Regular and faithful readers of this column will remember these words: “Any time I see Akufo-Addo and Bawumia looking each other in the eye and smiling, I ask myself: are these smiles born of political convenience? On TV and in newspapers, I always probe and ask: do I see, as Shakespeare puts it, ‘daggers in men’s smiles’?
“I admire this pair. They have made some mistakes here and there, taken wrong economic decisions now and then, but I love them. They send out the right signals every time, not just in their smiles, but also in their speeches. While Nana Akufo- Addo has been consistent in his assertion that ‘Bawumia is God-sent’, Bawumia has never lost an occasion to assure the world that Nana Addo is on course, and in charge.”
These are words I wrote on this very page just recently on Friday, June 23, 2018.
So what are these wrong signals we are seeing in recent times? I am referring to the video that has gone viral and become the butt of social media comment. In it, we see a line-up of personalities waiting for the arrival of the President for some ceremony.
Among them is the Vice President. As the President approaches, the Vice President — wearing his trade-mark smirk on his face — steps forward and bows, offering a hand which he evidently expects the President to reciprocate in a handshake.
That, however, was not to be. The President walks past without as much as a smile in reciprocity — which, with the benefit of past records, is unusual between the two.
The posture makes it difficult to dismiss the suggestion that there was a snub and that it was deliberate. The next natural conclusion is that there is bad blood between the First and Second Gentlemen of the land.
With the benefit of past circumstances, and from a Presidency whose Communications Unit has not only refused to allow any rumour, no matter how slight to fester, but has also pro-actively (much to my admiration) stepped forward with explanations, flat refutations, rebuttals and swipes — l find it strange that this rumour has been allowed to play for so long.
Is this an admission of “guilt as charged” — that the rumour machine operators got it right this time round? As the social commentary machine grinds slowly with gossip, ill wish, self-fulfilling prophecy et al, some of the reasons being proffered for the “snub” and/or bad blood are so bizarre they are unprintable. I could go to jail for repeating even one of them here — if criminal libel were alive!
While the Jubilee House Communications Unit remains quiet, a number of scenarios are at play and have the potential to pour poison onto the bad blood, if any. One of such scenarios is what I referred to in my June 23 column. Dear reader, permit me to quote myself:
“…In this article, I am guided by a statement attributed to Prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam. He is quoted as praying to God to ‘forgive my enemies. But those who say they love me, protect me from them.’
“More to be feared are NPP close associates who have reason not to like the warmth of this relationship between the first and second gentlemen. These are elements who have only one pre-occupation in life, that is, finding a “suitable” successor to Nana Addo.
“To Akufo-Addo and Bawumia, to Rebecca and Samira, I can only offer the book, Bogus informants: Nation-wreckers, authored by Kofi Bentum Quantson. Party insiders, people at the Jubilee House with daggers in their smiles will whisper evil into your ears, whispers that turn angels around you into demons.”
There are the NPP insiders who would be interested in spoiling the party, for selfish reasons, including political ambitions. That would be dangerous because they are (to quote Nana Kwame Ampadu’s lyrics) “in the cloth”. They have access; they have the ears of the First and Second Gentlemen. With political motivation, they would be even more dangerous. They would do anything because they would be acting as a bunch of desperadoes. Their main weapon would be rumour.
Remember what political insiders succeeded in doing to E.K. Nyame, the musician. Someone close to President Nkrumah at the Flagstaff House drew the first President’s attention to “anti-Nkrumah innuendos” in the song, ’Ponko Abodam’.
That was the end of the beautiful relationship between E.K. Nyame and Kwame Nkrumah, a relationship that had seen the musician on all the political platforms of candidate Nkrumah in the pre-1954 election campaigning. Nkrumah believed the lie. A bus he had bought for EK’s band was taken away from them.
So Akufo-Addo and Bawumia, please, beware. This bad blood, if true, would be thickened with bile the day the First and Second Ladies cross swords.
All of this may be mere speculation. Nothing, really, may be the matter; which is fine. But why allow the rumour to fester?