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Mon, Jan

The woes of NDC were self-inflicted

Many of President Mahama’s appointees grew horns and displayed the arrogant side of power

It is quite strange how politicians (or is it Ghanaian politicians) never learn from the past.

In 2008, we all saw with our two eyes how Nana Akufo Addo embarked on a flamboyant campaign, including gathering many young musicians at La Pleasure Beach for a beach jam. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) organised many grand rallies that made it look as if their victory was a foregone conclusion. I hope readers remember “Nana’s Diary” on television presented by Jefferson Sackey, an international journalist, who at a point worked with Joy FM. How about the humongous rally held at Kasoa on the last campaign day before the 2008 elections which was beamed live on virtually all TV stations? This made the NDC complain quite bitterly that the NPP had hijacked all the TV stations and that they could not get any station to broadcast their rally even though they were willing to pay for it.

Please, let me remind readers that Nana Addo visited a number of West African countries as if he had already been elected president. In spite of all these, the late Prof. Mills floored him in the elections.

With the above in mind, one thought the NDC in 2016, led by one of the finest communicators in Ghana, President John Mahama, would learn a thing or two and not fall into the same trap. However, all we saw were huge rallies and expensive billboards all over the country. Two days before the elections, all activities in the Ministries area came to a standstill because the NDC was holding its final rally. To repeat what the NPP did in 2008, NDC captured GTV, GTV Govern and GBC 24 channels till about 9.00 p.m. on Monday, December 5, 2016. They showed so many supposed achievements, including the Kasoa Interchange and Ho Airport, which, though not completed, were hurriedly inaugurated.

Arrogance

Now to the crux of the matter. Many of President Mahama’s appointees grew horns and displayed the arrogant side of power. Nii Lante Vaderpuije had the guts to say the presidency was not for short people. How did he expect “short voters” to vote for his government when he had no respect for them? Fifi Kwetey, as usual, in his so-called “Setting the records Straight”, threw as much mud as possible at Nana Addo, hoping that some would stick. Had he forgotten 2008 when he made an allegation about gold bars getting missing from Bank of Ghana but later, shamefully, withdrew and apologised when he appeared before the Vetting Committee of parliament to be vetted for a Deputy Ministerial appointment? 

Baba Jamal was alleged to have stated that his opponent for the Akwatia Parliamentary race was a mere hairdresser so the electorate should rather vote for him, a lawyer. Anyway, the people of Akwatia have told Baba Jamal in the face that they prefer the supposed illiterate to him the “learned friend”. His pride has put him squarely where he belongs, which is opposition without ministerial appointment which he had enjoyed for the last eight years.

The former Communications Minister, Dr Omane Boamah, made many allegations against Nana Addo but in the end the electorate spoke and told him to go to Korle Bu and attend to patients who need his services badly as a medical doctor.

At the NDC final rally at the Accra Sports Stadium, the Greater Accra NDC Chairman, Mr Ade Coker, made a statement that Nana Addo had said he would relocate the capital of Ghana from Accra to Kyebi if he won the elections. My question is, was Mr Coker expecting voters to believe that Nana Addo indeed made that statement? Does that make sense? Is that what politics and quest for power can reduce adults to? Sadly, I am told that during candidate Kufuor’s time, the NDC said the former President had said he would take the sea to Kumasi if he won the elections in 2008, so voters should not vote for him.

Why the committee?

Why should the NDC set up a committee to investigate the cause of their disgraceful defeat in the elections? The reasons are not far-fetched. They include insulting statements such as the one made by Mr Ade Coker. When it came to the President’s turn to speak at the Accra Sports Stadium, I expected him to tell the people that Mr Coker was just joking with that ridiculous statement.

Surprisingly, when all these things were going on, the man we know as a “fine gentlemen” never said a word but urged his people on with his deafening silence. In spite of public anger and protestations against Stan Dogbe’s rude behaviour such as smashing a reporter’s recorder, the President said absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, Stan Dogbe himself is a journalist and was even working with Joy FM during President Kufuor’s regime when the government was said to have sought the CNTCI loan from a hairdressing salon. The President is also a media person par excellence, yet never thought it necessary to do something to protect the interests of journalists who were at Stan Dogbe’s mercy.

On Saturday, December 10, 2016, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako said on Joy FM’s “News File” programme that the President called him on phone that he had seen an NDC advert on TV which he found to be too vicious and so he wanted to find out what Kweku Baako thought about the ad. This indicates that the president knew very well that what his party people were doing was unacceptable, yet he failed to publicly reprimand them for everybody to see that he did not approve of their arrogant abuse of power. There is a saying in Akan that, “the elderly person who looked on unconcerned for children to eat the meat of python is also considered a python eater when python eaters are being counted.”