It will take only a political neophyte and the uninitiated to think that the NDC’s Presidential Candidate, former President John Mahama, truly and genuinely demonstrated a commitment to women empowerment following his appointment of a female Running Mate to partner him for election 2020.
That, certainly cannot be the case because the facts and the records do not speak to that. The true intention of the former President for appointing a female Running Mate, the writer contends, is to, first of all, take advantage of some unsuspecting Ghanaian women for unmeritorious electoral advantage.
Indeed, John Mahama himself together with his party, the NDC, has, since the nomination of Prof. Naana Opoku-Agyemang, been calling on the gender industry and women groups to support the party because they had appointed a woman as a Vice Presidential candidate. In effect, what the former president and his NDC have been trying to do by this conduct, is to move the political debate and discussions from one of records and issues to one of “I have appointed a woman so women should vote for me if they indeed love their own”.
Of course, this is what you should expect from a politician who wants to play smart by seeking to run away from his records knowing very well that he has ugly records which definitely cannot sell. So, he wants to opportunistically ride on the back of “feminism” for an otherwise undeserving political sympathy. That is why anytime you strongly criticize their Running Mate, the NDC is quick to organize a press conference and accuse you of misogyny and being anti-women empowerment.
Check, and you will see that apart from Chairman Wontumi who, in my candid opinion, reprehensibly goofed in his criticism and indeed attack of their Running Mate, all the other persons including John Boadu, the Majority Leader, and Hon Yaw Buaben Asamoa whom the NDC accused of denigrating all women actually only critiqued Jane Naana’s competence and questioned her record in public life when she served as a Minister of State under John Mahama. None attacked her person nor insulted women as the NDC would rather have us believe.
That is the kind of conversation that the NDC wants us to have going into the 2020 electioneering campaign. Obviously, it is because they are afraid of their own record and therefore do not want us to have an issue-based campaign discourse. It can thus be argued that, what the NDC really sought to do by appointing a female Running Mate was to essentially set a political trap for the NPP to fall into, and they are doing exactly that. The strategy essentially is that, let’s pick a woman as our Running Mate so that if any member of the NPP strongly criticizes her, we accuse the party [NPP] of being anti-women whereupon we will incite Ghanaian women against the party thereby creating disaffection for them.
Well, let it be told the former president that Election 2020 SHALL BE ABOUT RECORDS. Ghanaians do not have short memory as he once arrogantly told us. We still remember his record of unbridled corruptibility, condescending posturings, insensitivity, vulgarity, indecisiveness and legendary incompetence. We still remember that John Mahama is the only sitting president in the history of Ghana who could not give a “Yes or No answer” to a question of whether he ever took a bribe.
Indeed, we still remember that John Mahama was the only President who took a bribe involving a brand new “Ford Expedition” from a foreign contractor wishing to do business with his government. We still remember that John Mahama was the only President, who, acting as “Government Official 1”, used his junior brother by name, Samuel Adam Mahama, aka “Intermediary 5” as a conduit for receiving bribe from Airbus bringing international opprobrium and embarrassment to this country.
We still remember that John Mahama was the President that cancelled teacher trainee and nursing trainee allowance. We still remember that John Mahama was the only President who used derogatory words like “baloney”, “useless”, “nonsense” and many other distasteful expressions to refer to a section of Ghanaians who at some point disagreed with him.
We still remember that John Mahama was the only President who plunged this country into an excruciating dumsor crisis throughout his tenure of office leading to many lost of lives and livelihoods. We still remember that John Mahama was the only President who put a complete freeze on employment into the public sector exacerbating the plight of the thousands and millions of the nation’s unemployed. How callous!
We also still do remember John Mahama for the infamous SADA, GYEEDA, SUBA and ISOFOTON scandals. We still remember that John Mahama was the President who told us that no political party in Ghana can match his party (the NDC) when it comes to unleashing violence on Ghanaians. I can go on and on and on and yet still, cannot finish cataloguing all the things we can remember John Mahama for.
All these John Mahama records and many more are thus still damn fresh in our memory, and we shall hold him accountable for each and every one of them. The records will certainly not vanish from our minds merely because John Mahama has appointed a female Running Mate. After all, it is the Presidential Candidate that we vote for. We don’t go to the polls and vote for a Running Mate. In any case, John Mahama’s Running Mate, Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, was a key member of John Mahama’s government and therefore cannot purge herself or runaway from his damning records.
We, the Ghanaian electorates, shall indeed interrogate each of these records and compare same with the records of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Yes, this election shall be one of comparison of records. It shall be about the records of John Mahama Vrs the records of H.E Nana Akufo-Addo. By Nana Akufo-Addo’s record, I’m sure you will agree with me that I am talking about the record of incorruptibility; the record of discipline; the record of hope; the record of delivery and of competence.
Once again, the 2020 election is not and cannot be about who has a male or who has a female Running Mate. Ghanaian electorates have always looked beyond the gender of the Aspiring Presidential Candidates and their Running Mates. That is why under this 4th Republic, the gender of a presidential ticket has never played a role in the ticket’s electoral victory or otherwise in any of the general elections held so far, and certainly, the 2020 elections will not be an exception. The Ghanaian voter will again look beyond the gender.
By Iddi Muhayu-Deen