Election 2016 hiccups: Caution to President Mahama

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Folks, I want to be very forthright and stubborn upfront (if even considered as disrespectful at this point) to caution President Mahama against falling into the gutter to fight with his political opponents known for mudslinging. If he does so, he will expose his underbelly for a murderous attack to doom him at Election 2016.

I have read news reports suggesting that he took on the NPP’s Akufo-Addo in intemperate language and uncomplimentary political diatribe. I don’t agree with him on that score because I expect him to rise above that level. His natural self shouldn’t tolerate that stooping so low.

Those who know Akufo-Addo don’t need anything of the sort from President Mahama to doom him at the polls. The battle to dim Akufo-Addo’s light has been going on all these years without any direct fire-fight between him and President Mahama; so, why now?

He is reported to have made a lot of comments that amount to nothing but personal attacks on the NPP’s flagbearer, Akufo-Addo. The most poignant of all those comments has been reported to suggest that he has painted Akufo-Addo as a “dictator” who must be rejected by the electorate. The news report traced his comments and explanation of what he considered to be “dictatorial” about Akufo-Addo, focusing on the internal crisis in the NPP.

Hindsight: In addressing the NDC’s rally at the launching of its national campaign to seek the mandate of the electorate to retain President Mahama at Election 2016, former President Rawlings gave a clear picture of the political opponents against whom the NDC has been fighting all these years to re-orient Ghanaians to the kind of politics that serves national and not parochial/tribal interests.

He gave a very brief address that encapsulated everything about the Danquah-Busia political culture and warned against any toe-to-toe contest with them in their comfort zone (within the realm of rabble-rousing, treachery, trickery, chicanery, and call-to-arms to destabilize the country just in the pursuit of their own interests).

We commented on that address by Rawlings, praising him for being so astute and politically informed and relevant to the cause that the NDC has been fighting all this while, a cause that has been accentuated by the outcome of Elections 2008 and 2012, not to talk about the purposes that his own June 4 and December 31 Revolutions brought to the Ghanaian political equation. Any informed NDC follower or the cowards in the Danquah-Busia nonsense who ran away but returned when the dust settled won’t ask for more.

Within this context, then, we are not happy that President Mahama has failed to heed Rawlings’ timely advice not to fight the NPP in its comfort zone. I am baffled at this point. What political good did he want to reap from that personal attack? All those happenings are already known, and their implications clear. How would they help him win over the NPP malcontents? Is it even his lot to go that way?

I don’t think so. The fact is that wherever those NPP malcontents show up, the NDC machinery should move fast to rope them in. Making ugly noise about the issue on a political platform min the open isn’t the means to do so. Is anybody doing any sophisticated politicking at the NDC front?

As is to be expected, the NPP has come out strongly to condemn him for going that way. (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Akufo-Addo-is-not-a-dictator-NPP-464879).

They have even added the icing to their own kind of cake to suggest that he (President Mahama) is “indecisive”, let alone being unfit to be retained in office because of his incompetence (an indictment initiated by Akufo-Addo to feed into his earlier condemnation of the late Atta Mills as “Professor-Do-Little”). They have said a lot more that is already common knowledge. It’s all boiling down to new fronts being opened in the political electioneering efforts to undermine President Mahama that he should be the first to detect and not fall prey to. Unfortunately, he has failed to read between the lines, which is disturbing.

The implications are dire. Clearly, the most prominent of them is that President Mahama has shot below the belt and opened himself up for what Rawlings had cautioned him and the NDC against doing, lest they give the trump-card to the NPP to do as it wishes, which the uninformed segments of the electorate will admire and base their electoral decision on to the disadvantage of the NDC.

Folks, I may appear to be belabouring the issue, but I have a good cause for doing so. Pardon me as such. This circumlocution is a rhetorical move to say that President Mahama has over-stepped bounds. I do not appreciate his new line of politicking, especially having already endeared himself to Ghanaians as an “affable” and disciplined person who won’t indulge in personal denigration for political expediency. The records say it all.

As the son of a successful politician in the early days of Ghana’s life, he has nothing to lose by slamming his political opponents, especially Akufo-Addo, as he has done. The truth is that placed face-to-face with Akufo-Addo, there is no doubt that he will be the favourite. Any Doubting Thomas can seek the late Madam Hawa Yakubu Ogede to confer with. She had told her NPP people that if the NDC chose John Dramani as its Presidential Candidate, she would vote for him. She didn’t live to actualize her dream. Ask the NPP people why!!

Anybody who knows President Mahama, especially in his days of growing up will not hesitate to acknowledge him as a gentleman of all gentlemen. Forget about the negative politics about his personal life. After all, we all have cobwebs in our cupboards. But his cobwebs have turned out to be his assets, which explains why he reigns supreme as Ghana’s President, no matter what the “against people” do/say or what his government’s challenges are.

Interestingly, Akufo-Addo’s brand of cobwebs still stings him hard, which explains why he hasn’t been successful in connecting with the Ghanaian voters. His senseless recourse to the Supreme Court after losing Election 2012 was just a last-ditch effort to prove to well-meaning Ghanaians that the Judiciary is a weak link in our democracy. Many happenings thereafter have proved us right. Let them savour whatever nourishment their cocoon offers them until they are woken up again to the sad future reality staring them in the face all these years. But President Mahama must not play himself into their hands to his own peril.

Knowing them for what they are, it is politically suicidal to fall into the pit with them, where you will have no traction!! Akufo-Addo is going round saying that he won’t insult President Mahama, forgetting that he has already done so on several occasions and set in motion his NPP’s machinery, using his minions to paint President Mahama black all this while. Just read the news report on their reaction to president Mahama’s labelling Akufo-Addo as a dictator!! And they have done worse and will be expected to continue doing so. That is their trade mark, using their operatives everywhere (including those airing the party’s views on Ghanaweb and other forums)!!

Let’s cut the chase here to tell President Mahama that he didn’t enter the Presidency by bad-mouthing his political opponents and that he can’t do so now. I am against his taking on Akufo-Addo on this score to exchange unpleasantries. His best political bet is to just say what will sell him. He has done a lot for the country to be proud of and must reiterate it so if he is given the second chance, he can do more.

No voter will enthuse over his harshness toward Akufo-Addo and the other contestants at this level. Decency is his asset, and he must capitalize on it. He should leave the hatchet job to those of us who have no ambition for political office but know all there is about those challenging him. We have the facts about them and will hit them hard where it hurts. What more should Ghana ask of us? Only the best is good for Ghana. But we don’t expect President Mahama to join us in that bid. After all, we are not seeking political office. We are only adding our voices to the political discourse on our country’s affairs, armed with relevant information about the contestants seeking the highest office of the land.

And we are more than convinced that Akufo-Addo and all others making the loudest, ugliest nose to supplant the incumbent have more cobwebs in their cupboards than what they are pointing to about the incumbent. We have been at their throats all this while, daring them to go to court against us if they think we are wrong; but they haven’t been able to do so. The cowards that they are, they fear their own shadows.

We have the facts and expect President Mahama not to go the way we go in the muddy warfare. He should live up to expectation as a gentleman. We will do the hatchet work for him. No more, no less. And the voters will go to the polls to determine who their future President should be, based on the evidenced in front of their eyes and not the sweet-sounding promises being gushed out. They already know who is who!! Mr. President, please, be advised as such!! Let the pigs enjoy their picnic in the mud!!

I shall return…

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