By Margaret Jackson
May 8, 2012
I am here just to set the records straight but not to break any limb. We were all in Ghana when news suddenly broke out that ex-president John Agyekum Kufuor has been invited to the G8 summit in the Sea Island in the United States. The year was 2005, and the invitation was extended by ex-president George Walker Bush. But I also want to stress that the invitation to that year’s G8 summit happened during Kufuor’s SECOND TERM IN OFFICE (emphasis mine).
The euphoria and trumpeting noise that broke out from the NPP quarters throughout the country following the invitation of Kufour to the summit was unprecedented. It was deafening. The NPP made a big deal out of the invitation and continuously pointed out that the invitation was as a result of Kufuor’s sound economic policies, good governance, economic achievements and add the rest if you so wish. The NPP borrowed newspapers, radio stations loaded with their stomach journalists sang Kufuor’s praises to the highest heavens whilst trivializing the NDC.
And to make sure that the NPP scores maximum points out of the summit invitation, radio and television stations started running advertisements highlighting the summit and also patting the back of Kufuor. Even the NPP mounted some giant billboards in Accra to stress that Kufuor was going to rub shoulders with the G8 Big Guns.
What the NPP was telling Ghanaians at the time was that Kufuor has really come of age and that for him to have been invited to the summit was a testament of his ‘unprecedented’ achievements in the annals of Ghana. They also meant to tell Ghanaians at the time that any president who is invited to that august summit can be counted as a worthy leader who has really ‘washed his/her hands very well’.
It is based on that premise that is why the NPP leadership lampooned President Mills of not getting the nod by way of invitation to the 37th G8 summit which was held on May 26-27, 2011 in the commune of Deauville in France. The NPP top guns stated emphatically that President Mills has done practically nothing since his assumption of office, that is why he did not get the call to attend the summit. The NPP further went on to state that President Mills has virtually run down the country so he would never get the attention of that august group. President Mills and his NDC government took all those taunting and insults in strides because they were confident on what they were doing to put the country on sound economic footing.
But last week turned out to be an extraordinary week in the annals of Ghana. First off, Mute Akufo-Addo, who had gone missing for fear of being asked to remark on the inflammatory comments by Kennedy Agyapong who called on Asantes to exterminate Ewes and Gas suddenly metamorphosed into the country. But instead of continuing to recline low, Akufo-Addo rather attacked President Mills on some reported infraction on the biometric registration exercise. But when he was asked to comment on Agyapong’s highly inflammable comment, Mute Akufo-Addo chickened out by pointing to the courts.
When Mute Akufo-Addo was however forced to say something on Agyapong’s comment, lo and behold he blamed President Mills and called on him to take steps in stemming the heating political tide so that he Akufo-Addo would follow suit. But when the NDC did not take kindly to his inability in condemning Agyapong, and put the heat on Akufo-Addo, he suddenly dashed to meet the chiefs of the Volta Region in a hurriedly arranged meeting to pledge that he is a man of peace and does not condone in violence against any ethnic tribe.
Another thing that happened last week was the disingenuous analysis of the economy by Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, NPPs vice presidential candidate at the Ferdinand Ayim Memorial Lectures in Accra under the theme “The true State of the economy”. The barrage of criticisms from the NDC on Bawumia following the lectures was exceptional. It showed that the NDC spirit was back and that the party’s communications team has found its mojo going into the 2012 elections. The force with which Bawumia’s analysis was torn apart forced Bawumia to flee to the Tamale Market to seek solace from the market women.
In the midst of all these happenings last week came the sudden news that, the U.S President, Barack Obama has invited President John Mills, and three other African leaders to the 38th G8 summit at Camp David in Maryland, USA. This should have been a home-run for the NDC or President Mills, but there is no fun-fare from the NDC quarters, an indication of how the NDC people want their actions to speak louder than their words.
The invitation of President Mills to this year’s G8 summit clearly vindicates him and his NDC government from the barrage of attacks from the NPP folks that they have done practically nothing since they assumed office in 2009. It clearly shows that slowly but surely President Mills’ NDC government is delivering on its promise to Ghanaians hence the notice he has received from the International Community and that G8 august body.
What is even remarkable is the fact that ex-president Kufour had his first taste of the G8 summit during his second term in office, but President Mills who has been written off by the NPP as a do-nothing president is going to the G8 summit during his first term in office. So what does that tell Ghanaians? It clearly means President Mills has done more in his first term as compared to what Kufuor did, that is why President Mills is going to G8 summit in his first term.
What does this G8 invitation of President Mills mean to the NPP folks? It means that all their negative propaganda against President Mills is falling apart. Can you believe that days after Bawumia has stated that the NDC has done nothing to grow the economy and that the NDC government is lacking in ideas and deep thinking whilst it has resorted to the use of propaganda to manage the economy, President Mills got the invite to the G8 summit?
I bet there would be no giant bill boards in Accra to glorify or celebrate President Mills as compared to what happened when Kufuor was invited for the first time to the G8 summit. I honestly believe that the NDC would not put any propaganda spin on this invitation by letting paid serial callers sing the praises of President Mills, neither would there be bought radio and TV advertisements trumpeting the invitation whilst slighting the opposition. But just as the Fantes have an adage that “Ahodze pa nkasa” (empty barrels make the most noise), Ghanaians are gradually seeing the good works of President Mills, and that if the NPP continues to weave, rely and jab with lies and mere propaganda, they should start composing their defeat dirges long before the first vote is cast.
Indeed President Mills’ invite also clearly demonstrates to the NPP that no amount of witchery on that part can destroy the NDC and that if they do not adopt a credible campaign theme devoid of lies and sheer misinformation, there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth on December 8, 2012. That is when the NPP folks would realize their terrible mistake.