By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Folks, we have taken a keen interest in happenings in the country as far as President Mahama is concerned. It is becoming increasingly clear that anything about him, for him, against him, and aimed at him easily becomes the magnet that attracts just anybody seeking to say anything and be noted as such, whether for good or bad.
For his political opponents, the amateurish work done by Manasseh Azure Awuni has become the trump card to play in their campaign of calumny against him in the mistaken hope that it will undermine him and push their preferred candidate (no doubt, the NPP’s Akufo-Addo) to a higher pedestal to win Election 2016. That explains why they are feasting on that bogus report about the Ford Expedition.
The NPP people have invested so much in it that they are burning energy trumpeting it as if it will be the golden key to unlock the door for Akufo-Addo to enter the Flagstaff House.
Others parading themselves as anti-graft or anti-corruption experts and institutions are wasting their energy in the same vein, deceiving themselves that painting President Mahama black in the light of this orchestrated trash will give them some leverage to do their kind of negative politics for Akufo-Addo’s good.
Interestingly, their rushing into over-drive has led them to the point where they are making a huge mockery of themselves. They were initially unhappy that President Mahama hadn’t responded to Azure’s trash. Then, when he did, they couldn’t contain it, claiming that he was undiplomatic in his reaction.
President Mahama has said it straight to their faces that he doesn’t go for American cars, which has shaken them out of control. What next? They are now turning the matter into a different ball game to tickle themselves for more political mischief. Just consider this twist:
“President John Dramani Mahama’s public pronouncements that he does not like American cars, specifically Ford, is expected to affect the sale of American cars in the country, branding expert Kelly Nii Lartey Mensah has said.” (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Mahama-s-comments-can-affect-American-car-sales-Lartey-Mensah-450497).
What a lame opinion? How have American cars been faring on the Ghanaian market, anyway? And why should anybody think that it has to take President Mahama’s declaration of preference to change the dynamics?
The truth being dodged here by such lame politicians disguised as businessmen is that Ghanaians have never admired American cars because they are not durable in our environment. Ghanaians have gone for Japanese-made vehicles of all kinds since the 1960s or earlier. Take the Datsun vehicles for commercial purposes, the Toyota, Nissan, etc. for many purposes, including government business. The Nissan Patrols used by the Rawlings government still stand tall for their record of durability and an all-weather condition suitable for our environment. Many spare parts dealers in Ghana are proud of the Japanese vehicles because they are the best.
Even when the Rawlings regime introduced the vehicle standardization policy, it went for the Japanese-made vehicles.
Those who have anything to do with French and German vehicles have their own impressions too. The German VW (Beetle or any other except the fuel-guzzling Volvo) have their own history of use in Ghana. So also are the French ones. The Italian Fiat and others have their own history too.
Then, turn round to see why Ghanaians don’t go for American vehicles of the Ford or the General Motors brands (Chevrolet or whatever else). They are not suitable for our environments. Ghanaians in the United States even hesitate to buy these US-made vehicles. So, why the fuss? And why should anybody think that President Mahama’s personal preference should become the standard for determining the success or failure of the auto business in Ghana?
President Mahama says he doesn’t go for the US models, and I see nothing wrong with it. I have my own preferences; so do others. Those seeking to do dirty politics with this issue are lost already!! If they love US-made models, let them go for their preferences even as President Mahama goes for what suits him. Dirty politics on this score won’t win any vote for them at Election 2016.
Meantime, in West Virginia in the United States, flooding has killed 23 people after 9 inches of quick rain. When flooding occurred in Ghana last year and this one, the anti-Mahama elements were on the rooftop with their dirty talk for political capital that they haven’t had so far, although they sought to blame President Mahama for what Nature had unleashed on Ghana. To them, everything negative happening in Ghana is traceable to the “incompetent” and “corrupt” John Dramani Mahama. How pathetic aren’t they?
To those talking about the fall in sale of American cars in Ghana following President Mahama’s comment, I have a simple question: Have they found out why foreign-made cars (Toyota, especially) have topped sales in the auto industry in the US all these decades? No American-made car has ever done so. Even General Motors and its brands nearly collapsed but for President Obama’s intervention to get funding for them. Michigan is happy for that matter, even if its products aren’t anywhere near the Japanese and German-made vehicles. Despite all the problems that the VW industry has (over manipulation of emission levels, for instance), the VW remains the highest and most preferred in Europe, and it is doing well in the US too.
The same applies to the motor-cycle industry too. Let them come and see how Japanese-made motor-cycles are in high demand in the US, where the Harley-Davidson brand is produced and marketed as well. It’s all about individual preferences, not any national agenda based on the personal likes or dislikes of the Head of State!!
If those in the US aren’t going for their own brand, what business do we in Ghana have to complain about President Mahama’s personal preference for a Japanese automobile? And why should anybody bore us about low sales of American-made vehicles in Ghana? I wish this noise maker had talked about support for the Sarfo Kantanka brand instead. Their kind of negative politics is Ghana’s woe!!
I shall return…
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