Live from the Woods: Mahama’s meeting with diplomats distasteful, smacks of mischief

Ex-president John Dramani Mahama is chipping away the foundation of his reputation with his repeatedly ill-conceived actions and very soon he will have nothing to stand on.

The kerfuffle that happened during last month’s by-election at the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency is regrettable and shameful. I maintain the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a failed one from the very first day because its management of Ghana’s security has been bad.

In the midst of the repeated attacks by government-sponsored vigilante groups such as Delta and Invisible Forces, no one has been held responsible for the loss of lives and properties. And the disappointment is that the president is not exactly the “strong no nonsense man” the electorate were told he was. For the National Security Minister, Kan Dapaah, to still keep his job is a telling reminder of the man we have at the Flagstaff House.

But the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is also to blame for the state of insecurity in the country and to think that its members are making a meal of the skirmishes at the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, smacks of a deliberate and desperate plan to mischaracterise our nation to foreign governments.

The narration had started off with a tale by the Prampram Member of Parliament (MP), Sam George Dzata who fictionally claimed he had been fired at by some officers of the National Security. Some leading NDC members also alleged at least three people were killed by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP)-sponsored tugs. It was later added that the NDC Ayawaso West Wuogon Parliamentary candidate, Delali Kwasi Brempong was attacked at his Okponglo residence in the morning of the election.

But when Ghanaians began to interrogate these claims, they were either changed or abandoned by the purveyors. The NDC knew it couldn’t maintain the lie without being caught so it changed the narrative. This is no justification for the violence at Ayawaso, which I maintain should be blamed on the Akufo-Addo government and the leaderless Electoral Commission.

I have said in many quarters that the NPP and NDC are at their wit end and we cannot afford to fund their follies and mistakes. They cannot pretend to be more Ghanaian than any other political party we have around. The day Ghanaians will be bold to jettison these two leading political parties for a third party, it would be the nation’s second independence day.

We have had these two political parties alternate in the governance of the country for over two decades now and what do we have to show for it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. They are good at making highfalutin promises and the gullible electorate keep buying into their lies. And the outcome of our gullibility, carelessness and ignorance? They are the problems we see around us, including the sweaty jobless graduates on our streets and the debts they leave behind more than what they had inherited.

This explained the backlash ex-president Mahama received over his meeting with the foreign diplomats, in which he showed them some selected videos from the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election. I hold the encounter was premature, distasteful and disappointing, considering his status as a former leader of the country. The last thing we want to see our leaders do is sell us short to the international community for peanut – some warped favours.

I have heard some intelligent personalities I respect argue Mahama did not sell off the country during his meeting with the diplomats. They claimed the diplomats live with us, which is true, and that they understand the intricacies of our problems than we do. Well, any student of history will know that the unstated job of every diplomat is espionage or information gathering and on this score, the international community knows what Ghanaians are going through in the hands of the Akufo-Addo government.

Another claim made was that the videos are available on social media and that the ex-president didn’t conjure them from the sky. If that is the case, why didn’t the foreign diplomats go on social media in search of those videos? Don’t you think that would have saved Mahama from being labelled a member of the fifth columnist and traitor, which is a term for anyone who desperately and deliberately betrays his country?

We have been unable to hold an honest discussion in Ghana because of our tendency to justify every inconceivable thing. A majority of Ghanaians, especially supporters of the two leading political parties, see things differently. When the thing is bad, they would say it is good even though they would admit in private that it was bad, and this attribute is largely responsible for where our nation is at the moment – stunted.

Ex-president Mahama has the right to meet with any foreign diplomat on anything concerning the country, a position Akufo-Addo enjoyed while he was in opposition but he shouldn’t have yielded to the temptation. And to think that he is justifying his action in the media is disappointing.

He has proved the electorate right when they voted against him in the 2016 general elections. You can’t claim to be a protégé of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah when you are in bed with the very people whose source of happiness is your unhappiness and who want to see your people wallow in abject poverty.

At the moment, Ghana needs real solutions to its numerous problems, including unemployment, which the Akufo-Addo government has been unable to address. The disastrous Nation Builders Corp (NABCO) offers no respite for the unemployed youth in the country. It has succeeded in providing an excuse for the politician to misapply our nation’s resources once again. The citizens didn’t negotiate for political jobs that do not add up to the revenue of the country.

A learning leader knows when he is wrong and takes appropriate steps to remedy the situation. I think Mahama has the opportunity to do the right thing and the noblest thing for him to do at this hour is to apologise to Ghanaians for his misjudgement.


About author

Kwabena Brakopowers is a journalist, novelist, and essayist whose works focus on politics, migration, social situation, economic and environmental issues. He spends his time writing either in Accra or Monrovia, where he calls his second home. He could be reached or to read about him.

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