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30.10.2019 Feature Article

Is humility really Mahama’s strength?

Is humility really Mahama’s strength?
OCT 30, 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

I read with an intense interest, an opinion piece, captioned: ‘John Mahama’s strength is his humility’, which appeared on ghanaweb.com on Monday 28th October 2019.

Strangely though, the author of the said article sought to create an impression that former President John Dramani Mahama turned the fortunes of the country around primarily due to his unmatched humility.

Well, since when did humility become a tool for economic transformation?

First of all, it is never true that during Mahama’s presidency, Ghana was rated amongst the best economies in the world.

The fact however remains that the vast majority of unhappy Ghanaians, regrettably, found themselves in the doldrums of poverty and rightly voted against the NDC and Ex-President Mahama in the 2016 general elections, largely due to the unresolved business crippling dumsor, the wanton corruption (two out of innumerable suspects have since been convicted and sentenced), and the unpardonable incompetence (moved economic growth from 14% in 2011 to a miserable 3.4% and a single digit inflation to 15.4% by December 2016).

It is, therefore, quite ironic for anybody to imply that Mahama provided exceptional governance, and it is rather Akufo-Addo who has allegedly messed-up the economy.

How can anybody suggest that Ghana’s economy under former President Mahama (3.4% growth and 15.4% inflation) was better than under President Akufo-Addo (8.6% growth and 7.8% inflation)?

More so I have heard the diehard supporters of Mahama emitting time and time again that the former president has an unparalleled humility.

But the overarching question then is: is Mahama really humble?

Honestly, I am not sure if there was anything humility about the revoltingly ugly ‘boot for boot’ comment by Ex-President Mahama following the Ayawaso West Wuogon incident.

The former president was reported to have poured his heart out: “We are not going to joke in 2020, and I’m sounding a warning to the NPP – we are going to match them boot for boot. “I want to sound a caution that NDC has a revolutionary root and when it comes to unleashing violence, no one can beat us to that.”

Where was his humility when he blatantly refused to withdraw the appointment of John Oti Bless, who disgustingly castigated the Supreme Court Judges to the amazement of Ghanaians?

The crucial question then is: was the ‘humble’ Ex-President Mahama in support of the sickening insults and threats on the eminent Supreme Court Judges?

And more so why did the ‘humble’ former President Mahama keep mute over the Montie three abhorrent insults and threats on the Supreme Court Judges?

Was the ‘humble’ Ex-President Mahama oblivious to the naked insults and needless threats by the three Montie boisterous brats on the eminent Supreme Court Judges, and hence remitting their sentences?

Dearest reader, was it not during the ‘humble’ Ex-President Mahama’s administration where peaceful demonstrators eyeballs were cruelly removed from their sockets and their crania mangled beyond recognition?

Understandably, the likes of Mahama and his minions would never agree with some of us for constantly choosing to analyse the current affairs through the lenses of the past. But I am afraid we cannot make sense of the present happenings if we refused to take stock of the past events.

“History is a lesson in the past but can also be the greatest regret of the future. Yet the reason why there is history is because of the events that were created by man (Hughes 2010).”

Dearest reader, what did the ‘humble’ former President Mahama do when his then assistant, Stan Dogbe, crudely assaulted a Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’s journalist and maliciously damaged his audio recorder to the disgust of discerning Ghanaians?

I am afraid, former President Mahama’s much touted humility is questionable, so to speak.

Take, for example, in one of his countless press conferences during his time in office, Ex-President Mahama bizarrely labelled the opposition NPP’s press conference as ‘rabbit’.

As if that was not enough, former President Mahama outlandishly went ahead frolicking by giving needless descriptive nickname to the then acting chairman of the NPP, Freddie Blay.

Shockingly, Ex-President Mahama sarcastically referred to the gentleman as ‘OPANA’, (literally means ‘trouble maker’).

Unbeknownst to many Ghanaians, former President Mahama can be pugnacious. Thus I find it really difficult to understand why he has been given the appellations: ‘Humble, respectful, peacemaker etc. To be quite honest, I do not think President Mahama deserves those descriptive nicknames.

Well, the preceding analysis may seem frivolous to many of his apologists. However, President Mahama’s seemingly condescending comments on Alhaji Dr Mahmoud Bawumia during the 2016 electioneering campaign really exposed his hypocrisy.

