After over a week’s rest in the US, President Mills last Monday, arrived home with a very sharp response to the media-hyped presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, who had described him as “Professor Do Little”.
Speaking to pressmen who had trooped to the Kotoka International Airport, President Mills said that Nana Addo lacks “a little dose of originality.”
The president, however, expressed gratitude to Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo- Addo, who was once his playmate during his school days at University of Ghana-Legon, for, at least recognizing that his presidency was doing something for the people of this country, but asserted that the good people of Ghana hold the verdict on his performance.
“I wish that a little dose of originality had come in, but let’s see, the people of Ghana will decide whether the little is more than the maximum or not.”
The President told journalists that he is happy Nana Akufo-Addo did not say he was ‘Professor Do Nothing’.
Political analysts say Nana Addo’s name-calling propaganda tactics and the sharp response from President Mills is setting the tone for the campaign for the 2012 elections.
Name-calling is a cognitive bias and a technique to promote propaganda. Propagandists use the name-calling technique to invoked fear with the hope of attracting positive opinion about themselves. This tactic is used instead of an argument; name-calling is thus a substitute for rational, fact-based arguments against an idea or belief based on merits.
Nana Addo, on August 8, days after winning the New Patriotic Party’s flag-bearer slot, told journalists at his residence in Accra that President Mills was not delivering the Better Ghana Agenda he promised and was now referred to as ‘Professor Do Little’.
“The Professor who is in-charge of our affairs, President Mills, is now known as ‘Professor Do Little’, and it is important that all of us work together to make sure that Ghana has the sort of government that the people of Ghana deserve,” Nana Addo said.
“I am happy they didn’t say ‘Professor Do Nothing’. Nothing is zero but you know, the word little is relative. What maybe little to somebody maybe maximum to another person. So there is no comparison,” President Mills responded.
President Mills’ position that his main challenger for the forthcoming 2012 presidential elections is “fake” comes in the wake of another description he made about another NPP, strongman, Mr. Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten, in the Central Region, during the Centenary Celebration of Adisadel College in Cape Coast.
That description was effectively used by pro-Akufo-Addo elements within the NPP including Ursula Owusu, as an endorsement of Mr. Kyeremanten and a phobia for Nana Addo.
“I have known Alan as a gentleman for quite a long time, and I will like to know what he did when he was a student here so that I can use it against him during campaign time since he is my opponent,” President Mills said drawing thunderous laughter from the huge crowd.
What was held by many as a positive compliment from a president to his former student at the University of Ghana became Mr. Kyeremanten’s waterloo, as supporters of Nana Addo claimed that the president’s words had sinister intensions.
Nana’s camp loudly claimed that the government was baiting NPP delegates to have Mr. Kyeremanten elected as their flag bearer so that he could be pounced upon and dragged to court on a criminal charge for a certain act committed when he was a minister of state.
In the end, Mr. Kyeremanten collapsed under the propaganda wedged against him by the Nana Addo Camp which claimed that he was engaged in vote- buying by sharing money, food, clothes, and mobile phones, among other things. Among those who led the smear campaign were Sheik I.C. Quaye, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway and Samuel Jinapor.