One the stumps in the Kpando district of the Volta Region, recently, former President John “Airbus-Kanazoe” Dramani Mahama was widely reported to have promised that in the highly unlikely event of his National Democratic Congress party’s being returned to Jubilee House in the December 2020 General Election, he intended to legalize the commercial motorbike passenger-ferrying trade called Okada, because the latter promised to significantly reduce the high unemployment rate in the country (See “I’ll Legalize Okada If I Return to Power – Mahama” Pulse.com.gh 8/21/20).
Now, this is scandalous because even as the President of the Greater-Accra Region’s Okada Riders Association, Mr. Mohammed Gambila, noted recently, it was the same Mr. John Dramani Mahama who, as substantive President of Ghana in 2012, caused to be crafted Legal Instrument (LI) 2180 that effectively and summarily proscribed the commercial use of the Okada motorbikes and tricycles (See “We Don’t Have Short Memories – Okada Riders Tell Mahama” Peacefmonline.com 8/28/20).
So, the next most logical question to ask is this: Just why did the then President John “Embraer” Dramani Mahama decide to proscribe the commercial use of Okada in the country? And then the follow-up question becomes: Why hadn’t Mr. Mahama first commissioned any feasibility studies on the commercial use of Okada before presuming to summarily proscribe the same? As well, was the rate of unemployment in 2012 any significantly different or better than it is today? If not, then why did the former President, nonetheless, go ahead with the crafting and enactment of Legal Instrument 2180 to summarily and effectively proscribe the commercial use of Okada?
We believe we know part of the answer: The unregulated use of Okada for commercial transportation, as it is presently the case, is reliably known to account for at least 30-percent of all road accidents, the overwhelming bulk of which end in very serious injuries and massive fatalities. You see, what I am trying to get at, Dear Reader, is the stark and critical question of visionary and foresighted leadership. Why, for example, had it not become very obvious to the then President Mahama back in 2012, that the commercial use of Okada was a prime avenue for significant employment creation? And, also, that to become commercially viable and operationally safe, Okada riders/drivers needed to be specially trained for the purpose?
Well, as Mr. Gambila, the President of the Greater-Accra Region’s Okada Riders’ Association, recently pointed out, it was not until the Akufo-Addo Administration decided to regularize the use of Okada as a commercial source of transportation, and as part of the New Patriotic Party’s 2020 Manifesto and electioneering campaign agenda, that a megalomaniacal and politically desperate Candidate Mahama decided that he also wanted to legalize the commercial use of Okada. In other words, this much younger and hopelessly incompetent Akufo-Addo challenger has absolutely no worthwhile vision for the development of the country. The Akufo-Addo-created Savannah Region native is decidedly a spent force on our national political landscape who simply refuses to calmly and quietly fade off the scene, having long enjoyed the perks and privileges that come with having already served his constitutionally stipulated 8 years at the Presidency.
You see, if he had not seen the commercial viability of Okada transportation back in 2012, one wonders what suddenly triggered his awareness of the commercial viability of Okada a dozen years on, that is, in the heated runup to the 2020 Presidential Election. Naked greed, obviously. I mean, a politician who smugly and pontifically claims to have a major strategy for creating at least some One-Million jobs over the course of the next four years, in the highly unlikely event of being nonconsecutively elected President, ought not to be fiercely fighting over the legalization of a trade that he deliberately caused to be proscribed and criminalized only a little over a half-dozen years ago.
But, of course, that is the sad reality of the political desperation of a thievish megalomaniac who simply refuses to leave progressive-minded and hardworking Ghanaian citizens in peace.
*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 31, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]