By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
My good friends, when President Mahama paid a three-day visit to the Ashanti Region last week, he was warmly received, despite the constant railing against his government by political opponents, especially those in the NPP.
He commissioned numerous projects and made promises to add more to what the Ashanti Region has had so far.
Then, he interacted with cross-sections of the populace, especially the Asanteman and NDC supporters. He made utterances to whip up support for his government.
Out of what he delivered, his opponents have found a way to turn the table against him to reinforce their Mahama-loathing agenda and re-ignite their claim that the NDC has an "Ashanti Agenda" ( a throwback to what they had accused ex-President Mills of institutionalizing to "punish" them for massively supporting the NPP).
How did it all begin and what did President Mahama say in Kumasi that is being blown out of all reasonable proportions to create the impression that he is anti-Ashanti?
Or to turn him into a second Victor Owusu (whose infamous utterance that "Ewes are inward-looking" seems to be the bane of the Danquah-Busia camp in the Volta Region)?
President Mahama is reported to have said at a meeting with NDC followers that “The Akans have a saying that, the hen never pleases the hawk no matter how well she dances. But that shouldn’t discourage us. We have noted the promise we made to Ghanaians for which we were voted into power. Some people, even if we construct roads tarred with gold in Kumasi, they will tell us that we did nothing”.
As if possessed, his detractors are running around radio stations criticizing him for undermining Asantes and creating the impression that he is anti-Ashanti.
They are doing dirty politics with their own twisted version of the President's utterance, intensifying the calumny, and feeding their propaganda machine with it.
By their machinations, they hope to reap a windfall as they inflame passions and set President Mahama up for needless verbal attacks.
The government has already reacted to this campaign of lies and rogue politics; but it will need more than a rebuttal to douse the flame.
Level-headed people won't bat an eyelid at all over this innocuous comment by President Mahama, which was targeted at his detractors and not Asantes.
That is the more reason why those detractors drawing parallels between his utterance and what came from Akufo-Addo (“Yen Akanfuo” and “All die be die”) to intensify their anti-Mahama politics will fail to gain any traction at all.
For their benefit, let me explain that Akufo-Addo’s utterance was bad in principle, intent, and purpose. It was made as a political call to arms and as a militant urge to divide the society on the basis of ethnicity and to incite needless tension.
On the other hand, what President Mahama said was based on feedback reaching him on the ingratitude of those benefiting from his government’s development agenda. He didn’t target any ethnic group nor did he seek to divide society. He simply expressed his opinion, using the Akan proverb as the vehicle.
We know that the government has rebutted the accusation but the anti-Mahama campaign is likely to heighten now that the NPP people are bereft of ideas with which to undermine the government.
They will consider their own twisted version of the President's utterance as God-sent and use it to the full in the hope of winning souls. That's the essence of their book politics.
I shall return…
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