Friday, 17 June 2016

What Will Save The NDC From Losing This November's Presidential Election?

Will the revelation that President Mahama received a luxury model Ford Expedition SUV from the  wealthy Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe,  as a gift, whiles serving as vice president to the late President Mills, threaten his presidency? Probably not, according to a number of commentators.

Others, on the contrary,  think it might very well do so. Well, we all await the denouement of this particular presidential scandal, which has come to light at a point in time when Ghanaians - the vast majority of whom are now thoroughly fed up with Mother Ghana being constantly ripped-off  - are demanding an end to high-level corruption once and for all.

Actually, there is absolutely nothing wrong, with the leader of any African nation receiving gifts from colleague leaders, as tokens of the friendship between the peoples of their respective nations.

Indeed, the convention in most of the liberal democracies of the West, is that if they are valuable gifts, it is understood that they belong to the nation.

Whether or not a gift is kept by a host leader,  depends entirely on the value, nature and function of the gift - and  the reason stated by the visiting foreign dignatory for presenting it. Less valuable gifts generally can be kept by our Presidents.

Let us imagine, for example,  a scene at a ceremony at the Flagstaff House, where a visiting head of state is replying to a welcoming statement by President Mahama, who is seated and looking directly at him.The visiting leader informs President Mahama that his country is presenting 4 air ambulances to Ghana, for use by the Ghana Health Service.

At that point, he then beckons to an aide who brings a wooden children's rocking horse to where Ghana's president sits. The visiting foreign leader then turns to President Mahama and says, "And Your Excellency, this rocking horse is for your dear little son, Mamudu!"

Clearly, in that hypothetical case, that less valuable gift, can  definitely be  kept by President Mahama. That rocking horse was meant for a named individual, Mamudu, to whom President Mahama would have to give it. It is not a bribe.

Neither can it make any difference to the relationship between Ghana and the visiting leader's country - for nations have permanent interests, not permanent friends. So a conflict of interest situation does not arise, either.

However, those  regime-apologists who seem to think that this is a mere tempest-in-a-Sandema-calabash, ought to understand that there is a world of difference, between the above scenario, and that of the situation faced by a Ghanaian President, whom it is alleged accepted a valuable gift from a wealthy foreign contractor, keen to win government contracts in Ghana, when he was serving as vice president to President Evans John Atta Mills.

No leader with a moral compass would  ever accept such a gift under those circumstances - as he or she would automatically decline it from habit and by inclination.

Perchance, is  that why President Mahama hesitated, when posed the question had he ever been personally corrupt before, by a BBC reporter, during the recent international conference on corruption in London?

This unfolding scandal has the potential to  destroy  President Mahama's chances of winning this November's presidential election. Let no one make a mistake about that.

If there are other Ali-Baba-and-the-forty-thieves type of scandals hidden in the President's closet, about what he did when serving as vice president to President Mills,  many of them will definitely emerge this side of November's scheduled polling date.

If the President's motive for his friendship with the wealthy  Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, arose from the fact that he is a contractor with a reputation for executing jobs to a very high standard, and that giving him contracts in Ghana would somehow redound to the nation's benefit, it would have been far wiser for the President  to have rejected the Burkinabe contractor's gift.

What would have been more prudent, was for the President to have simply informed Kanazoe that he was welcome to bid for jobs in Ghana, like any other foreign contractor is allowed to, by our nation's laws on public procurement.

Let us not forget that as we speak there are countless politicians in the Western democracies serving jail sentences for receiving gifts from wealthy businesspeople keen to obtain government contracts.

At best President Mahama was imprudent in accepting the gift of a luxury model Ford Expedition SUV from Djibril Kanazoe. However, we cannot rule out the fact that it might also be solid evidence that in reality he is a very corrupt  politician - as many of his critics have always insisted he is.

And corruption is not only about stealing from the national treasury. It is also about amoral serial-philanderers handing out government contracts to voluptuous bimbos, their favourites amongst their family clans, and their super-wealthy and overly-generous crony-capitalist pals.

Unfortunately, the presidency is full of such rogues and perverts - just as it was under the super-corrupt, Hypocrite-in-Chief, President Kufuor: who used to personally receive kickbacks  at the Osu Castle, and apparently sat on all of it, denying any of it to his party, according to the then party national chairperson, Haruna Esseku.

