When the “political bats” foul our air…

Thu, 22 Aug 2013 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My good friends, you all know that a bat is neither a bird nor an animal, even though it bears features of either species. Hanging on trees with its head down, it sees only what it wants to see. In politics, too, we have bats—those who cannot cling to one particular political tradition with convictions that can stand the test of time. They go where their bread will be buttered.

The “political bats” are out of their nooks and crannies to be noticed for what they are—neither here nor there politically. Not even transfixed in the middle but turning left and right, depending on where the buttering of the bread is being done. Then, they pitch camp there and sell their political birthright for pottage.

They have no political family to claim their own and, like rolling stones gathering no moss, they swing with any political pendulum for personal gains. They care very little about the political tradition or how to establish any foothold therein. To them, political allegiance is second to personal gains from politics.

Freddie Blay is a perfect example of such “political bats” not to mention others parading the airwaves and defending causes that conflict with their originally professed political faiths. Take the Kwaku Baakos, Dr. Sekou Nkrumahs, lawyer Akoto Ampaws, and many more as other examples.

Ask them what their political persuasion is and they will profusely tell you that they are Nkrumahists. But monitor how they conduct themselves and you will be left slack-jawed. They are known for criss-crossing the political arena, appearing in their pro-Nkrumahist garb yet shooting their mouths and betting their Cedis on defending everything about the nemesis of Nkrumahism—the Danquah/Busia ideology. They will do all they can to prop up the Danquah/Busia family, even if that is detrimental to their self-acclaimed pro-Nkrumahist culture. Call them variegated politicians. The real political bats!!

Freddie Blay’s particular miscalculation has done him in and ended his political career. Nicknamed the “Elembelle Mugabe”, he is now a pale shadow of himself, having tumbled from the high echelon in Parliament to what he is today—a mere political bat crying for recognition.

It is in the light of this woeful public image that his latest utterance should be assessed:

“A former first Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Freddie Blay says Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would have performed better as president than President John Mahama has done in the last eight months.

According to the former Member of Parliament, the mismanagement of the economy, increased corruption in the country and the poor handling of vital national issues is testament that President Mahama has already been a failure.

He, however, added that if the Supreme Court rule in favour of the NPP in the election petition case and Nana Addo is declared President on August 29, he would obviously perform better and serve the nation well.”

(Source: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=283058)

Pathetic and disappointed Freddie Blay! What is the basis for this claim? None! A demonstration of frustrated and muddled thinking! Yes, absolutely yes!!

What is the yardstick for measuring President Mahama’s performance at this point? And what has Akufo-Addo up his sleeves, not to talk about what we have known him for all these years, to make any difference that only Freddie Blay could see?

Need we backtrack on him? Human rights activism, street demonstrations under the umbrella of the defunct Alliance for Change? Or practical work, using sterling administrative acumen to effect any drastic change in national life? Where? When?

We recall his abysmal performance as the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, leading to the packing of the Supreme Court by Kufuor in 2001 to pave the way for the Fast Track High Courts (Are they still functioning, though?). Kufuor won’t tolerate his incompetence and removed him, assigning him to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where scandals followed him. How about the much-talked-about diplomatic passports that mysteriously vanished from his custody? How about allegations of those passports falling into the wrong hands to be used for drug trafficking? Many others, my good friends.

And what has he done ever since to add value to himself except to keep himself in contention as the flagbearer of the NPP?

As an MP for Abuakwa South for 12 years, what significant achievement did Akufo-Addo bring to his constituents to positively change the lives of the people and for which he will be fondly remembered? At least, if he had done anything significant, we can point to it at that level to suggest that given the chance to be the President, he can do better. His performance was abysmal, which accounts for why some in his own constituency went for President Mahama despite their being intimidated before the elections.

In his legal profession, he has succeeded to a point; but beyond that narrow scope, what has he been able to do as a politician to prove that he would have done better than President Mahama over the past 8 months?

What administrative acumen does Akufo-Addo have that President Mahama lacks? Mere militancy or pompous display of the locally acquired foreign accent in English? Nothing to write home about him. So, what is the justification for the huge but misplaced claim by Freddie Blay?

Eventually, Freddie Blay and others thinking narrowly like him need to know that before they draw parallels between Akufo-Addo and President Mahama, they must know that one cannot just enter the Presidency to perform and be judged as such without first winning the Presidential elections. Akufo-Addo lost the 2012 elections and cannot be associated with the Presidency nor will anybody even bother to find out whether he could have outdone the incumbent John Mahama.

Seriously speaking, he doesn’t have a dog’s chance of standing up to President Mahama. Apparently, in seeking redress at the Supreme Court, he hasn’t even asked for the recounting of votes nor has he challenged the results declared by the Electoral Commission to prove that he was the preferred choice of the electorate. He turned to pink sheets and hid behind Dr. Bawumia to remain in contention. No backdoor President will be tolerated in Ghana!

Funnily, Akufo-Addo is asking that over 4 million votes be annulled to open the sluice gates for him to enter the political stables and actualize his claim to the Presidency as an entitlement. Indeed, the annulment is even being asked to be based on technicalities associated with pink sheets, not the quantum of votes counted at each of the 26,002 polling stations.

Or on the basis of electoral malpractices in terms of vote rigging or intimidation of his followers, which might negatively affect voter turn-out. Nothing directly related to voting and the counting of votes all over the country. Is this the kind of person to put in charge of Ghana’s affairs? Not in the least.

Let the “political bats” cry all they want; nothing will change to suit their parochial interests. And they will be told so again on August 29 that elections are won at the polls, not at the Supreme Court. I have spoken!!

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.