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Buffoon On The Platform   
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Buffoons can be tolerated sometimes. Not so when their buffoonery is showcased on earnest platforms such as the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)-organised presidential debate series.

When the People’s National Convention (PNC) flag bearer, Hassan Ayariga, debuted at the first segment of the presidential debate series in Tamale, many managed to countenance his mediocre performance by laughing it off as pranks from an excited political novice.

During the last leg of the series in Accra last Wednesday, however, he virtually undid all the respect the debate series chalked since the IEA rolled it out. The adrenalin level of stakeholders, especially the organizers, appreciated unduly each time he took the microphone and made the largely intelligence-bereft submissions.

His conduct, demeanour and unproductive coughs bespoke of a clown engaged to undertake a tendentious political project against the interest of others. He must have executed the distraction project to the satisfaction of the purse owners, regardless of its enormous drawbacks to the country’s international image and for that matter interest.

Politics, like the priesthood, is a calling. When those who are not primed for it gatecrash into it, as has Hassan Ayariga, the negative fallouts are what unfolded at the Banquet Hall when the nitwit sought to glorify idiocy. Local politics, through his drab and misplaced jokes, suffered one of its worst moments when the PNC boy spoke. He threw decorum to the dogs as he embarrassed and insulted Ghana’s crème de la crème including a broad spectrum of diplomats who graced the intellectual activity with his distractive and sometimes gibberish remarks.

We recall the story of a 12-year-old boy who was asked how he would react when he was elected President of the United States of America. Looking surprised, he asked, “Me elected as President? I would ask that those who elected me have their heads examined for psychiatric challenges.” For those responsible for thrusting Hassan Ayariga onto the political turf, they have done Ghana an unpardonable disservice.

It is instructive that in their news bulletin yesterday, Newsday, on the debate, the BBC ignored the Hassan Ayariga factor, restricting their report to the other candidates.

Perhaps, it was all well and good that the IEA expunged his listing from the line-up following his self-announced pullout. They rescinded the decision however and opened us to the multifaceted travails. At a certain point, some of us wondered whether we were in for a sit-down comedy as he incessantly fidgeted with everything within his reach on the dais amidst intermittent self-induced bouts of cough.

In the political realm, it was Ghana’s day of shame with the attention of the world transfixed on our attempt at mimicking the American module. It was an off-putting nonsense geared towards upstaging Nana Akufo Addo as per the request of Hassan Ayariga’s paymasters.

When a participant in such a high-notched debate sets his own questions and answers them or even forcefully equates an inability to prosecute the free SHS project as corruption, he fits the description of a political nonentity.

Hassan Ayariga’s non-performance and puerile mannerisms reduced the esteem of the presidential series to an unworthy level and ridiculing us in no small measure on the international political arena.
Source: Editorial/Daily Guide

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