"Who born dog?"  to quote a pidgin English phrase much-favoured by ex-President Rawlings. Saajewah. Fun-full-respect, Sir.

Today, he is Saint Kufuor,  according to the garrulous Sammy Awukus, and John Boadus - who, thus far, it ought to be noted, have singularly failed to tell Ghanaians when exactly they, and all the other leading lights of their party-of-hypocrites, plan to publicly publish their assets, and those of their spouses, before the November elections: to prove to Ghanaians that they have only good intentions in seeking power.

The tragedy for our nation, is that the Sammy Awukus and John Boadus have no such plans, and  have no intention of ever doing so, either. Yet, they never stop talking about corruption. The painful truth, is that they are simply waiting to take their turn, in the ongoing brutal gang-rape of Mother Ghana.

Publicly publishing their assets, and those of their spouses, would make it that harder, for the Sammy Awukus and the John Boadus to amass the wealth they seek, in the shortest possible time. That is why they refuse to commit to that very effective anti-corruption measure. It is obvious that they are all in politics for the same reason: the acquisition of wealth.

And some innocent souls wonder why ordinary Ghanaians have continuously struggled to survive ever since the 4th Republic came into being.

Since ordinary Ghanaians stubbornly refuse to remove the blinkers from their eyes, and stop being so misguided in holding on to the ridiculous and antediluvian "My party, my tribe, right or wrong!" philosophy of life, they will continue to struggle and suffer, whiles a privileged few from the NDC/NPP duopoly, and their families and friends, divvy-up our nation's wealth amongst themselves.

What do ordinary Ghanaians expect? They must put their thinking caps on when politicians make promises to them and read between the lines. They must think, think, think and think again. Think West Blue. Think Smarttys. Think RLG. Think Jospong  Group. Think E. O. Group. Think International Aluminium Partners. Think judgement debts. Think Woyome. Big, time.

Ordinary Ghanaians need to stop allowing political parties and self-seeking politicians to take Mother Ghana for a ride, if they want their lot to be bettered. Quiet simple, really.

Doubtless, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), too, will have their own equivalents of the West Blues and Smarttys, when in power. Heaven help us when those hungry and super-greedy hordes of philistines descend upon the Flagstaff House. Ye wu ankasa. Hmm, Ghana - enti yewieye paa enei? Eyeasem o.

How Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah must be turning in his grave. The millions of clueless souls who think that Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo will bring about rule by saints had better think again.

In pleading for party executives at all levels not to rock the boat, he once told them not to forget that appointments to the boards of public-sector institutions and organisations, were in his gift as President.

Incidentally, one wonders where  Adakabre Frimpong Manso & Co will finally end up at when the NPP wins power again - as a quid pro quo for keeping quiet and ceasing to rock the much-battered NPP boat that flies a flag of convenience. Deputy ministers, perhaps?

So under Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo's presidency, regime-cronies and party hacks will also enjoy the same good fortune, which is currently being experienced by the Bernard Allotey Jacobs in our midst - and Ghanaians will find that the boards of public-sector entities will be jam-packed with genuises: square-pegs-in-round-holes, to a man, gradually ruining state entities and being paid obscene sums of taxpayers' money for the privilege, too. One weeps for Mother Ghana.

Our problem is that we run a plutocratic system dressed up as a democracy -  a perfect-fit-system tailor-made specifically to enable a military dictatorship transition to a democracy: with sweeping powers for the President. It simply meant that the defunct military dictatorship could carry on with business as usual unhindered, even in the new era of democracy.

That is why the phrase "Saa democracy nonsense yi!" could flow from the lips of that ace-hypocrite, Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea, during the time he and other members of  the ruthless and amoral cabal of insiders around Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, were busy maneuvering to hang on to power, after losing the December 2008 presidential election.

The thought of losing power, because the masses had had the temerity to vote against their regime, outraged and appalled those closet-fuedalists.

In the same conversation, that cynical plutocrat, also implied that everyone has a price - pure nonsense as there are some who can never be bought because they are principled - in reference to Dr. Afari Djan: by recounting an anecdote, in which his mother had once apparently advised him, never to allow those close to him to ever go hungry.

