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December 2, 2016 | Feature Article

Nana Addo Versus Mahama: A David and Goliath Affair!

David in Nana Addo, Goliath in Mahama. Who Will Fall?

Nana Addo Versus Mahama: A David and Goliath Affair!

Many say they see the traits of the biblical David in Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo and he himself confirmed that during the NPP manifesto launch. However, the sympathisers of NDC also see Mahamah as their David. The question then is: Who is who?

The political contest in 2016 is seen as a straight fight between the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the biggest opposition party in Ghana and the National Democratic Congress, the ruling party has become very interesting, intense and fierce. Words are being traded from the camps of these two titanic parties. I call it the “battle of words” carefully released as salvos to disarm, denigrate, and destroy each other. This is a situation where the smaller political parties can best be described as the also runs.

Sun Tzu posits in his seminal work, The Art of War, that "Every battle is won or lost before it's ever fought.”

I have carefully observed the leaders of the two leading parties and their followers carrying out their campaigning exercises and I have drawn many lessons,but one which strikes me most is the seemingly religious and spiritual statement made by Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo-Addo , the flag bearer of NPP during the launch of the Party’s manifesto at the Trade Fair Centre La, Accra.

At the tail end of his speech, he stated, “In this election, we are faced with an opponent with unrestrained and unprincipled access to state resources, with apparently, unlimited cash,who have confidence they can buy your vote. If they cannot, they will try to bully you. That is the opponent we have in this election. So let me speak the words of David to our Goliath. “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel (Ghana), who you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel (Ghana). Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands. Ladies and gentlemen, the battle is Lords.

I was very mesmerized with the alacrity with which the presidential candidate for NPP elucidated the scriptures without mincing words and it has inspired me to revisit the whole story about David and Goliath in the bible and juxtapose it with the struggle between the two political colossi.

In the bible, Goliath, represents a force, a giant, towering army leader, imposing and powerful figure coming under the authority and sponsorship of the Philistine government armed with all resources including state munitions and implements of war. At the time, the Philistines were in control of affairs because they had seized and besieged the governance of Israel and defied their authority. Goliath came with exuding power and confidence, Goliath was one of the most powerful in the Philistine empire before it was destroyed in the ninth century BC.

Recently, Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an enormous gate and fortified wall which are giving clues to just how formidable the city of Gath may have been. They discovered the Goliath gate as a monumental gate which is the largest to be found in Israel and much like its most famous inhabitant.

The iconoclastic posture of Goliath rendered the Israelites spineless, and he derided the jurisdiction of King Saul and the army of Israel, they hid themselves in their chambers anytime he appeared on the scene.

Goliath was described in the bible as “champion” and the NDC has, similarly, described or equated President John Mahama, as the unrivaled “champion”. The party claims his ephemeral achievement surpasses even that of former Presidents Kwame Nkrumah, President Jerry John Rawlings and President J. A. Kuffuor. A book "Green Book" has been produced to trumpet and propagate Mahama’s supposedly unequaled achievements. It is upheld by the NDC party as a version of a bible and cleverly rile opponents so brazenly with such claims and in some cases forcefully given to christian churches. Recently, some members of the Church of Pentecost rejected the 300 copies of the ‘Green Book’ donated by Vice President, Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur to the church.

The prima donna posture and open display of opulence and power by champion Mahama and his team is raising a lot of concerns, a blatant display of expensive adverts on all the television networks, radio and print newspapers every day and as if it's not enough, very expensive, towering, humongous billboards and banners mounted and unfurled at every corner and street of Ghana, the ten regional capitals and 275 constituencies in Ghana.

It is very important though to point out that this type of expensive publicity did not start from the Mahama led NDC, Nana NPP also benefitted immensely from such an avalanche of financial wastage prior to the 2008 election, his imposing billboards were littered in every nook and cranny of Ghana to the extent that billboards are mounted on church buildings. Several cautioning by ordinary Ghanaians to the NPP at the time to channel these finances to a useful life transforming uses fell on deaf ears. "The venom of the viper does nothing to the back of the tortoise" says a Cameroon proverb. The elephant was chased out to the bush as a result of such disrespect to taxpayers’ plea.

Party members attributed the loss of NPP to several reasons, "One sees all sorts of knives on the day an elephant dies" Calabar - Nigeria proverb.I personally believe that when you disregard the voters whose thumb have the ability to vote you to power, you pay dearly for it.

Archetypes of David found in Nana Addo Dankwah

● David was forgotten in the wilderness, taking care of sheep, poor Nana left alone in the wilderness

Ironically, David stated in the bible that, God raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, referring to himself. In contrast, Nana was proverbially born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father was a former Prime Minister of the republic of Ghana and so he tasted wealth right from his birth.

Nana Addo Dankwah made great strides in his career as a legal luminary in both local and international legal spaces. He established one of the most successful telecommunications company in our country. He was appointed and served as Minister for Justice and Attorney General and also Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Intergration under President Kufuor’s administration, prestigious positions which he subliminally executed very well.

He contested for the 2008 presidential election fully armed with resources, but he lost to the late Professor Atta Mills. 2012 was another opportune moment for him, but the death of the late Professor created an omen to the advantage of President John Mahamah. President John Mahama won the election with a lot of contention because the election was alleged to have been rigged by NDC.

