07.09.2020 Feature Article

2020 election: Politics Without “Insults” is Haram

2020 election: Politics Without “Insults” is Haram
LISTEN SEP 7, 2020

Fellow Ghanaians, at the grand burial ceremony of Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony is quoted to have said that, “the evil men do lives after them”. I find it hypocritical and outright disgusting double standard for president Akufo Addo to have arrogated to himself the moral high horse to condemn former President Mahama’s supposed “insulting” comments made about Akyem being "Sakawa people". A classic case of the pot calling the kettle black!

On the other day I was going through the works of Winston Churchill when I stumbled upon this statement of his, “War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can’t smile, grin. If you can’t grin, keep out of the way till you can”. In Dagbani we say, "a yi je ta-kahi, a bi nyeri sokpang bindi" (if you fear the loss of your dignity, don't be caught defecating by the road side). And you simply have no right to fight back if caught in such an undignified act.

You see, the problem is not that that president Akufo Addo has a clean slate of “political Saint-ism”, he is not “innocent” in the interplay of our political gamble. True is, President Akufo Addo is the greatest beneficiary of “politics of insults” ever in this country. Had it not been the naked trading of “insults” that almost became a “pedagogical tradition” in the NPP in the buildup to the 2016 general elections, president Akufo Addo would not be president today. No scintilla of decorum was reserved for then-President Mahama.

Insults were even added to injury when the NPP mixed those insults with cocktail of lies, shenanigans, and concocted deceit to character assassinate the political image of president Mahama. The former President Mahama was described with all manners of pejorative adjectives in the English lexicon. Assurance of lucrative ministerial appointments were almost made to political attackers of the NPP who could verbally attack the Mahama administration. And indeed, people have been awarded juicy ministerial appointments for publicly calling president Mahama a thief, and were being supported not to apologize for it! Many members instantly became famous within the ranks of the party for hurling insults at president Mahama, and those like Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, the politically banished general secretary of the party and few others who thought description of the president personally was wrong and sowing of bad seeds, were sadly and suddenly unceremoniously sacked with alacrity from the party!

Why would president Akufo Addo teach moral lessons from a brothel today? And has that in itself not amounted to insult to Ghanaians considering the fact that, President Akufo Addo himself used that commando-style verbal gymnastics and rode on the back of politics of insults to the Flagstaff House? What form of hypocrisy is this in this country?

Is it today president Akufo Addo and his new NPP would want Ghanaians to believe politics of insults must be spoken against by clerics? I believe the clerics of this country serve a just God who does not entertain injustices among His servants in the least! “An eye for an eye, a leg for a leg, an arm for an arm”.

The problem is, in the NPP, it is an insult when Ministers are asked to submit to the principles of probity and accountability. It is an insult in the NPP any time president Akufo Addo is called out for his practice of unprecedented nepotism. In the NPP, when deodorized and perfumed corruption is exposed it amounts to insults; when arrogance of power is pointed out one must lose his job instantly and must never eat if not live because that is an insult. When attention is drawn to repetition of political sins president Akufo Addo had accused previous governments of, hell must come crushing to mother earth, especially, if the one shedding light on this abortion of leadership is from among the "Others". In the NPP under Akufo Addo, the New Patriotic Party suddenly transforms into New Perfectionists Party-led only by group of angels, perhaps and the almighty God Himself who must never be questioned! Nobody makes mistake, and they are all honest and incorruptible. May Allah forgive me for putting such words (honesty and incorruptibility) together in a sentence with the NPP. Lord have mercy on me.

Wait, did I hear Vice President Bawumia talking about making “tribal comments” being wrong in this country? I laughed in Fante! So, in his “demand and supply” thinking, the big-time Alhaj does not know that there would never be an input without an output? When does it suddenly become inappropriate to say, for instance, what one of the stalwarts of the NPP, who nearly swore “Antoa” that the tape was doctored about him, reported to have said, that “the part of the country with much “resources” should always lead this country”? Has Vice president Bawumia forgotten it was part of politics of tribalism and dividing of Ghanaians as such that warranted the deployment of military to the Afloa Border to harass citizens into not registering in the just ended needles voter registration exercise? Actions, they say, speak louder than words!

But you see, I do not begrudge the president on this brand-new double standard boldly showcased by him. It has been his bane and version of politicking. We all were in this country when he said Ghana has all the money it needed to develop, and that it was incompetence for borrowing forty (40) billion cedis to govern. Today, only God can save Ghanaians from the borrowing-to-feed family and friends government of president Akufo Addo. The “Saint” of borrowing, president Akufo Addo, has exacerbated borrowing in the annals of our history with every Ghanaian paying almost 6000 cedis for the current defocused leadership we are witnessing.

