2008
• “Anyone engaging in illegal financial transactions will be caught and persecuted (PORSECUTED?).”—George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2008
• “Your eminence, you're looking good.”—George W. Bush to Pope Benedict XVI, using the title for Catholic cardinals, rather than addressing him as "your holiness," Rome, June 13, 2008
• “Soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and Coastmen —Coast Guardmen, thanks for coming, thanks for wearing the uniform.”—George W. Bush, at the Pentagon, March 19, 2008
• “I heard somebody say, 'Where's (Nelson) Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead. Because Saddam killed all the Mandelas.” -—George W. Bush, on the former South African president, who is still very much alive, Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2007
As the NPP functionaries look for opportunities to descend into the gutter, here is something from George Bush for them: "Anybody who is in a position to serve this country ought to understand the consequences of words."—George W. Bush, interview with Rush Limbaugh, Nov. 1, 2006.
I rest my case.