Sir Gabo writes a long letter from Sakora Wonoo – Sir John’s famous hometown.
Politics & Power.
Using Decent Language Should not be a Luxury for Politicians in Ghana.
Dear Valued Reader,
I am still struggling to understand why our dear ex-President Mahama has allowed himself to be provoked into making comments that betray his status, after many years of engaging in the business of politics.
Like many Ghanaians both at home and abroad – I am highly disappointed in our former President Mahama for using a derogatory term ‘Akyem Mafia Sakawa’ to describe a specific tribe in Ghana.To add insult to injury – he recently told his NDC supporters at a rally that Nana Addo is short and old.That, given the natural order of things the sitting President would die early and he Mahama would also die early. Now the former President’s political language has suddenly metamorphosed from ‘Sakawa into 419.’
Such indecent language and disparaging rants emanating from the mouth of a former President, who is still seeking another term of office are deeply disturbing, and these are smacks of a dearth of leadership on the part of our former leader.
His unpresidential and maladroit manner of treating Nana Addo in the public space provoked howls of derision among his own NDC members. His recent blatant pillory of Nana Addo was an embarrassing muddle for him and his audience.
The question is, what has the height of our dear President Nana Addo got to do with his level of imagination and courageous decision to ensure that all Ghanaian children have access to free secondary education among many many achievements we have seen within the last 4 years?
It is our former leader who went to Kumasi and made very demeaning comments that even if he covered the streets of the City of Kumasi with gold, the Asantes would say he had not done anything.
When tensions brewed up after the shameful incident of the Ayawaso bye election in January 2018, one would have expected our former President to bring his dignified position to bear on the boisterous situation by condemning and advising members of the two parties to desist from such disgraceful behaviour.
Rather, to the shock and dismay of everyone in Ghana including the foreigners and members of the diplomatic community – the ex-President dived into the ‘debased politics’ and warned Ghanaians that his party was borne out of the violent revolutionary spirit that was capable of doing worse things.
Instead of using his respectable position to cool down boiling situation he preferred to fuel it.
The fact of the matter is that our dear ex-President Mahama – to a very large extent – represents the conscience of the country. Therefore, the words he uses must always be seasoned with salt. When the leader of the NDC told his party supporters that: ‘Nana Akufo-Addo is shorter than all you young people,” what impression was he trying to create?
We are bombarded every day by members of the NDC Party with the idea that the former President is a communication expert. In consequence, he should rather educate us that the meaning of the stuff we say are not only defined by the words we use but also how we say them. If a man keeps floundering in his own area of expertise…what else can he hang onto to boast of?
Telling Ghanaians that the sitting President is short will not catapult into votes and hand over power to the NDC flagbearer.
Think about this…! How would the NDC members of diminutive sizes feel about their leader’s inflammatory remarks. Assuming that some of the current teachers of Mahama’s children were short, how would they feel and what kind of attitude would they adopt towards his children? Does he expect any Ghanaian he considers as a short person to vote for him?
Is Mahama using politics to question the Sovereignty of God? Is Mahama now questioning the Sovereign God why he created Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo the way it pleases him…?
When the biblical David confronted Goliath of the Philistines, the latter’s imposing personality couldn’t help him. David demolished Goliath because the spirit within him was much bigger than that of Goliath.The solutions to the herculean tasks and challenges of our everyday life have nothing to do with the sizes of our personalities. Indeed, they have everything to do with the spirit within us. Mahama cannot tame the ever-bubbling and resilient spirit of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo.
If Ghana’s former President’s recent incantations are meant to raise his dead political fortunes or intend to impose a magical effect on the sitting President Nana Addo’s winning spree, he has, rather, shot himself with a cannon.
The more the NDC leader goes to town to defame the visible and tangible achievements of the NPP leader, the more he increases the political clout of our beloved Nana Addo.The more he conveniently puts on the populist attire and ridicules the sitting President in public, the more he alienates himself and his NDC Party from the voters.
I tell you the truth, ex-President Mahama has failed and will always fail to break the magic spell of the infinite winning spirit of His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana.
After 27 years of successful parliamentary democracy to the envy of our neighbours and the international community – who are watching us from afar – we the good people of Ghana refuse to be considered as graduating from civility to vulgarism.
The man we call Politics has always been a very generous person all over the world. I find it very uneasy when politicians create the impression that he is a dirty person and use him to say and do all sorts of things without a modicum of respect for the feelings of the general public. If Politics were that dirty, politicians who lose their fame and power would not dare to go back to him. If he were truly dirty, ordinary people in Ghana would not sell their houses and go back to him.
The use of decent language in politics should not be a luxury for anybody in Ghana especially so for a former President of the Republic.
Kofi Asante (Sir Gabo)
The Sakora Wonoo Economist.