PERISCOPE By GODFRIED K. ARHIN-KUMI (Advocate against cheating and of peaceful co-existence) ENCOURAGED BY MR. MAHAMA (PART 1)
While I was browsing through a pile of newspaper cuttings, as I usually do in my leisure time, I came upon a news report headlined “Don’t tell me what I want to hear, but the truth – President.”
It was a publication in the Monday March 4, 2013 edition of The Pioneer, the oldest independent private newspaper. It was a passionate appeal by the then President John Dramani Mahama to members of the Council of State “to tell me the truth and not what I want to hear.” That appeal, by extension, also referred to Ghanaians.
This simply means that JDM did not want anything bearing semblance of a mixture of flattery and sycophancy. The occasion was when he swore in the last three members of the Council of State, namely Mr. Christopher Kobla Dewornu, former Inspector-General of Police, General Kofi Obeng, a former Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, and Nana Osei Assibey, Otumfuo’s Deebuosohene at the Manhyia Palace. That completed the 24-member Council of State.
Later, there were speculations that JDM might represent the National Democratic Congress (NDC as its flagbearer for the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections. Some National Democratic Congress (NDC) members seemed to be alarmed at the thought of Mr. Mahama standing for re-election. Two prominent people easily come to mind.
They were Ambassador Osei and Philip Gbeho. Many others, too numerous to merit space here, opposed his candidature for the presidency. JDM, however, listened to only what he wanted to hear, that is, the appeal to him to lead the NDC during the 2020 elections, thus eating back his words regarding what he told the Council of State members, and by extension Ghanaians.
Then came the bombshell, when he was to present his nomination papers, Ambassador Ohene Agyekum was the one who led the group of jubilant NDC members to present his nomination papers.
He surprised Ghanaians when he gave the main reason why the National Democratic Congress wanted JDM to lead it to the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections: “He is the only one with HEFTY POCKET who can lead the party to victory in election 2020.”
It was a bombshell, because it gave the impression that only rich politicians could occupy the presidential throne! Yes, quite understandable, isn’t it? In African politics, money is a luxury. In Africa, if an aspiring candidate for the topmost post of presidency wallows in untold riches, he or she can easily get a huge following.
This is mainly because, some of our political leaders are so incompetent and corrupt that their people always live in abject poverty. Thus, these wretched souls easily take the bait of some few cash and free goodies from their affluent aspiring candidates for political posts, and do their bidding at all costs.
Our JDM was at the crossroads of listening to two voices, one telling him what he did not like to hear – that he must not seek presidential re-election, since he had not the least chance, due to his poor performance in the 2016 elections. The other voice, on the other hand, told him what he obviously wanted to hear – that he had a good chance to be re-elected, thus forgetting his appeal to the Council of State members and to Ghanaians by extension. This won him my admiration.
Well, the harm has already been done. He was given a resounding victory at the NDC primary, where the delegates pushed him to the edge of a precipice with 95% votes. He was all smiles, having been told what he wanted to hear.
Poor JDM! He is unable to see or is just refusing to see that those pushing him on are secretly building their own nests with his free goodies; they are simply biddable for the purpose of building their nests, knowing that he has a HEFTY POCKET.
Meanwhile, while he is campaigning for votes, he and his followers must not do anything to disturb the peace in the country.
PERISCOPE highly commends JDM on his humanitarian concern for People Living With Disability (PLWDs). May God richly bless him and help him to complete their village as soon as possible.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Chronicle’s editorial stance