The overly desperate Akufo-Addo makes another wrong move

Thu, 19 May 2016 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

Folks, I have said several times already—and will continue to do so—that the NPP's Akufo-Addo is not politically intelligent enough to do productive politicking. In effect, he lacks commonsense in political mobilization. He has no message for the electorate apart from rabble-rousing ones verging on "huhudious" promises, self-serving claims of righteousness, and useless criticisms of those doing better than he can ever do. I mean what I am saying here.

Having made a bad name for himself all these years, all that he is using is "takashi" against his own party stalwarts expressing divergent views on how the NPP should be managed. The goring going on is his orchestration. He denies it to his further peril.

His defeat at the two previous elections had a lot to do with voter distrust of him and many other factors that still dog him wherever he goes.

His choice of "promises" to woo voters has collapsed. Had he better qualities as a politician, the voters would have bought into his flagship promise of "free senior high school education"; but because the voters had a poor opinion of him, they looked the other way. Indeed, that promise was like a wildfire that would have done much good but his own negative traits of character. Thus, he lost the bid.

For Election 2016, he hasn't changed his approach. Instead, he is hammering on the very irritating messages that fetched him defeat at the previous polls. Talk about his self-righteous empty boast that he won't be in power to steal Ghana's money (Do we not know how the NPP's funds are being stolen by Fraudie Blay, Abankwa, etc. to serve his purposes, especially on his tours outside the country?).

Again, consider his sterile message that he isn't corrupt or corruptible and you will have a lifetime of issues to laugh over. Not corrupt? Ask him to produce his law qualifying certificate and you will see whether he is fit to talk about the answer given by President Mahama that he hasn't taken any bribe before. No wonder, he hasn't commented on it so far.

Then, talk about his repetition of promises regarding a Zongo Development Fund and many others made on impulse just to pander to the sentiments of those he interacts with.

From the other angle, he is using Dr. Bawumia to run his fool's errands, charging him to do all he can to "expose" the Mahama administration, which explains why Bawumia is saying all that he thinks is true about the government's handling of the economy. His latest criticism about the $250 million UBA transaction is fetching him the humiliation that he didn't consider before shooting his mouth.

Bereft of substantial campaign messages, Akufo-Addo looks pathetic. Now, he is using Nigeria's Buhari as a crutch. Ridiculous!!

This is what he is telling Ghanaians: "Nigeria has presented Ghanaians with an example to follow in limiting President Mahama to one-term in office.

“Nigeria showed the way last year…we hope this will turn out into a lesson Ghanaians can learn from our neighbours that change is sometimes needed after just one full term”. (See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2016/May-16th/ghana-must-follow-nigerias-example-make-mahama-one-term-president.php#sthash.ZtehLsTT.dpuf).

What a desperate and misplaced call that will boomerang to hit him in the face! A politician worth his sort will not stoop so low. Is Akufo-Addo so ignorant?

Informed people know that when it comes to national politics, Ghana is a million light years ahead of Nigeria. It is true that Nigeria has a lot to learn from Ghana, not the other way round. If you doubt it, go an talk to a Nigerian about it. I have been monitoring the political developments in both countries for decades now and can say with certainty that Nigerians look to Ghana for inspiration while losing faith in their own political system.

Has anybody ever heard Nigerians discuss events in Ghana under Rawlings and thereafter?

Even the British Colonial establishment placed the Gold Coast (Ghana) far above Nigeria, which explains why Lord Luggard would implement the "divide-and-rule" policy in Nigeria and not in the Gold Coast. And it shouldn't be difficult for one to know why the British authorities were willing to grant independence to the Gold Coast in 1957 and Nigeria in 1960 (the very year that Ghana turned Republic).

Forget about the other factors (such as the huge size of Nigeria and its population, the abundant natural and human resources there, etc.). We are talking about political maturity and how the handling of affairs in Ghana is far better than it is in Nigeria. Can we forget so soon how Ghanaian teachers flocked into Nigeria to improve the system of education there?

