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Opinions Sat, 22 Apr 2017

Get real, Mr. Mahama, the tables have turned

He never respected the members of the media when he was Chief Resident at the Flagstaff House. Once, while traveling to the Volta regional capital of Ho, he or one of his staff members rudely bumped the presidential press corps accompanying him off the unmarked van in which they were traveling and had them reloaded onto a veritable death-trap of a vehicle driven by a professional toddler, as one of the victims reported it.

A reporter with the state-owned Ghanaian Times would fall off the unroadworthy van and fatally break his neck in the ravine into which the vehicle had tumbled. And so one is hardly flabbergasted by the former President’s description of our national media operatives as a pack of “devious” people hell-bent on sowing seeds of confusion among the ranks of the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) – (See “ ‘Devious’ Media Trapping NDC Members – Mahama” Starrfmonline.com / Modernghana.com 4/12/17).

The man is so psychologically and cognitively conflicted that the critical thinker and observer begins to wonder whether he has been hooked on some narcotic drugs, since he suffered the political equivalent of a major concussion or a broken skull at the polls from the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) last December. Or maybe the most incompetent Ghanaian leader in living memory is so incurably traumatized that he has lost all sense of logic.

Which was why at a recent meeting with some former members of his cabinet, Mr. Mahama is reported to have queried why excessive media spotlight has been beamed onto the bitter wrangling raging among the leadership of the main opposition National Democratic Congress, because when the NDC was in power, the bulk of such media spotlight had been squarely focused on the then-main opposition New Patriotic Party.

Maybe somebody ought to apprise the clinically concussed and politically AWOL that it is the turn of the NDC to face the searing media spotlight. At any rate, why is the Mahama Posse so media shy? The answer is very simple. They are so butt-naked uncomfortable with their own ugly political bodies to look themselves up in the metaphorical mirror of the media. They would rather the spotlight were, once again, focused on Nana Akufo-Addo and his associates.

But, of course, the now-President Akufo-Addo has more than paid his dues by enduring the scorching heat of opposition politics for some 8 years. There was that time, for example, once while on the stumps in the Volta Region, in the wake of the brutal assassination of Mr. Adams Mahama, the then-Upper-East’s Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, when Mr. Mahama virulently taunted his main political opponent by asking, “Where is your Chairman?”

The unmistakable reference here was, of course, to Mr. Paul A. Afoko, the man who had copped an alibi for his younger brother and prime murder suspect, Mr. Gregory Afoko, only to have this alibi shortly turn out to be a proverbial house-of-cards. Paul Afoko would be reportedly spotted several times at the Flagstaff House in the company of the Mahama operatives. If there is anything “devious” about the Ghanaian media, as the former President claims, such deviousness is, of course, purely the figment of the hallucinatory (or is it the LSD?) imagination of the biggest loser of the 2016 general election.

For it is rather quixotic for the NDC leaders to think and believe that they are way above media scrutiny and that, somehow, it is only Nana Akufo-Addo whose political activities, both as an opposition leader and the incumbent President of Ghana, deserve to be monitored around the clock by the national media. The NDC leaders, in essence, seem to envisage themselves as a veritable law unto themselves. No wonder the overwhelming majority of Ghanaian voters decided to literally shove them to the curb last December. Who did I hear say “Good riddance!”?

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame