I blame President Atta Mills

Fri, 1 Jul 2016 Source: Baidoo, Philip Kobina

When I first saw the defence mounted by the President’s lieutenant in chief, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, over the Ford Expedition gift it really warmed my heart for his act of loyalty. However, every Tom, Dick or Harry knows that his full throated and spirited advocacy is only meant to protect his job. The reality is if his boss, the president, is proven beyond reasonable doubt on the accusation of bribery and corrupt he is history. I, therefore, admire him for his gallant effort to protect his job. That is what any sane person will do in our politics of bread and butter where principles, morality, dignity, integrity etc. are crucified on the altar of cedi.

As much as I admire the colourful and quite understandable effort of Dr Boamah, I strenuously disagree with the pro bono defence being offered by some of the bigwigs in the media, though it’s their prerogative. For all the unedifying crusade in defence of the president, what I find objectionable is the politics of equalisation. Our democracy is still work in progress, and it is in the interest of every person that matter, especially those in the media, to give their best professional judgement, because a lot of people rely on it. We are trying everything humanly possible to perfect our infant democracy under very difficult circumstances. For various reasons, a lot of African countries look to our democracy as a model. Besides, we owe it to ourselves to fine tune it to be a model of emulation.

I don’t mind the vigorous defence of Dr Boamah, because that is his job. On the other hand, those well respected personalities in the media spouting the equalisation mantra is despicable.

I very much respect one of them and I am not going to drag his name in the sludge, because I still cherish his views. But I must emphasise here that to bring President Kufour into the debate is untenable. In the sense that how can we in good conscience, especially when we want to forge ahead, yet in the same breath constantly rely on dark past examples. Though it is important that we take lessons from the past, the snag is should we use it as a yardstick to measure current morality, especially when it was not acceptable then? What these people will have to realise is that if anything at all, it is one of the reasons why President Kufuor’s party was not retained in 2008 among others. So why do we turn around to acquiesce to misdemeanours that were rejected in 2008.

My grandmother who passed away more than two and half decades ago used to say that when someone showers her with gifts it becomes a burden on her because she is forced to return it in kind. It is imperative for everyone to ask the question why Mr Kanazoe went to see the then Vice President Mahama? Was he the Minister for Roads and Highways to pitch what he is capable of? The answer is simply no. Mr Kanazoe went for one of the jugular veins for the kill. He could not get to President Mills so he felt the vice will be as good as the head. Do we make friends by consciously soliciting appointment to meet people, especially government official, as he alluded in Manasseh’s investigation? He struck a business friendship pure and simple with the express intention of influencing him in the future to do his bidding. What Mr Kanazoe did was planting a seed that will yield a hundred fold, and it paid off with the contracts that the president showered him with praise after its completion. Mind you, as I write, there is a lot of concern about the durability of the road he constructed. Some stretches of the road that was completed in February have already developed potholes. So much for President Mahama’s model contractor.

The brown envelop has got a magic power everywhere. Even in our churches, those who donate huge sums have special seat in the house of God. What in God’s name has the president done for Mr Kanazoe for him to reciprocate with a $100,000 worth of gift.

The friends of the president should not forget that the people of Ghana do not provide him with a presidential jet for him to behave like any ordinary man. Traffic do not stop for him to act like a messenger boy. Of course, I don’t blame him; it’s the fault of the late President, may his soul rest in peace, for saddling the nation with this unscrupulous cheap leader who will sell his country for a second hand car, according to their side of the story. What is even unpardonable is the disgraceful strawman argument that the gift was added to the presidential pool of cars, which everyone know that it was an afterthought. It’s the effort of a limp wristed brain desperate to make face in the courtroom of public opinion that will make such a lame pitch. Are they suggesting that the people of Ghana cannot afford to provide enough fleet of cars for his operations at the presidency? This is the last try of a drowning man. I am sorry; the president has been caught with his pants down, period.

Philip Kobina Baidoo Jnr



Columnist: Baidoo, Philip Kobina