Can anybody not know why Nigeria was plunged into a civil war and Ghana not? Ghanaians are accommodating of each other's interests, ethnic differences or political allegiance(s) notwithstanding. Nigerians are not!!

Akufo-Addo is lost. We recall that in most cases, though, happenings in Ghana and Nigeria seem to be replicated at some points, for instance, Busia's obnoxious "Aliens' Compliance Order" being re-enacted by the Shehu Shagari administration and a later one ("Ghana Must Go!").

The first post-independence military coup in Nigeria had a counterpart in Ghana's infamous Feb. 24, 1966 one. And other major events too. Beyond it all, though, is the cauldron of jealousy, especially in areas such as sports (soccer, particular, where Ghana defeats Nigeria to the chagrin of the Nigerian people. They always wonder why a small country like Ghana could beat Nigeria. But it is not about size).

In many other areas of human endeavour, Nigeria stands above Ghana; but it is not to be mistaken as any advantage. Nigeria may have the biggest military establishment in our part of the world, but it is useless in dealing with problems destabilizing the country. Happenings in the Niger Delta region and the Boko Haram scourge clearly prove that Nigeria is big only in name. Have we just not been told that Ghana's military has been ranked as 15 of the most powerful? Talk about international engagements and the prowess of our military.

Let me refer Akufo-Addo to current happenings in Nigeria under Buhari to apprise him of how Nigerians have regretted putting him in power. What is Buhari's defence? Here it is: "President Muhammadu Buhari is urging patience, noting that when he took office last year he inherited a corruption-plagued mess. “We are experiencing probably the toughest economic times in the history of our nation,” Mr. Buhari told Nigerians on Friday. “I cannot promise you that this will be an easy journey.” (See http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/world/africa/frustration-by-the-hour-as-nigeria-tries-to-cure-long-lines-for-gasoline.html?emc=edit_th_20160510&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=60814928&_r=0).

It’s not rosy for Buhari, if Akufo-Addo cares to know. Winning elections demands more than just the copycat business that Akufo-Addo is imploring Ghanaians to do by way of “trying” him.

I said in an earlier opinion piece on Akufo-Addo's lacklustre politicking that he seems to have forgotten that the character of the Presidential Candidates matters at elections. He is not what Gen. Buhari (a former military ruler of Nigeria) is. Neither does Buhari even care about him or his political (mis)fortunes. What point of contact there is between Akufo-Addo and Buhari is only visible because Akufo-Addo dashed to Abuja to hob-nob with Buhari after he had won the elections. Before that time, Akufo-Addo never reached out to Buhari, who had suffered similar electoral losses.

In effect, Akufo-Addo has seen Buhari as a straw to cling to in his desperation to win power. He is direly looking for a leaf to pick from Buhari's experiences to hang on to. But doing so alone will not fetch him any electoral victory. Can he not stand on his own "merit" to reach out to the electorate? Why lean on Buhari (in referring to the age factor or the sad fate suffered at previous polls, something they have in common)? I have very serious doubts about this Akufo-Addo's political worth and will continue to make my voice heard for as long as he gives me cause to do so.

Boiling everything down to the political sector, it must be pointed out aboveboard that anybody urging Ghanaians to do what the Nigerians have done at the polls will be written off like a bad debt. That is Akufo-Addo. There is no justification for drawing any parallelism at all. The Ghanaian situation will determine how the voters will vote, not just the happenings in Nigeria. Ghana is not a photocopy of Nigeria.

Has Akufo-Addo bothered to find out how Gen. Buhari did things to win the elections without pegging his fate on those of others in other countries? It takes a reliable strength of character and persuasive politicking anchored on convincing policies and trust in the electorate to win elections. Mere wishful thinking and fanning of sentiments won't put Akufo-Addo in power. Another wrong move by him to dampen spirits!!

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.