Opinions Sun, 26 Feb 2012

Who Is Who? Nana Addo And President Mills In The Ring.

The presidential candidate of the main opposition; Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo-Addo on last Saturday 18/02/2012 confidently threw a challenge that he was ready to meet His excellency President John Evans Attah Mills in the "Boxing Ring of Character Context".

The two elderly statesmen are not new to Ghanaians and their records can be easily accessed. Nana Addo as a veteran political Boxer have held public offices for about 36 years now. Starting as a democracy activist, through human rights advocate, to holding political positions like Member of Parliament, Minister of State and International offices in the UN, AU and Ecowas. There are a whole lot of records to trace. He is undeniably a great contender to meet in the ring.

On the other hand, President Mills is a law professor who has thought law both in Ghana and abroad. He has worked as an executive of the Internal Revenue Service and as a tax lawyer. Politically, he came out of the blue to occupy the position of the vice president of our land, thanks to Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings. And now the president, the highest political position of our country. His opponents has a long record to study in any attempt to defeat him in this context. His has a formidable record.

Going quickly through the record of President Mills. He has been hailed as the man who spearheaded the formation of the GETFUND which has indeed helped a lot in our educational system for all these years. He drafted many taxes for our state which immensely helped the government of Ghana to gather a lot of resources in running our economy. Mills as president will be remembered for his strong drive towards eliminating schools under trees. He has gained the accolade: "Asomdwoehene" because many were convinced he stood for peace as the word peace never departed from his lips. Many have described him as an incorruptible man and a man of great honor.

Nana Addo on the other side is deemed as one of the persons who laid on the ground as rails to move democracy into our country. He is widely know to detest any form of human rights abuse. Among lawyers, he is considered as one of great repute both home and abroad and has trained a lot of lawyers through his chambers. He is singularly regarded as the man who drove the move for the repeal of the criminal libel law which indeed has given a lot freedom to our press and have enhanced freedom of speech in our country. Nana Addo is known to be the man who brought the computerization system into our law courts, which led to the creation of Fast Track High courts in Ghana. As a foreign Minister he Attracted many positions on the world body (UN) and in Africa. His efforts within the sub region saw him mediating peace in Seira Leon, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire giving Ghana an uneatable record as the citadel of peace in the West African Sub-Region.

In the real context of Character many allegations have been against both opponents mainly by the supporters and lieutenants of both statesmen. Nana Addo has been accused of womanisation, drug abuse and violence. In the accusations of womanisation not a single woman has been identified as one of the women he is alleged to have played the harlot with and this has left this accusation as a mere smear tactic. In fact is a common knowledge that Nana Addo is happily married with a beautiful wife and children so the allegation has little weight to weigh Nana Addo down in the eyes of discerning people. On drug use, Nana Addo personally submitted himself to medical check to prove his critics wrong, the results of the test was published as negative which possibly is the simplest way to have put that accusation to rest. Later the accusation diverted from drug use to dealing in drugs. His critics cited an alleged arrest in America as their basis, but criminal reports form the American Embassy in Ghana, Port Authorities in the USA and Federal Crimnal reports showed that Nana Addo after more than 40 years of traveling to and from America has never been involved in any form of crime in the USA. These reports laid to rest the accusation of his Dealing in drugs and subsequent arrest in the USA. His healthy looks and absolute absent marks of drug abusers has widely vindicated him on this accusation.

It is amazing that all these while Nana Addo has never ever been accused of any act of corruption or malfeasance after all these years in public offices. He has proven on that note to be one of the most incorruptible political leaders we could ever have. Nana Addo has never been cited as a liar or a hypocrite but rather unanimously believed to be a frank man of his own words. Nana Addo from close pals has painted him as a man who hates cheating and frowns on indiscipline. His firing of a security detail who was said to have manhandled a journalist some two years ago attested to his stand on indiscipline and his stand against violence.

President Mills critics has constantly called him a hypocrite, a liar, an immoral man, a corrupt leader, a weak man and one who condones evil whilst preaching against same. Some have accused him of being on drugs and being an alcoholic. Others even pointed to him as a gay.

In Hypocrisy, his pledge of being a father for all and rather disappointing display of dormancy when many in the opposition were attacked and some even killed after his entrance into office gave his critics the urge to call him that. Not just that, when he unleashed his boys on his opposition who went insulting Nana Addo, Former President Rawlings and his family and as many as stood his way without a word of caution from him made him very suitable for this cut. His stand in the Ya Na saga and late submissions of having no evidence as promised rather worsened this issue. President Mills personal submission that the talks of drastic reduction of fuel prices, putting money in our pockets and his vice president's promise of 10% of oil revenue for the western region were all political talk has successfully painted him as indeed a hypocrite.

I have very little knowledge about medicine, and so I have little to say about the allegation that throat cancer from which our president is said to be suffering is caused by drug use, excess alcohol or oral sex. But if this submission from his critics is medically founded then President Mills can be accused of one of the three or all. If I were the president I would have also submitted myself for an open examination to put the case to rest. Again a scan run on the president in a Hospital in South Africa some months ago is also said to be run on patients with throat cancer seriously putting the president's denial that he did not have the disease in doubt.

Calling the president a liar to me is too harsh an expression. Answers I get when I make this submission is that; what will I call a man who said he had evidence to jail the killers of Ya Na only to turn round after winning that he had no evidence after all? I am asked to bring the right words to describe a man who says I hate insults and remotely promotes those who insults the most? I am asked to describe a man who said he knew nothing about the Woyome saga and later be cited as haven tried twice to stop same in my own words?

His weakness mask is bought from the showcase of how his appointees run things in their own way whilst the president stand aloof. A perfect example his frustrated remarks like "Prof O Re Ha Me Paa O!" as quoted by his political godfather, Jerry Rwalings. His alleged attempt to have stopped the 51 million cedis to Woyome without success has further compounded the whole issue.

On corruption and immorality, I have never hear of President Mills being directly involve in any form of corruption. But indirectly he was cited as haven presided over the Mabel and Johnson saga. His question to the press in the Mutaka chinchinga saga; "is he the first Minister to travel with his girlfriend"? And his stand in the Wouome saga at the beginning as not willing to disgrace the beneficiaries of the judgement debt. His reluctance in dealing with his appointees accused of corruption has highly dented his image of incorruptibility. The single issue that can flaw the president on allegations of immorality is his affair outside marriage which resulted in the birth of his alleged son. Don't misunderstand me, I used alleged because I have never seen him. In this the evidence, is the child and the mother. The "juju ring" spotted on his hand during the 2008 elections puts his piousness claims to doubt. The evidence is confirmations form Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, and photos which are showing the president with the gargantuan ring on his finger.

This context could go in forever! But mere allegations without basis and confirmations will give Nana Addo a better run fir the tittle. Until his critics bring out convincing evidence to establish their allegations they will strengthening him with the false as Nana Addo supporters seem to be seducing enough evidence to establish accusations they lay against His Excellency, John Evans Attah Mills.

Reagan Adomah Koduah. UK, London.

Columnist: Koduah, Reagan Adomah