Smear campaign can't solve our development challenges

Mahama Campaigns In Walewale3 John Dramani Mahama, former president of Ghana campaigning for the highest office in Ghana

Mon, 17 Aug 2020 Source: Denis Andaban

Sometimes, people think by our rendition, we assume to know all but that isn't the case. Some of us always believe in contributing to public discourse intellectually. I do not care whether you see me as an intellectual or not but I have my own pen.

It is also indisputable that those who are very empty and lack understanding of any public policy or subject matter under discussion, are those who initiate insults, personality attacks, smear campaigns and other petty acts.

You would recall that the New Patriotic Party on any given platform was always on John Dramani Mahama to name his running mate. In fact, it got to a point where they said that John Dramani Mahama wasn't getting anybody for the position of the running mate. Finally when, Prof Nana Jane was named, the NPP quickly organized a press conference and said a woman cannot be a Vice president. This unintelligible reaction to the nomination received backlash from the Ghanaian populace.

Then they shifted the posts by saying "it is not HER but HIM". That defeatist approach was also very ridiculous because the ticket of a presidential candidate is incomplete without a running mate. The flagbearer and his running mates, come together to constitute the ticket. Without the other, the ticket cannot be complete. That is the legal disposition. So what sense does it make to say it is not HER but HIM?

They used the entire four years attacking JM, blaming him for every woes of this country as though he was the one still ruling the country.

When he became the National Democratic Congress flagbearer after a fierce presidential primaries, they started telling Ghanaians that the NDC has no message.

When John Dramani Mahama started dropping policies upon policies, they quickly ran away from the lack of message only to say that the policy alternatives amount to deception.

At the time JM started announcing some of the policies, I thought that was the beginning of an intellectual engagement on the policy alternatives that could salvage this country from its economic woes. Alas! the NPP says round two. For them, "round 2", "fours years more for Nana to do more", are their policies. They do not know that policies are different from sloganeering.

The J&J ticket appears selling and shaking the political atmosphere. The euphoria among the Ghanaian populace following the nomination of Jane has been that which kept the nerves of the NPP extremely uneasy.

So far, the NDC continues to focus on its message and uses various platforms to explain the same. This is convincing many floating voters and the NPP think that the best thing to do at this point is to leverage on tangentials and smear campaigns. This strategy is quite primitive and cannot stand the test of time in 21st century politics.

The NPP should be calling on John Dramani Mahama for a policy debate and not surviving on petty politics.

We are not interested in majoring the minors and leaving the majors. We are really interested in intellectual engagement.

We have a porous security system.

We have an escalating unemployment situation occasioned by needless collapse of local businesses.

We have increasing cases of corruption and corruption fighting institutions have not been able to arrest it because of political interference.

There is moral decadence in public institutions including our public schools. Discipline is thrown to the dogs and we are not worried?

We have various cases of human right abuses.

COVID-19 pandemic still remains a threat, protocols are disrespected by politicians.

Our health delivery system is poor and needs pragmatic reconstruction and you believe in a smear campaign?

What are we doing to expand infrastructure to remove this double tracking?

What are we doing to expand infrastructure at the tertiary institutions to take care of the increasing numbers in the SHS?

Our economy is surviving on reckless borrowing. Our appetite for borrowing has unprecedentedly increased. Is that Ghana beyond aid?

Our natural resources are collateralised and mortgaged for loans that end up in stomachs.

We have so much to think about. We must think and think and decide on a new path of our economic growth. The economy is in shambles and surviving only on borrowing and manipulation of data. Let's get serious and not be pitifully petty!!

The Ghanaian cedi continue to depreciate even though Bawumia says that the cedi is the best!

The Economy is projected to grow negatively. Let's think!

We are doing poorly on media freedom. What are we doing?

Citizens are losing trust and confidence in our public institutions. Will name calling and insults improve the situation? Obviously No!

Tribalism and ethnocentrism have gained notoriety, virtually killing our nationhood and sense of harmony, unity and collectivization. Any responsible politician should be worried and thinking of salvaging the situation.

Country men and women, we have a country to rescue!

Columnist: Denis Andaban
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