We cannot supplant serious business with pointless debates

IEA DEBATE File photo

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 Source: Newton-Offei, Justice Abeeku

Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei

E-mail: justnoff@yahoo.com

In life, the task of managing the nuclear family, comprising a wife and two kids, is such a difficult task which most prospective parents dread. This often drives prospective couples to keep postponing their dates of holy matrimony, for ages. The moments of a child suddenly being taken ill in the middle of the nigh, or, even in cases where parents are blessed with kids whose only delight is in just crying for crying sake, parenting can be so tough.

This therefore requires years of proper planning, and, making sure one has the requisite temperaments to withstand pressures of live. A capacity to take rapid and cogent decisions must not be overlooked here. A successful marriage union should also be built in the company of positive influences since a union infiltrated by self-seekers is always bound to fail.

In much the same way, taking care of a nation with population strength of nearly 30million, certainly will come with its complex dynamics. This 30million people, certainly, will never be zombies. They will be individuals with divergent views on issues, varied levels of understanding and diverse aspirations. So, to be able to properly steer the affairs of these people, one should be level-headed, tactful, decisive, visionary and well-focused.

Indecisiveness and often piece-meal approach to issues of human-life, must never be part and parcel of someone desirous of leading a nation; and even in our case, this person must be pragmatic and clear-cut in his/her decisions for the simple reason that our nation is still grappling with very basic needs of life, nearly ix decades after attainment of republican status. With our myriad of problems, what we need in a leader, is decisiveness, integrity, patriotism and drive.

Indecisive John Mahama

Now, it is factual that John Mahama, the president of Ghana, in his book ‘My First Coup d’état’, he clearly stated that he is someone who lacks the capacity to be decisive, and that, “danger lurks around every move” he “makes”. That open admission of this serious flaw of his character, in any of these developed democracies, would have been at the center stage of the debate as we go into election-2016. However, this has not been the case, and rather, he is boldly going about claiming to have turned Ghana into a paradise, and therefore demanding for a debate between himself and his obvious successor, come 7th January,2017.

But the point is simply this; we were here in this country when massive resources, paid for by ordinary Ghanaian taxpayers, were expended in what the president termed as ‘ACCUNTING TO THE PEOPLE TOUR’, where over 70-long convoy of fuel-guzzling V-8 Landcruiser vehicles and military helicopters were commandeered to traverse the entire nation just to throw rocks into the eyes of Ghanaians.

It was during that period that a call by IEA for a debate between nana doo and himself, was responded with contempt and scorn by NDC propagandisrs.at the time, they argued that the president was not voted for by IEA so he would rather do the right thing by travelling across the country to personally account to the people. But from what I know, when I’m in village somewhere in Ghana, and never travel to Accra to see the interchanges with massively over-bloated price-tags, I would atleast feel the positive signs of the so-called socioeconomic miracle in so many other ways and therefore it would have to take the president to embark on a personal trip to my humble abode to remind of the simple fact that times are rosy.

But under the John Mahama-led NDC administration, though times are so rosy and the good people of this country have never had it so good, socioeconomically, we still do not feel it and therefore must take the president to come and wake us up from our chronic slumber.

Accounting to the people debacle

But these ACCOUNTING TO THE PEOPLE waste, after failing to do the propaganda trick, the president has now turned around to seek credibility by appearing before television cameras with Nana Addo, who is currently ridding on Ghana’s political landscape at a meteoric speed, while his message of HOPE is being embraced like hot potatoes by the suffering masses, who are yearning for change. Indeed, the president is human, and it is evident to him that the kind of reception he gets on his campaign tours are visibly unenthusiastic and this has made the atmosphere in his camp extremely subdued.

Forinstance, pictures of the president being welcomed with shouts of WE WANT CHANGE, right in his face at Darkuman-Lokompe, Accra, was a sight I have never ever witnessed in politics, neither in Ghana’s history, nor, anywhere on the African continent. Again, the vice President, Amissah-Arthur, suffered a similar reception in the Eastern Region. And because such sad spectacles have rather became the leading headlines of their campaign, they are now desperately seeking to change the discussion by throwing in desperate call for a debate, which in my view, amounts to a drowning-man desperately clutching to the tinny straps of the G-string of his partner.

