Desperate Mahama is a waste of time
Just a minute, dear reader! Before I delve into the issue of the day, let me state how sorry I am for failing in my social contract with readers of late. It has been quite a while since this column appeared, for which I apologise sincerely. When you are getting on in years, one has so many issues to contend with.
The creator designed three score and ten years for mankind to exist on this wretched earth. When one reaches that age and attempts to defy the Biblical doctrine, it has its own Wahala!
The pressures of the external family, health complications and disappearing friends and colleagues into the next world, have combined to make life a challenging prospect. Of late, all three problems associated with growing old have hit me with a bang.
When I celebrated my 71st birthday last July, I was as fit as a fiddle. But, of late, the problem of crossing the three score and 10 years has really affected the way I do things.
While I was away, a huge volume of water passed under the bridge. The New Patriotic Party launched its manifesto at Cape Coast, asking for ‘Four More Years for Nana.’
Since then, the President and his Vice have taken the message to all 16 regions. ‘The Four More For Nana’ mantra is echoing across the country. I was intrigued by the chiefs in the Ahafo Region assuring Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that they would vote massively in return for various development projects taking place in the region.
My first instinct on hearing the chiefs virtually lying prostrate for the President of the Republic of Ghana was to reminiscence on the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, alias Sir John. “Fear delegates,” he warned. It is certainly not everybody who agrees with the NPP mantra. It is my hope that the Head of State is taking note.
‘This Earth My Brother’ is the title of a novel by the late Kofi Awonoor. At the time the book was launched, the author’s surname was Awonoor-Williams. Nothing is certain until the vote is counted.
I sympathised with the President on one pronouncement he made in the Sene East Constituency in the Brong East Region. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo looked at the chiefs and people singing his praises and told them to change their voting pattern for once.
“Since the onset of the Fourth Republican Constitution, you people have voted in only one direction,” President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo reminded them. “You have not benefitted much from your voting pattern. I am urging you to change the way you vote in this election,” the Head of State pleaded.
It is one admonition which time has come, but would the chiefs and people buy into the President’s admonition? Only December 7, will tell.
A lot, indeed, has happened since this column went into hibernation. There was NDC Chief Scribe Johnson Asiedu Nketiah pontificating on how he moved from John to Johnson without the input of the Commissioner of Oath, or the Births and Deaths Registry.
I really have not factored in how much weight manifestoes have ever carried in this country, beyond attempting to score political points over opponents. But this years’ launchings by the two parties have been vibrated across the political divide than ever.
I saw the John and Jane show at the University of Professional Studies, Accra, on television spiced with the Sammy Foto-o exposé. Thank God, this particular one was dished without the threat of making this country ungovernable.
There was Prof. Joshua Alabi, the former Accra Great Olympics king-pin who has abandoned the club to its fate as he chases the dream of sending the John and Jane ticket to Jubilee House.
The good old professor did well for himself, when he sat on top of the academic and administration boards of the university. Someone pointed out the other day that it was the good seeds the professor sowed at the centre of tertiary learning that are yielding so much fruits for the opposition National Democratic Congress.
It is not for nothing that the hall that has hosted the NDC twice in two months is christened Joshua Alabi Hall. The man has done well for himself. Obviously, his good works have reflected on the political edifice Jerry John Rawlings founded.
It is a shame that the resident of Boom Junction missed the occasion. I think I missed his booming voice and gesticulations. In his absence, Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama, Vice-Chairman of the Council of Elders of the party, was a poor substitute.
Apparently, the resident of Boom Junction had an equally important function to perform. The picture of white-bearded Jerry Rawlings by the side of his 101 year old mother, Victoria Agbotui, was a sight to behold.
The pictorial image of the man holding on to the woman who gave life to the former junta head showed the soft part of the man who presided over so much death and destruction in this country.
I must confess here! What I missed so much was not the John and Jane show. It was the absence of the former junta head. For me, the whole episode was a grand scheme of deception. How could John Dramani Mahama suddenly become a grand convert to free second cycle education after the pooh pooh he gave to the concept in 2008, 2012, and 2012.
What has suddenly changed to make the Bole/Bamboi Landlord believe that Ghanaian kids stand to benefit from free second cycle education, after Mr. Mahama himself benefitted from fee-free education from the basic, secondary, to tertiary level of education.
For me, it is all gimmicks. In 2008, the NDC, with John Mahama as running mate, promised one-time premium for the National Health Insurance Scheme. The NDC was in power from January 2009 to January 2016. Apparently, the messenger sent by Mahama, and those who believe in him to deliver the package, has still not arrived on Ghanaian soil.
I remember the promise to set up the Sahara Accelerated Development Agency. It was hailed as the harbinger of good news for the then three Northern Regions. The message was loud and clear. With a northerner driving state machinery, there would be unprecedented development projects and stop our brothers and sisters in their track from coming down south to be employed on menial jobs..
The state deployed millions of cedis in what was termed a guinea fowl project in various farms in the then three regions. Within three to four months there would be enough guinea fowls to feed the whole country. Fiasco!
It was as if we had all lost our powers of reasoning. We were told that all fowls on various farms in the north had held a meeting and decided to migrate northwards to Burkina Faso. And so the birds left without any compass.
Up till now, nobody has located any of the birds in Ouagadougou or anywhere in our northern neighbouring country. That was not all. We all know that lack of tree cover has always condemned the northern half of the country to excessive heat. So when the announcement went that the Government of John Dramani Mahama had conceived the idea of planting trees in the three northern regions, some of us praised the regime for its foresight.
Apparently, it was a scheme of gargantuan 419, with its huge fraudulent indices. When the trees failed to show up after GH¢33 million had gone down the drain, hapless Ghanaians were told that, apparently, those who designed the scheme implemented it in the dry season and that not a single tree survived.
I am sorry, but I am least impressed by the new wave of promises assailing the air waves. I get the impression that if a woman is having difficulties with labour, Mr. Mahama will promise to be on hand to take the place of the woman and deliver the baby. Talk is cheap!
For me, Mr. John Dramani Mahama is a bloody waste of time and effort.
Lest I forget, there is one major issue that I need to discuss. Last month, award winning journalist Mr. Kwaku Sakyi-Addo interviewed the leader of the June Four Uprising on what constituted the guilty verdict on the eight top ranking officers of the Ghana Armed Forces executed in June 1979 on the orders of Jerry John Rawlings. His answer was as shocking as it was hollow.
Jerry Rawlings did not talk of any prosecution or the return of guilty verdicts on these government officials at the time. The leader of the so-called revolution kept talking of a list prepared by his regime.
In his own words, Lt-Gen. Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa, for instance, was not on the bloody regime’s original list. In other words, the man who partnered then Colonel Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka to overthrow the Nkrumah regime on February 2, 1966, and was callously executed in 1979, was not one of those the regime contemplated executing.
Afrifa’s name was included on the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council’s death list by an Army General, who was a friend of Jerry Rawlings. The only explanation the former junta head could offer was that he (Rawlings) respected the general.
I intend exploring this issue further in a later article. Suffice it to say that human beings were slaughtered on the whims and caprices of friends and mentors. And this is the man they said has founded the political party whose presidential ambition is deceiving Ghanaians for votes. May the Almighty have mercy on all of us!
I shall return!
Ebo Quansah in Accra