By: Kwabena Amankwah
The December 7 general election is just nine months away and it is important for Ghanaians to avert their minds to certain character traits of the people who are seeking their mandate to manage their destinies in order to make the soundest decision they will not regret later.
It is clear to all that the battle line has been drawn between Nana Akufo-Addo, Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party, and incumbent President Mills who is seeking a second term in office.
After walking on the path of democracy since 1992, one would have expected some modicum of decency in the nation’s political discourse, especially at this time that we have an “Asomdwehene”, “God-fearing Man”, “Humble Man”, “Integrity Man” Prof John Evan Mills as the president.
But the irony of the situation is that the nation’s political discourse has been so much debased that many people do not find it appropriate to discuss issues of bread and butter, but prefer to engage in politics of outright insults, lies and character assassination against political opponents.
One of the worst victims of these ungodly acts has been Nana Akufo-Addo. One finds it difficult to fathom why President Mills and his functionaries do not consider it a worthwhile venture to engage Nana Akufo-Addo on issues but rather choose to always assault his personality.
I think the answer is simple: The man is on top of the political game, and we can’t match him squarely when it comes to politics to issues; let’s hit him below the belt. Let’s continually assault his character and personality and cast him in bad light in the eyes of the electorate.
And this has indeed been the game plan of the NDC. What is most intriguing is that the vicious campaign of insults and lies against the personality of Nana Akufo-Addo is being orchestrated at the presidency, headed by the “Asomdwehene”, “God-fearing Man”, “Humble Man”, “Integrity Man” Prof John Evan Attah Mills.
We are constantly told that President Mills is a devout Christian, but one wonders if he really believes in the teachings of the Holy Bible. Has he forgotten the biblical exhortation to treat others the way one wants to be treated? Does he really want to be treated the way his people are treating Nana Akufo-Addo?
President Mills cannot tell us he is not aware of the daily dose of insults, lies and attacks being spewed on Nana Akufo-Addo by his functionaries and his paper newspapers. What has been his position on these attacks?
It is clear that the President endorses the insulting behaviour of his appointees, so long as the insults and attacks are targeted at his political enemies, especially Nana Akufo-Addo. Oh yes, Ghana now has a President who comes public to condemn politics of insults only when it is directed at him. It is however ok when it is directed at Nana Akufo-Addo.
I wish to remind President Mills of the fact that the so-called virtues of humility, integrity and godliness he is said to radiate will forever remain useless if he cannot positively affect the behaviour of people around him.
It makes no sense to claim to be incorruptible and be surrounded by corrupt people; it makes no sense to claim to be humble and be surrounded by arrogant people; it makes no sense to claim to be decent and be surrounded by people with foul mouths.
Unfortunately, this is the reality at the presidency, and it is a clear example of a failed leadership. A good leader should be able to instil in his followers the virtues that be believes in and embodies. Anything short of that renders him or her a useless leader with no influence.
Kwabena Amankwah is former TESCON Secretary of the University of Cape Coast and a member of the Eastern Regional Communication Team of the NPP. 0244217504