We were all in this country, when he accused the Mahama’s administration of too many ministers of 89 when the Ministry of Power was created in the height of the Dum-Sor former president Mahama inherited. Today, we have as many as three deputies to ministries whose only function is to serve as vehicles for carting of hard-earned taxpayer’s money to inflate bank accounts of people who can best be described as “enemies of the state”!

In the NPP there’s almost a caste system being practiced whereby some members of the party by virtue of the part of the country they are coming from, ought not to hold certain portfolios. Don’t look far. Consider the reshuffle of his ministers. Look at the man deputizing in the Ministry of Energy for example. What could have prevented him from becoming a substantive minister when his Boss who in actual fact, must have been the deputy, was shamed out of office for misleading a competent president? Also, consider the Information Ministry and the nonsense and very insulting to Muslims Zongo development Ministry (are Muslims the only and most backward people in Ghana?). Hon. Mustapha Abdul Hamid was in the political war front with his chest out defending then-presidential candidate Akufo Addo. He faced all the hurtful words he exchanged on political campaign platforms with his personality at stake. However, after Akufo Addo won the election, that delicious part of the “spoil of office” was taken away from him. Suddenly, President Akufo Addo did not see the need to let him continue with his job as spokesperson (Minister for Information, which, if handled very well, can sell one to Ghanaians as a potential president one day). The carpet of the prestigious information ministry was pulled off under his feet. Why because it was now time for honour (of dealing with dignitaries and the international community) and no longer dishonour (of trading insults on behalf of a presidential candidate on political platforms). Come on! We are not more kids in this country.

Similar thing happened to Otiko Afisa Gyaaba who suddenly lost her job as Gender Minister. Perhaps, because of where she is coming from because she was one of those who “insulted” President Mahama to fame, and her colleagues are still holding their posts till date. The list continues.

The question is, fellow Ghanaians, does it not amount to “insults” for using and dumping party “food-soldiers” like this? And who is more politically tribalistic here?

So, President Akufo Addo and the NPP are the trailblazers of politics of insults as well as tribal politics in this country both in intra and interparty levels.

In fact, we are waiting chin in hand the day the vice president, who is now being touted as the most authentic economic prophet even with his doctored economic data, would be told go back to his cattle-herding community without “resources” from his region as a license to leadership in this country.

Fellow Ghanaians, that some people, probably being the worst of us, claiming competence and superiority of everything to the rest of us, is a reality in this country. And only those who wish to insult the commonsense and sensibilities of Ghanaians who have been the worst offended of this callousness would try to debunk such a man’s cruelty to another man in humanity!

And lest I forget, remember Manasseh Azure’s “harsher” assessment of the Mahama’s administration that was hailed as the zenith of brilliance and patriotism and hard work as a young man by the goons of the NPP. Today Manasseh sleeps with one eye fixed on the direction to run to in case of any intolerance of government for saying things minimal against the government compared to what he had said to former President Mahama and his government. Today, they say their darling boy, Manasseh Azure, is in a self-destructive mode for repeating what he said “yesterday”. In fact, the ace journalist had to escape harassment if not death when he embraced brief exile to South Africa. Could something like that have happened if Manasseh was from Somanya or Ejisu? Come on!

Talents have been ignored to waste in this country because those possessing them are supposed to be second-class citizens if not third-class! Projects and Programs have been diverted by powerful individuals and offices from where they were supposed to go to because the intended beneficiaries are less regarded and do not deserve them!

Somebody should say Amen: may Allah cure our land of this kind of hypocrisy. But I wonder ponderously, when would that be? Sometimes, the acknowledgement or admission of something untoward is a halfway of dealing with it. For the president to explain away from this reality he has been the greatest champion of means we cannot contain tribal politics nor politics of insults. Or at least, not under President Akufo Addo. The king himself is naked!

Fellow Ghanaians, we cannot treat cancer with Martins Liver Salt or Paracetamol. The politics of insults, like corruption under president Akufo Addo, has been firmly established in our body politics, and even if we should dream about sanitizing our political space of politics of offensive name-calling, certainly not now under president Akufo Addo. The man must reap what he sowed.

“The evil men do lives after them…” – Mark Anthony.

Long Live Ghana, God Bless us all.

Abdul Hakeem Iddrisu

(The Young Prof.)

Contact details: 0557762967

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