Not quite awhile ago, the presidential candidate of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC) embarked on what Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills then described as “A House-to-House Campaign.” The latter circus dramaturgy was also accorded the hypocritical motto: “I Care For You.”
Now Ghanaians are beginning to fully appreciate the utter and abject bankruptcy of “Millsian” pledges and promises. On the eve of an energy-crisis debate jointly sponsored by the Daily Graphic and the Engineering Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), to which forum the NDC candidate for president had registered a keen participatory interest, for example, Prof. Atta-Mills abruptly chickened out by asking his newly-selected running-mate, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, to deputize for him.
And on the latter score, one wonders what he would have done had the former University of Ghana Law School professor not recently, against the proprietary judgment of his political sponsors, the Rawlingses, selected Mr. Mahama as his running-mate. And it is also worthy of note that for about two years in the wake of his peremptory appointment by Mr. Jeremiah John Rawlings, as the NDC presidential candidate, Prof. Atta-Mills was without a running-mate.
Interestingly, now that the tempo of the 2008 Presidential Campaign has begun ratcheting up, Prof. Atta-Mills has, all of a sudden, and not quite unpredictably, to be certain, determined beyond any shadow of doubt that, indeed, his flagrant coronation a la the infamous Swedru Declaration was, after all, not only wrongheaded, on the part of his boss, but must have actually marked the beginning of the electoral suicide of the so-called National Democratic Congress.
For those of us avid students of Third-Republican Ghanaian politics, however, two factors are in operation here: First is the perennial and persistent question regarding the general health and mental state of the former “Vice”-President of Ghana. We make the foregoing observation, because no presidential candidate with aplomb – or confident self-assurance – and of sound health would cavalierly pass up the prime opportunity of participating in one of the most crucial issues of relevance to the proverbial average Ghanaian; and that most crucial issue is the perennial energy crisis, unless, of course, as has been an open secret to a host of Ghanaian citizens for quite awhile now, Prof. Atta-Mills finds himself to be woefully and grossly incompetent to address potential voters on the energy question.
And second, not only is his arrogant delegation of Mr. John Mahama to participate in the flagbearers' only energy debate unpardonably condescending to both Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), it also heretically insults the intelligence of the Ghanaian voter; it is also tantamount to Prof. Atta-Mills' rather tawdry attempt to both cheapen as well as seriously undermine the practical value of our hard-won Ghanaian democracy.
None of the above, of course, is surprising; for we have always known the position of both Prof. Atta-Mills and his NDC where it matters most – which is simply to cut and run; and, somehow, stolidly hope that Ghanaians are possessed of such short memory banks that all is wont to be forgotten in no time at all.
The foregoing also clearly confirms the validity, as well as the legitimacy, of initial media reports which circulated several weeks before his selection as Prof. Atta-Mills' running-mate, to the effect that Mr. John D. Mahama was neither prepared nor remarkably interested in playing second-fiddle to the flagbearer of the so-called National Democratic Congress.
Indeed, for sometime now, many of us have wondered whether Mr. Mahama has not been regrettably consorting with the wrong people and the wrong political party. Matters were also not, in the least bit, helped when Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings vitriolically inferred that Prof. Atta-Mills' running-mate did not meet the criteria for competence in the imperious opinion of the Rawlingses, which simply meant that Mr. Mahama was too politically independent and savvy for the liking of the CEOs of the Rawlings Corporation.
Instead, Mrs. Rawlings had indicated her “feminist” preference for, of all conjugal ranks, the third wife of a failed NDC presidential candidate, at precisely the time when Ghanaian women are fervidly campaigning for socioeconomic and political equity!
And so, we wholeheartedly and unreservedly concur with the sponsors of the energy debate that the “seminars,” indeed, were designed and organized for the presidential candidates of the major political parties, and not for their running-mates. But even more significantly, we also hope that Ghanaian voters are studiously watching.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author of 15 books, including “Abe: Reflections on Love,” “Romantic Explorations” and “Abena Anin'waa: Letters to My Daughter” (Atumpan Publications, 2008). E-mail: [email protected]
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."
Reproduction is authorised provided the author's permission is granted.