Why President Mahama is still poles ahead of Akufo-Addo (Part II)

Sun, 13 Dec 2015 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Thursday, December 10, 2015

President Mahama is acknowledged as the “face” of the NDC, being the one put in power on the ticket of the NDC, but he hasn’t in any way said, done or refused to say or do anything that endangers the wellbeing of the party. He hasn’t made any public utterance or portrayed himself in any way to suggest that he has any problem with anybody in the NDC. Indeed, even at the time that the NDC was struggling with how to deal with the “Rawlings factor”, he never postured himself in any way to suggest that he had any vested interest in anything—whether Rawlings should be divested of the accolade as the founder and father of the NDC.

Neither did he say or do anything to ruffle feathers when Rawlings’ fate was decided. He didn’t also say or do anything to give the slightest/faintest idea of how he felt about Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings’ vituperative reaction to the Sunyani congress that preferred the late Prof. Mills to her and her consequent desertion of the NDC to lead the NDP (having now made us know that she didn’t form that party). President Mahama hasn’t reacted in any way to the provocative utterances from the Rawlingses nor has he taken on anybody in the NDC challenging his authority or impugning his integrity with obnoxious public utterances. He has a thick skin to soak it all up.

Let me leapfrog here a bit for a good reason. Is it so for Akufo-Addo? No!! Anybody holding any contrary view should be considered as part of the huge problem facing Akufo-Addo. From all indications, he has a hand in the rumpus that has rocked his party and deflected it from its major agenda of reaching out to the electorate with convincing messages to win their hearts and minds. His slimy ways of retreating to the background when the machinations are materializing and his opponents are being “destroyed” only to resurface with face-saving messages of reconciliation are known. That is why a staunch follower of Joshua Attoh Quarshie’s type can’t take it anymore but to burst out, accusing him of being the cause of the chaos in the party. So also is it being said about him that he is breeding sycophants in the NPP, which runs counter to the ideals of the UP tradition.

For the nonce, let it be said that Akufo-Addo is focused on winning Election 2016 but flippant about what happens to the NPP when he is no more. That’s not how seasoned politicians think and behave. They do things to keep their political tradition alive. They think about the future and ensure that whatever they do leads to sustainable political power. What I see coming from Akufo-Addo is skewed toward his personal quest, which endangers the future viability of the NPP. Just consider how any potential leader of the NPP has been destroyed in the eyes of the public just because they dared challenge Akufo-Addo.

The funny part is: What happens if he dies today or is incapacitated by any ailment beyond control as to render him invalid for the elections? (After all, no one knows when Nature’s bell will toll) Will the NPP go for Alan Kyerematen or any of the discredited aspirants to contest Election 2016? With what effect? Truly, these NPP people are walking a tightrope on a one-way lane in the political landscape. How do they think at all? So, because of Akufo-Addo, no one in the NPP should hold a contrary opinion on the party’s affairs and express it without intimidation or the kind of repercussion that is adding more woes to Akufo-Addo’s own credibility problems? How pathetic!

Okay for now. Let me get back to my line of argumentation on President Mahama’s stance. There have been disturbances at the NDC front over the years that one might expect him to wade into; but he hasn’t. He has stayed away from all that fracas, obviously because he would rather work for such internal crisis to be resolved amicably than catalyzing them into a self-destructive inferno.

Take, for instance, the series of agitations and misguided actions by NDC supporters in reacting to his appointment of CEOs for Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies in some parts of the country or the Ministries, Agencies and analogous institutions. He never inserted himself into the scenario. Should he be dismissed as a weakling in that sense? I don’t think so. He knows the heavy political capital involved and won’t want to say or do anything to cause needless headache. Eventually, all hands are on deck, even if the undercurrents of dissension and discontent are still prevalent. The truth is that he isn’t coming across as the be-it-all-and-end-it-all for the NDC and its government. He is in charge of affairs but isn’t rowing the boat alone.

He has remained the cool-headed, affable man that he naturally is. Indeed, anything from him that might be interpreted as a reaction to happenings leans toward unity and the strengthening of bonds for Ghana’s good. He is on record as seeking unity in the ranks of the NDC and Ghanaians, generally. The bottom-line is that he is really not perturbed about happenings in his own party to the extent as to want to exert his influence to have people obey his voice or be damned. Politics is about differences and how to reconcile for the good of society. That is what guides President Mahama’s mindset and attitude. Is it the same for others, especially Akufo-Addo?

One significant fact is that while Akufo-Addo is preaching about VIOLENCE in terms of the voters register or gigging of elections, President Mahama has been urging Ghanaians to work for peace and fellow-feeling to realize the national aspiration of “one nation, one people, one common destiny”. Public perception of Akufo-Addo within the context of his own violent posturing (“Atiwa kuraa ye kyere won bibi kakraa”, and “All die be die”) is highly negative. What good does he think will come from this highly negative perception of him as someone who will be more willing to plunge Ghana into chaos if his ambition is not realized than as someone who has the technical capability to solve problems?

Of course, the people already know that he is not the kind of problem-solver to redeem them from their plight. All that talk of him as Ghana’s redeemer has no foundation in the truth that the people know and which truth informed their electoral decisions at Elections 2008 and 20912. The overarching question, then, is: What new lessons has he learnt to add value to himself to warrant his being preferred?

I won’t bore you by going any further. Just cast your mind round and over happenings in the NPP since Kufuor handed the mantle to Akufo-Addo and you should be your own judge. The manner in which he is doing things portrays him as politically immature and filled with a kind of dangerous zeal that scares. I have wondered why he thinks that he can solve Ghana’s problems and why he is raising the bar so high.

I make the connection with Rawlings’ dare-devil suicidal challenge to Ghanaians that he was ready to face the firing squad if Ghanaians didn’t like what he had come to do for them for the second time by overthrowing the Limann administration. What happened? He is still strutting around, becoming the best friend of Akufo-Addo and Co. If politicians of their ilk don’t end up at the stakes, they set their countries up for pogroms. And it is the innocent, poor, defenceless citizens who suffer the scourge of their nonsense!! No more.

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.