Coming into the 2016 political season has become a wilderness experience for Nana, considering the fact that all his resources have been sapped by the previous campaigns and national elections. Day in and day out, great thinkers assemble at his residence and party headquarters with great ideas to help the party secure a win in the upcoming elections but there are no funds available to move the ideas to fruition.

It is no surprise that the NPP has embarked on a fundraising campaign to the extent that poor market women are even tasked to contribute a token. Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the founder of the Databank Financial Services is seen on the streets soliciting funds from drivers and passengers. “It is famine that makes one to eat the fruits of strange trees.” A Yoruba proverb

● David was righteous before God, Nana is perceived to be incorruptible

David said "I have been young, and now I am old, but I have not seen a righteous forsaken". Nana is 72 years now, and still going strong. He has demonstrated maturity and decorum even in the face of hostile and denigrating attacks from the opposition and even from his own circus. There has been several attempts by entities and individuals to tag Nana with corruption and evil deeds, but the man has always come clean, from cocaine saga, violent character, terrorist, tribalist, arrogant, you name it and several evil epithets. There was nothing to disturb Nana’s carefully constructed patina of calmness, humility and reasoning.

He has faced rejection from his own party cronies, the former President Kufuor even rooted for Alan Kyeremanten as the preferred candidate, but Nana has not used his platform to vilify anyone or make any statement against President Kufuor. Rather,he uses any opportunity to celebrate him as the best president whoever reigned in Ghana. It reminds me of what David said "touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm" when he got the opportunity to kill Saul who attempted severally to kill him. In the primary contest between Nana Addo and Alan Kyeremanteng for the presidential slot in 2008, several unprintable, disparaging and derogatory words were used by Alan's camp against Nana but after he's won, he has embraced Alan as a shadow key cabinet member of his team.

NDC on the other hand has spewed fire on the Former President and Founder of the NDC Party, His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings, for criticizing the party he founded. They have actually barked at him because they claim he is a “barking dog”. Recent treatment of the former president is so bad; such that he is not invited to major functions. This suggests that there is a fractious relationship between the current President and the former. The former President has even alleged that the NDC is trying very hard to keep him at bay so they have paid Dr. Henry Lartey, GCPP party leader to use Abacha “gift saga” to tarnish his hard won reputation. “The right time to slap a king is when a fly sits on his cheek” Sudanese Proverb.

Nana has publicly declared on various political platforms that he is not corrupt, and no one has challenged him on that, rather the NDC even attests to this fact when Mrs. Dzifa Attivor publicly declared that Voltarians should retain NDC in power, otherwise Nana Addo will throw them into jail.

David said in the bible "in sin did my mother conceive me", it is such sin that furtively strayed Davids eyes to spy Bathsheba in her bathhouse, followed by adultery and murder of her husband. I am not sure if Nana has encountered any such voluptuous escapades, but I keep wondering how Nana Addo’s hand strayed to a woman's butt at the GBC studio in 2008. Eyes can stray, but if hands stray, it is unpardonable. Pardonably, David's eyes travelled beyond what he saw, but Nana hands ended right at the studio.

● David used 5 stones to battle Goliath; Nana Addo is placed at the 5th position on the ballot paper for the 2016 presidential election.

Biblically, the number 5 stands for grace, grace means acceptance, charm and favour. Will Nana be accepted this time? It has been a long journey for Nana, coming from the backdrop of disputed elections from the past, particularly 2012 election where Nana was largely and credulously considered a winner, but for the alleged schematic manipulations from the Electoral Commission, the victory went in favor of John Manama after a long battle in the Supreme Court. Nana accepted the verdict of the court.

Afterwards, the electoral commissioner at the time, Dr. Afari Gyan retired. A new commissioner, Mrs Charlotte Osei was appointed by His Excellence President John Mahama to lead Ghana to another era of our democratic process and continue where Dr. Afari Gyan left off. But her petulance, belligerence posture and inflated view on issues have raised many concerns, not only from the NPP, the victim of previous rigged election but various political parties and civil society have raised flags. Within some few years of her tenure, she has already been summoned to court on various avoidable electoral process errors which could have been easily addressed outside of court. NPP has fearfully noted various anomalies pointing to the upcoming electioneering process, but her office has vehemently rebuffed those pointers.

At a recent balloting session at the Electoral Commission headquarters in Accra, the New Patriotic Party chose the fifth position, which means, in order of positions on the ballot paper, Nana Addo Dankwah and the NPP is the number five. Serendipitously, such position gives a striking correlation between Nana Akufo Addo and Mahama especially in the fight between David and Goliath respectively.

The battle between David and Goliath was a life and death issue; it was a clash of death to each party. Goliath said “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

David also responded "the Lord will deliver you into my hands and I will strike you and take your head from you".

Similarly, the contest between Nana and Mahama is a tough battle in the political arena, Nana claims he is coming in the name of the Lord, and that has been his slogan since 2013. Mahama is also coming in the name of his achievements and his mantra is "transforming Ghana" and that is why they are ubiquitously inaugurating projects everywhere as the 2016 elections get closer.

Before the fight against Goliath, David went to the brooks to pick five smooth stones for the fight. During the fight, he took the first stone, slung it and landed straight in the forehead of Goliath. Nana Addo is going into this battle with the number five on the ballot, will he clinch victory in the first round as David did or will Goliath demolish David? December 7, 2016 is so close and time will tell!

By
Original Jojo Pataku

Jojo Quayson
Jojo Quayson

The author has authored 4 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author's column: JojoQuayson

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Jojo Quayson 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."

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