By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Let’s be honest to say that politics in Ghana has become too dirty for our comfort. I wonder what will become of the country if the situation doesn’t change for the better. Justice Atuguba is right, after all, that the bane of our national life is the dominance of affairs by “illegal galamsey politicians”.
Here is a clear demonstration of what really detracts from our national life and reduces national politics to a nauseating state of absurdity.
A member of the Communications Team of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Gabby Assumeng, has accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of bringing a curse upon the country.
According to him, the current hardships and economic challenges being experienced in the country is mainly as a result of the electoral dispute on-going at the Supreme Court filed by three NPP bigwigs; Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP’s 2012 presidential candidate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, his running-mate and the party’s National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey. (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=282591)
Gibberish from this NDC noisemaker. Utter nonsense, to put it more stridently. Hiding behind this smokescreen to pass the buck is the height of lousy thinking and lazy, clumsy politicking. Assumeng has misfired big time!!
Even if we agree that the petition hearing has diverted public attention from other sectors to the happenings at the Supreme Court, it won’t be enough a justification for the issues that Assumeng and others like him are complaining about. Nagging questions arising from this claim are:
• What has the NPP’s petition got to do with the agenda that the President and his NDC drew up for national development before contesting the 2012 general elections?
• Has the petition hearing prevented the government from implementing the NDC’s manifesto of “Social Democracy” to improve living conditions?
• What has the petition hearing got to do with the government’s failure to enunciate policies and programmes that will help it make the difference in the lives of Ghanaians?
• Has the petition hearing prevented President Mahama from pursuing policies and programmes of the NDC administration under the late President Mills (“Better Ghana Agenda One”) or his own (“Better Ghana Agenda Two”)? What is the connection there?
• What about the petition hearing is detrimental to everyday running of government? Do the functionaries of the government not go to work every day? What do they actually do at post to make their presence felt?
• How has the petition hearing affected the situation at the Ministries, Agencies, and Departments such that they can’t function to raise productivity? And who is responsible for the lapses?
• Has the petition hearing put any spokes in the wheel of government business? How? We want to know because we can’t accept Assumeng’s reasoning as a defence for incompetence.
• What has the petition hearing got to do with the impolitic decisions being made by the President or his appointees to such an extent as to negatively affect the Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies whose nominees as CEOs are being kicked against all over the country? Has the petition hearing got anything to do with this tension created all over the place to endanger local governance?
• What have Akufo-Addo and his co-petitioners practically done to prevent the government from pursuing economic policies to drastically galvanize Ghanaians for national development?
• Has the petition hearing influenced the corruption that has been exposed in many institutions, especially the SADA and GYEEDA? How? We want to know.
• Has the petition hearing brought life in the country to a grinding halt/stnadstill for which the petitioners must be blamed as Assumeng has done?
• What has the petition hearing got to do with Ghana’s foreign relations efforts to get maximum support from the international community to boost local efforts at resuscitating the economy?
• We note that the commendation given President Mahama as winner of Election 2012 by Presidents and Heads of State all over the world was meant to energize him to do his utmost best so his leadership style could move Ghana out of the woods. What has he used that commendation to do?
We acknowledge at this point that politicians of Assumeng’s type are dangerous to the country and must be told aboveboard and watched carefully lest they worsen our plight.
I recognize the fact that the only impact of the petition hearing is the credibility problem that it might have caused our electoral system and the embarrassment to President Mahama because it is his legitimacy that is being challenged. But given the fact that the President himself has acknowledged that his victory was inspired and actualized by God, what again should he fear in providing the quality leadership that this country needs from him to move forward?
The other day, he was telling the whole world that he was confident of winning the petition against him. So, it is beyond question that he should be scared and lose his bearings in handling the affairs of state entrusted into his hands when he was inaugurated into office on January 7, 2013, despite the looming threat posed by the petitioners. He is still in office; so, what is his problem?
Indeed, he has been in office (as his own man, having shed off the care-taking capacity in which he had been at the sudden death of ex-President Mills). In effect, President Mahama knew long ago when he swore the Presidential Oath that from that moment onwards, he was the fount of authority and the person to lead us in the course of rebuilding our country. It means that he has a clear conscience and nothing to fear or hide from. What will be the cause to scare him stiff and prevent him from doing his utmost best?
Guided all along by that knowledge of winning the elections cleanly, what has prevented him from managing affairs competently? Nothing but his own inadequacies, which he should discover and set right. It has to do with good leadership skills, which the Ghanaian electorate must have seen in him to warrant their giving him the mandate to rule them. He was placed in office to apportion blame.
Then, he must force his appointees out of the stupor into which office-holding has put them. As Nigeria’s Obasanjo has said, “The whole thing is not just about leadership. If we talk about good leadership you should also talk about good followers. If you talk about human rights you should also talk about human duties and obligations… We are jinxed and cursed; we should all go to hell. The problem in Africa is that when one person takes over, he would not see any good thing that his predecessor did. Let us condemn but with caution.”
Has the government under President Mahama not seen the development agenda/blueprint its predecessors used when in office to make their presence felt, whether for good or bad? What is his own government’s agenda that cannot be implemented to develop the country?
Must politics now be reduced to this sickening level of stupidity? Indeed, although I have ridiculed the NPP petitioners for misdirecting their energies in pursuing this petition, I haven’t in the least lost interest in the proceedings at the Supreme Court regarding its hearing. I have also been keenly monitoring out-of-court happenings to be able to participate in the public discourse on our electoral system and its contributions to our democracy. I am confident that President Mahama will remain in office, and I expect him to be up-and-doing to satisfy the electorate as he prepares for Election 2016.
I have least had any cause to suspect that the petition hearing would be held responsible for the failings of this Mahama-led government, which is why I have reacted so vigorously to Assumeng this way. His kind of damage control is asinine and must be established and condemned as such.
I hope none in the government will ever raise anything of this sort to whitewash the government or to shift blame to the wrong spot. The petition hearing will soon be over and we shall see whether when President Mahama remains in office he will do anything different to change what we have all seen so far. What he may have up his sleeves should rather have begun being used in this period for us to be optimistic of a brighter future under him.
One would have expected him to be demonstrating the leadership skills that he has to reassure Ghanaians that he can do the job irrespective of the embarrassment that the challenge to his legitimacy might have caused. The only distraction to him may be when he decides to watch proceedings being telecast or to answer queries from his legal team. Otherwise, he has no cause to complain because he already has a competent legal team to fight for him, and the EC has stood its grounds to reinforce its earlier declaration of him as the winner of Election 2012. No bloody fears.
So, what again should he be scared of in the handling of government business? Isn’t it paradoxical that at the time that he should rather be demonstrating to Ghanaians the best leadership skills than being unnecessarily uninspiring? Is it only after the petition hearing that he will come out of his shell to give us what we have been looking for in him? I don’t think so.
August 29 is not far off. If he has anything to do, he should do it now. Those thinking that they can hide behind the petition hearing to deflect public attention from the incompetence that is paralyzing the system had better be careful. We are ready to tear them apart when they annoy us.
I am Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor, and I approve of this message.
I shall return.
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