President John Mahama, enough of the pretense!
8/21/2012 3:45:05 PM -
By Anthony Abayifaa Karbo, (National Youth Organizer, NPP)
With barely a month gone by after the death and burial of our late President, Ghana's caretaker leader, President John Mahama has demonstrated to Ghanaians that it's still going to be business as usual under his leadership. There will be no delivery on the numerous lofty promises made to Ghanaians in what started as a Mills/Mahama government with less than 110 days to the 2012 election.
And this should come as no surprise to Ghanaians. There is nothing new of worth that can come from the government of President Mahama. As vice president, he claimed to be the luckiest one on earth because his boss trusted and gave him all the room to operate and take responsibility of running the state. Having been in charge of running the show albeit from behind the scenes for the last three and half years and the results being the growing poverty and state of hopelessness, what else can President Mahama do differently now that he never had the opportunity to do in the past? Did President Mahama just acquire the skills and what it takes overnight to better the lot of Ghanaians? Surely he cannot take us for an audience in a magician's theatre.
His recent promise to introduce two (2) new policies to create the conditions Ghanaians continue to earnestly yearn for in a poorly recorded broadcast to the nation is also propaganda. With a couple of months to end the year, how will those new policies or interventions be funded? Will the executive present another appropriation bill to parliament or does he expect us to believe they will also be funded freely for Ghanaians by the Chinese government like he wants us to believe will happen in the case of the Cape Coast stadium and market? Surely Mr. Mahama cannot take Ghanaians to be that gullible.
A very important question President Mahama should provide answers and evidence for, is what he has done with his supposedly younger age to demonstrate to Ghanaians that age is of any relevance in providing leadership, bread and butter that the people need. As head of the economic management team, what has Mahama done to stem joblessness and the increasing poverty? And as chairman of the Police Council, what has he done to stem armed robbery and the general insecurity?
Ghanaians are wide awake and conscious that anything by word or deed that will emanate from Mr. Mahama is nothing short of propaganda and PR gimmick. But like our vice presidential candidate Dr. Bawumia said, 'You cannot run the economy on propaganda, you will be exposed'. It is this same Mr. Mahama who said the leadership of this country by an act of God, had been transferred to the generation born after independence and yet when he had to make his first major appointment, he went straight for a man born well before Ghana attained independence as his vice president. It is possible that President Mahama is not conversant with the history of Ghana's leadership because he is not the first 'young man' to assume office as Ghana's president. Indeed, Presidents Nkrumah and Rawlings (as military head of state and civilian elected President) were both younger than President Mahama when they assumed leadership of this country. Prime Minister Busia was 56 years and only 3 years older than President Mahama is now when he became prime minister on 1st October, 1969.
So what is this propaganda as if this is the first time Ghana is having a man of his age or even younger assuming the reins of power? Indeed, there is nothing unprecedented about that. And so we would not allow ourselves to be fooled or deceived by the PR gimmick and pretences. As far as we of the NPP youth wing are concerned, a leader who represents the youth is one who responds to the aspirations of the youth. Indeed, we would credit Mills for picking him John Mahama as his running mate as someone who responded to the aspirations of the youth. What the youth of Ghana want is not mere promises but someone who understands their problems. When our candidate, Nana AkufoAddo was his age, he had mentored some of the best lawyers in this country who are also mentoring others today. Who has President Mahama mentored? It cannot be mere noises on the subject of the youth but there must be something tangible to show for any claim. They youth are faced with huge challenges that he seems not to have ideas or provide any hope on.
It is this same Mr. Mahama who tells us all in his book 'My First Coup d'Ã‰tat and Other True Stories From the Lost Decades of Africa' that he took a decision to resist the bullying by his classmate called Ezra as early as in class 3 who had intimidated them all into always giving their lunch meals to him. In Mr. Mahama's own words, 'He (Ezra) kneed me; he gave me knocks on my head. He really maltreated me, but I did not die. I did not die.' This is the same leader who demands that our flagbearer be chastised for urging our party folks to stand up and resist intimidation! Is this act of Mr. Mahama not a clear sanction for 'all die be die'? If this is not hypocrisy or pretense, then we do not know what else is!!
This same Mr. Mahama who pretends to stand for the Ghanaian enterprise had his book published by Bloomsbury in the US and also had it launched in the US. It is this same man who has virtually denied the Ghanaian cotton farmer in the north of their livelihood by handing the business over to Armajaro. This is the mark of a leader you cannot trust. He says to do one thing and yet does the contrary and hopes to use PR and propaganda to disillusion everyone. His PR stunts in the media that he has some 'divine' mandate with imageries of heavens and angels in white robes receiving the former President Mills while handing over a baton of leadership to him are complete balderdash. The attempt to draw divinity into the perching of a dove on Vice President Amissah Arthur's car during the late Presidents funeral, President Mills' ascension to heaven and seated at the right side of God on a throne, the sudden attempt to cloth President Mahama with pieties of a holier than thou character are some of the chronicle of pretenses from the Mahama camp we think are too pretentious and childish.
We have all known Mr. Mahama from his days as MP, deputy minister, minister and Vice President and truth be told; he was never one with a religious disposition! We therefore find it very hollow and preposterous the haste by the Mahama team to employ deceptions and PR stunts to paint him as a Saul converted to Paul. Mr. Mahama will do his image a lot of good if he will stop exploiting the misfortune that has befallen Ghanaians and the Atta Mills' family to his political advantage if he is truly religious. His purported trip around the country ostensibly to say thanks to Ghanaians for their contribution and conduct during the burial of late Professor Mills is yet another of the several deceptions being churned out by the Mahama campaign. It is obvious to all that he is on a campaign trail. The youth of Ghana are in search for that leader who will set policies to equip them with knowledge and skills to make them competitively relevant in the next decade, that leadership is in Nana AkufoAddo and certainly not him, Mr. Mahama.
With all his trainings and experiences in communication, Mr. Mahama must by now know that PR and propaganda does not provide jobs. It does not put food on the table. It certainly does not pay for rent, health care, school fees and does not resolve the challenges faced by the Ghana Cedi.
Ghanaians are expecting President Mahama to keep focus and steady the ship just as the late President promised he would. We have been used to peaceful transitions and we cannot demand anything less of him in his short completion term as President before, during and after elections and hands over to the next government.