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Why President Mahama Is Still Poles Ahead of Akufo-Addo
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Folks, I am in my element to comment on something that has piqued my interest for long. It is all about the manner in which Akufo-Addo is (mis)handling the NPP and how President Mahama is doing things at the NDC front to prepare minds on voter sentiments and electoral decisions.

I have noticed a huge difference that must be factored into public discourse on the calibre of leaders that our political parties should strive for if they want to remain vibrant and viable long after those leaders have left the scene. And why in our time, the NDC front under President Mahama remains stable and confident of victory at Election 2016, regardless of much public discontent at prevailing economic conditions in the country.

What we’ve seen thus far underscores the need for such an issue to be explored. I have settled on Akufo-Addo and President Mahama because they are the two horses gunning for the voters’ mandate at Election 2016. The leaders of the other political parties may simply be dismissed as busy-body underdogs. I don’t even think they qualify as match-makers because they have no constituency to influence voter sentiments and electoral decisions. It is a straight fight between the NDC (led by President Mahama) and the NPP (under the influence of Akufo-Addo). Whatever those mushroom parties have to offer will be split between the NDC and the NPP. Don’t underestimate the influence of “inducements” in Ghanaian politics.

So, why not raise some issues pertinent to the leadership style of President Mahama and Akufo-Addo to spice public discourse? Forget about anything personal at this stage because when it comes to the “personal”, President Mahama has more credit than Akufo-Addo can dream of. No need to explain anything. Otherwise, go to the electorate to find out why they rejected Akufo-Addo in the run-off at Election 2008 and why they gave President Mahama an outright victory over him at Election 2012. Their bull crap of petition hearing has even added more to his credibility problems that will add to others to hurt him all the more at Election 2016. Does he ever learn any lesson from his own self-created negative circumstances?

The differences between these two prominent citizens in doing party and government business is clear, and we must acknowledge them to help us take a good sneak peek into what they portend for Ghana. The going is tough for President Mahama, but he isn’t spent yet. He is still fighting hard (the “Gonja warrior” that he is) to put things together for Ghana’s good. I am confident that he will succeed because I know him for what he is. Let the Doubting Thomases and those undermining his integrity expend their energy and borrowed resources to indulge in political mischief. It will amount to nothing.

That is why I want to draw parallels between his attitude to internal party issues and those of the NPP’s Akufo-Addo. After all, it is the political party that provides the platform for the flagbearer to test the pulse of the electorate. And it is the political party that protects that flagbearer after winning the elections. Thus, as soon as a conflict emerges between the President and the party, disaster looms for the President. He will be the eventual loser if he doesn’t know how to play the cards.

The party is larger than him; and the party is made up of people from different ethnic, cultural, educational, social, economic, etc. backgrounds but bound together by a common political and ideological ideal to see themselves as one united family of people with common interests. Anything threatening this bond is a sure recipe for disaster. It is so for the NPP at this stage that a few like-minded people have banded together to give a raw deal to officials elected at the national delegates congress to administer the affairs of the arty with the sole aim of returning it to power.

No matter how unbecoming the activities of the elected officials could be, there should have been a better way to handle the problem than what has been done so far—suspending the National Chairman (Paul Afoko), the General Secretary (Kwabena Agyepong), and the Second National Vice Chairman (Sammy Crabbe)—and incurring the anger of their followers. Shouldn’t an astute politician leading such a party have found better ways to solve the problem than what we have been given to see now?

And what has been done to these elected officials can’t pass off without serious repercussions for the party, generally, There will surely be an uprising in the NPP, which won’t surprise me because the tool being used to suppress dissension is anachronistic. It is better to do fence-mending in a more civil and politically beneficial manner than this suspension mantra. I foresee a lot of trouble for this cabal. I wait to see the composition of Akufo-Addo’s campaign team for Election 2016; then, we will say more.

What happens next will not add value to Akufo-Addo’s kind of politicking. Instead, it will detract from his worth and push him toward the precipice. Folks, that is what we have so far been aiming at. But we have more to do in pairing up the NDC and NPP camps for Election 2016, especially in seeing how the temperament and political stratagems of their leaders will shape and shave the Fate of parties at the Presidential and Parliamentary levels.

We begin with President Mahama whose leadership style largely contrasts with that of Akufo-Addo who is at the flanks crying himself hoarse for no good reason than wishing to replace him to accomplish his childhood ambition of becoming Ghana’s President “at all costs” before paying his dues to Nature or just for the records. I have always said that Akufo-Addo can’t claim to be any better administrator than anybody with the responsibility to manage the affairs of state.

A so-called successful private legal practitioner he may be, but a successful politician he is not. His records as an MP (for 12 years, representing the Abuakwa South constituency) and a Minister of State (responsible for the Attorney-General’s Department and Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs) are known. Nothing to write home about. Thus, in seeking the highest office of the land, he has set himself up for scrutiny and juxtaposing against those who defeated him at previous polls and will do so again. The fault lies in him.

One might wonder why of all the aspirants, he is the one coming across as really desperate and bulldozing his way through the political terrain to the extent of tearing apart his own political camp just to give him the blank cheque that he needs to prosecute his agenda. He has already won a Pyrrhic victory against those in the NPP whose voices he should have listened to instead of spurning. But, of course, a dog that is determined to get lost never listens to its master’s whistle. And the master shouldn’t fret when it faces its sad fate. That is the context. We move on, then.

I shall return…


Why President Mahama Is Still Poles Ahead of Akufo-Addo (II)

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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Source: Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

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