I recall in one of his then ‘changing lives’ speeches, President Mahama sarcastically suggested that Bawumia had not been a president before and therefore cannot impugn incompetence on his government.

Strangely, however, former President Mahama went ahead and asserted that only our two former Presidents, Kufuor and Rawlings have the pedigree and therefore may criticise him.

In effect, according to former President Mahama, the rest of Ghanaians did not have the right to criticise him and his government because we have not sat on the presidential seat before.

Obviously, such thought process was extremely dangerous and undemocratic and should not have come from the lips of a humble president.

I recall Ex-President Mahama went to Kumasi and labelled the entire people of Ashanti region as ungrateful lots. He referred to Ashantis as ungrateful lots who would never even be content with gold plated roads. How bizarre?

As a matter of fact, it was uncharacteristic on the part of a supposedly humble President to impugn that all Ashantis are unappreciative.

I recollect in one of the Parliamentary sittings, former President Mahama had an impertinent boldness to insult Ashantis indiscriminately. He openly said: “People of the Ashanti origin have problem with letters L&R”.

In other words, Ex-President Mahama was implying that Ashantis cannot pronounce words that have letters L&R. That was not funny by any stretch of the imagination.

That was indeed an irrevocable cheek from a supposedly submissive leader! Do Ghanaians call such an individual as humble and respectful?

Again, in the wake of the public discourse on the suitability of the proposed burial place of our departed president Mills, Ex-President Mahama condescendingly stated that Ghanaians who took part in the debate both on radio, television and even in their private homes and work places engaged in a “USELESS” discourse.

I am afraid, that was uncharacteristic of a leader who had been tagged as humble, respectful, God fearing etc.

With all due respect, Ex-President Mahama’s ceaseless sarcasm is out of this world. He is simply not humble.

Former President Mahama, to be quite honest, has an innate predilection for abusing those who show divergent views to his.

I recall during a debate on the STX Housing deal, former President Mahama, then Vice President, abused our Members of parliament who opposed the deal.

He unkindly told them: “BALONEY”. In other words, Ex-President Mahama was implying that the Parliamentarians were engaging in “foolish discourse”. How bizarre? Humble indeed!

I also remember when the Attorney General’s office charged Kennedy Agyapong with Treason, Terrorism & genocide and former President Kufuor humbly appealed for calm, and further suggested that we should avoid ‘killing a fly with a Sledge Hammer. Ex-President Mahama replied hastily and lividly: “We will kill a fly with a Bulldozer”.

Honestly, that cheeky remark can only come from the lips of a bellicose, but it should not have come from the lips of a supposedly humble and peaceful President. Frankly stating, Ex-President Mahama can be very careless in his pronouncements at times.

Let us however remind ourselves that we (Ghanaians) have been taught to respect the dead. So I was extremely dumbfounded when after the death of Professor Mills, I heard former President Mahama impoliticly suggesting: “God in his own wisdom has taken the old man, Professor Mills away to pave the way for youthful Mahama to take over the mantle”. How pathetic?

And, subsequent to that infamous declaration, Ex-President Mahama went to the Northern Region and opined somewhat unfairly that it was about time ‘Northerners’ took over the mantle of Presidency, because they (Northerners) were fed up serving in the Vice Presidency post.

In fact, former President Mahama, more often than not, fails to anticipate the dire consequences of his unmeasured pronouncements.

I recall during the 2016 electioneering campaign, A number of prominent Ghanaians and civil society groups, including the Chairman of Peace Council, Professor Emmanuel Asante and the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) beseeched Ex-President John Dramani Mahama to refrain from making comments deemed ethnocentric against the NPP and its running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

“President Mahama while campaigning at Lawra in the Upper West Region, said the NPP will not allow Dr. Bawumia to be their flagbearer because the party is largely not in support of northerners taking up such positions” (cityfmonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 21/11/2016).

Former President Mahama pontificated somewhat carelessly: “Sometimes I feel sad when I see some of our northern brothers running and also doing this. They will use you and dump you. Let anything happen today and let our brother Bawumia say he is standing for president in NPP. They will never give it to him I can assure you”.

In sum, Ex-President Mahama’s much publicised humility by his brassbound supporters is a charade, more than anything else.

K. Badu, UK.

[email protected]

Kwaku Badu
Kwaku Badu, © 2019

This author has authored 869 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KwakuBadu

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