Established convention

We have established a convention under our fourth republican democratic dispensation where IEA provides the platform for presidential aspirants to engage in a debate during which their respective policy alternatives are sup under the microscope by a panel of moderators. This program is often held in three phases at different locations of the country, with emphasis on specific areas of the economy.

What we however witnessed was the fact that sitting-presidents opted from the programme, for the obvious reason of being the sole target of criticism by the prospective contenders. Rawlings and Kufuor traversed this path, and probably, Atta-Mills might have done same, had he not passed-on, untimely.

John Mahama who succeeded Atta-Mills, took a bold step and broke away from the tradition of sitting-presidents opting out of the programme, by being part of the 2012 edition, albeit, a massive shot-in-the-arm from distractive effects of Hassan Ayariga deliberate coughs, whenever Nana Addo was speaking.

But rather strangely, the time comes for this year’s IEA debate, and NDC propagandists, with tacit approval of their presidential candidate, John Mahama, openly came out to tell the good people of this country that, they were not interested in the debate. Their reason was that the proposed debate between Nana Addo, the NPP standard-bearer, and John Mahama, was an act of disrespect to other political parties, and that, IEA had not operated by the tenants of fairness and adhered to core principles of democracy.

The debate therefore was thrown out of the window, and for weeks, thereafter, the IEA and its owners, Mr. and Mrs. Mensah, became the punching-bags of NDC ‘babies with sharp teeth’, while the Montie-3 ex-convicts took them to the slaughter house. And after all these cats of vilification and utter contempt against the IEA, which the president certainly cannot claim to have been oblivious to, he now turns around to demand for this very same debate?

Akufo-Addo is judicious with his time

Indeed, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a leader and presidential candidate of NPP for the 2016 elections, and therefore has a clear-cut schedule to go by. He does not wake up in the morning, and just dream up a what do to. The man is a well-organized individual who does not do things per the dictates of others whose whole life revolves around pure indecisiveness, total incompetence and abject incoherence.

And to those who have suddenly started making references to the debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in America, we want them to be insightful of the fact that, this great American example they are so crazy about and has suddenly become their point of reference to pushing for the same thing here in Ghana, does not happen by magic, neither is it by the dictates of someone who lacks judgement.

This debate in America which we seem to be so crazy about, is actually a product of a PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE COMMISSION which is a permanent and well-organized entity that puts in place the plan for next programme, the very day results of elections are declared, and a president-elect,announced.Therefore,if propagandists of NDC are so fascinated by what is going on in America and therefore wish it was replicated here,then,it is incumbent on them to do their home-work well and come to the point of realization that,indeed,this did not come out of a bogus call from an individual who has obviously lost credibility, sees defeat staring him in the face and therefore desperately looking for an escape route.

Now, when the NDC pulled out of the IEA debate, a private media house started plans to organize a debate between Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and President John Dramani Mahama alone. This media house wanted to partner GBC for this debate. The NDC again pulled out when plans reached advanced stages. Suddenly, the President desperately wants a debate with the opposition leader. At this stage, we need to ask the President and his team two critical questions:

1: What is the reason for this sharp turnaround?

2: Who should organize this debate since the NDC could not trust the IEA and this private media organization which was prepared to partner the GBC for the debate? Or do they want to appoint their own referee?

For the notice of incompetent John Mahama and his bunch of equally incompetent legion of media cabal, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is busily selling his message of HOPE to ordinary Ghanaians who are at the core of his cogent policy alternatives, and therefore does not have the luxury of time to engage palpable failures whose claim to fame is deeply rooted in only unbridled corruption and notoriety in insipid propaganda. Politics is about the welfare of the people, and therefore we of the statesman are of the strong belief that it must be practiced with all seriousness and by serious people.

Columnist: Newton-Offei, Justice Abeeku