By and large, every politician enters the political arena to bring about positive change. It will be extremely difficult to lay hands on someone whose fundamental aim is to let loose a wrecking ball as his raison d'être of entering politics. The development of modern democracy that crystallised on the banks of the Thames has comparable positive similarities with the above. Before the Magna Carta in the 13th century, the kings of England were absolute monarchs. Their will was the law of the land.
As such, any unscrupulous and irresponsible ruler was a threat to even the nobility let alone the masses. So, the nobles of England came together to curb the excesses and corrosive powers of King John, which paved the way for the inauguration of British parliament within a century. The fundamental aim of the Barons was to protect their property from the king. To extrapolate, it’s clear that democracy developed out of the need of the landed gentry to protect their property.
The irony of ironies is how a system instituted to protect property has now become a conduit for acquisition and amassing of wealth. In our part of the world, it has become so common and blatant hardly do people raise eyebrows and, in some instances, are encouraged to rape the country. Some are influenced by the pressures of keeping up with the Joneses and those whose motivation is simply greed. Be as it may, democracy has gone through harmful mutation that sometimes threatens the health of the host be it here in the UK, America, Ghana or elsewhere.
Regardless, we still take comfort from Churchill’s aphorism that it is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time, and, as a result, embrace it. Hence, the incumbency is on us to let it work. However, it appears it is being brazenly sabotaged due to an individual’s wishes and desires which has little merit. President John Dramani Mahama, I submit, is in pole position to destroy our democracy. Every vibrant democracy needs a strong and effective opposition to keep the government on its toes, because to err is human. President Mahama whose performance in office led to the worst electoral defeat of the National Democratic Congress believes that he is the only person better placed to defeat Nana Addo, a position that is going to cause NDC dearly. Apart from that, the plethora of corruption allegation which plagued his administration, in addition to those still popping up like popcorn, are lethal arsenal against him. Besides, familiarity breeds contemp. All these aside, what really bothers me is the division he has created in his party. His supporters may pick up and run with his constitutional right to seek a second term, which is a very nice way of muddying the waters, but is this what their party and country needs?
This is a man who rose through the ranks and basically held every conceivable relevant position within our political landscape from a parliamentarian right up to the pinnacle of the Ghanaian power structure. He belongs to an exclusive club that many Ghanaians can never dream in nine life times. During his tenure, he surrounded himself with people that their founder referred to as babies with sharp teeth and run the country down. Instead of him to bow out quietly and make room for some up and coming politician or some of the old guard to take over, he decides to contest again. Historically, almost all the opposition candidates contest more than one election before they win. This may be unscientific analysis, nevertheless, in the Ghanaian political culture this is the period when the opposition candidate gets to polish his campaigning skills. It is a time when the electorates get to know the candidate. Though most Ghanaians vote for a political party, the candidate is also very important. And Mahama is blocking this niche opportunity for his party to allow a new candidate to sharpen his campaigning skills.
Most politician owe double allegiance; one to their country and the other to their party. It appears Mahama’s allegiance is to himself. He does not have any interest of grooming his party to take over in 2020 or 2024. He is going to lose abysmally and open additional wounds in the party to the detriment of the Ghanaian body politics. It’s obvious that Mahama does not have the interest of his party or the nation at heart.
Only a selfish narcissist who will pursue this course of action regardless of what others say. If those sharp teeth attack dogs that surrounds him pump such asinine idea into his mind, he should have, as an honourable statesman, been able to say to them I have played all the characters and it’s time to bow off the stage.
Philip Kobina Baidoo Jnr.