Given the context in which he said so, it was clearly a Twi euphemism for let's use intelligence reports to find Dr. Kwadjo Afari Djan, and pay him as much as he wants, to do our bidding, and help us stay in power.

And to think that he sits on Parliamentary select committees lecturing people about the rule of law, transparency, equity and due process. He is getting away with it because Ghanaians refuse to see the reality of the nature of the society that has evolved in Ghana, since President Nkrumah's  overthrow in 1966.

Alas, our reality, is that Ghana is a well-endowed nation, which has evolved into an unequal society in which huge disparities in wealth exist, that is dominated by hypocrites and pathological liars, who govern the country for the benefit of a few powerful, wealthy and amoral individuals - the very thing President Nkrumah sought to prevent with his policies and vision of creating an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

Amazingly, voters never once ponder the ends for which politicians seek power. If they did, they would never vote for any of the parties that make up the NDC/NPP duopoly that have taken turns to  govern our nation since the 4th Republic came into being.

Neither do voters ever ask politicians the nature of the society they seek to build in Ghana. That is why Nkrumah's Ghana has evolved into a dog-eat-dog society, in which an all-pervasive selfishness culture reigns supreme - and people can lie, cheat, steal and even murder their way to the top of the greasy-pole: and be applauded for it. Pity. But I digress.

The leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) must be prudent and open-minded in this matter - and move quickly to establish the true facts: such as whether or not Djibril Kanazoe has made other expensive gifts to the President, and other members of his family, and, above all, in whose name the vehicle was originally registered as its owner.

They will have to demand that as a price for being allowed to  stay on in office as Ghana's  leader, President Mahama will step down as the NDC's presidential candidate, if they are convinced that his dealings with Djibril Kanazoe amount to acts of corruption.

With elections looming, they must not rule out the possibility that the floodgates will eventually open, close to polling day, as public-sector whistleblowers - emboldened by Joy FM's  Manasseh Azure's disclosures - who might also be aware of similar gifts from Kanazoe, and other wealthy crony-capitalist friends of President Mahama's, follow suit too, in a bid to ensure the NDC loses power at the close of polling day.

And to say that the vehicle from Djibril Kanazoe has been  included in the pool of  vehicles for the presidency does not provide a satisfactory answer to discerning and independent-minded Ghanaians in this matter.

The question there is: When did the vehicle arrive in Accra and when exactly was it allocated to the pool of vehicles for the presidency?

Is there irrefutable documentary proof of the order transferring it to the vehicle pool at the presidency? Who gave that order and who signed that letter allocating the vehicle to the presidency, and when was it written and dispatched to those in charge of the official vehicles for the presidency? Yenye enkwalaa ewor Ghana o.

To many discerning Ghanaians, the idea that government spokespersons think that that kind of Kweku-Ananse-spin put on a major government scandal, to justify the unjustifiable, will fool them,  is to insult their intelligence.

And they find that kind of egregious dissembling deeply offensive. The Johnson Asiedu Nketias must not forget that it is that particular electoral demographic's crucial swing-votes that decide who wins presidential elections in today's Ghana. Hmm...

The NDC's leadership ignores their opinions on national issues at their own peril. That is why their Plan B presidential election strategy must be to swallow their pride, take the bitter pill, and nominate Martin Amidu as their presidential candidate to replace President Mahama, and keep Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur as his running mate.

Their ruthlessness in so doing will suddenly change the dynamics of the election campaign and help them retain power after the November elections. That is what will save the NDC from losing the November presidential election.

It is time the canny Johnson Asiedu Nketias woke up to the fact that no politician (across the spectrum) has more moral authority than Martin Amidu commands in today's Ghana.

And they must also remember that there is not a single educated Ghanaian who does not know that the principled and patriotic Martin Amidu stands for what will benefit our nation and all its people - for he is not a politician who is blinded by party advantage at the expense of the national interest and the well-being of all Ghanaians.

Should the need arise for the. NDC to find a new presidential candidate, if they are creative in their thinking, at that point in time, they will come to the realisation that Martin Amidu is indeed their secret weapon for winning the November presidential election. They must embrace him now -  for he will snatch victory from the jaws of near-certain defeat in that election: and enable them retain power again.
Post a Comment