I know, I know! I promised in the Spring that I would not discuss Ghana politics, particularly since a sizable chunk of the MOM Squad is not Ghanaian. You guys have to give me a pass on this one. I beg you. This is an issue that has been burning on my heart for the last 48 hours. I can’t let it go, which leads me to believe President Mahama has bewitched me with some sort of incantation resulting in a mental wounding. Only the poultice of talking this thing through will provide me with the relief I need. I’m so glad you guys are here for me!
The faults of John Mahama and his administration are many. The nation is reeling, buckling under the weight of a Mahama led administration’s ineptitude. Education standards and results have seen sharp decline; homelessness is at an all-time high; violent and fatal home invasions have seen an uptick; civil liberties have been trampled on and access to healthcare is in constant jeopardy due to sporadic (yet predictable) strikes from disgruntled healthcare professionals. But we have malls. Yes… Malls filled with items the everyday citizens can’t afford to shop in because wages are low and unemployment is high. In the face of all these harsh realities – realities that the Mahama-led NDC was elected (and promised) to fix – JDM has taken exception with being labelled “incompetent”. Here’s what he said to his supporters at a rally at Trade Fair on Monday:
“Did you hear Bawumia say incompetent Mahama? You’ve never held any responsibility anywhere near the presidency before; you don’t know what it is like to be President. I’ll take that word from Kufuor or from Rawlings because they’ve been there before. All of you guys [NPP critics] have never ever come near the presidency. [Do] you know what it takes to be a President? And you stand and say incompetent Mahama administration!”
This is a man with a degree. This is a thinking man; there is no doubt about that. He didn’t get to where he is because he’s unable to think (or manipulate). He’s published, and anyone who has the tenacity and persistence to pen a book earns kudos from me for that feat at least. Plus, he’s no fool. No one can deny that JDM is a master communicator and knows exactly how to touch you in your gut with his inflection. But as all writers and thinkers know, you will ultimately be judged by the tangible impact of your words, thoughts and deeds…just like anyone else in any other profession, particularly if the strength of your job performance directly affects the ability of 26 million other people to do theirs. And in this regard, President Mahama has indeed shown himself to be “incompetent”.
The president is no fool, so why does he persist in saying foolish things? He says members of the opposition are not qualified to label him, since they have never performed duties in the office of the president. Naturally, he was roasted severely on social media for this. One doesn’t need to have worked in a particular field to be able to judge the outcomes of services rendered by a “professional” in that field.
#IncompetentMahama speech sounds like …" Are you my co-equal"
— Joojo Cobbinah (@joojo17) November 17, 2015
— Maka Liya (@AbenaGyekye) November 17, 2015
I can't even criticize the government of my own country unless am a former president…When will dumsor Stop #IncompetentMahama
— Curtis Ibrahim Ion (@ibra472003) November 17, 2015
Going by his own logic, I wonder if #IncompetentMahama has ever criticized a kenkey seller, a tailor or an auto mechanic.
— Ato-Kwamena Dadzie (@atokd) November 16, 2015
What kind of logic is this? Has he mistaken his post as a democratically elected leader for some bearskin-wearing medieval overlord? Does the president of Ghana think that the people he serves are actually this stupid, that the population is too dumb to assess how he is “changing their lives” for themselves? Yes…that must be it. For instance, when it comes to Ghana’s most pressing issue – the power crisis – John Mahama has on several occasions expressed his contempt for the Ghanaian proletariat, merchant class and the bourgeoisie with utterances like “smart businesses are not laying people off” and the myriad promises to never promise to promise to give a date for the end of dumsor; only that it will end soonish. His recent attempt to cast himself as an artist, a political Michelangelo if you will, speaks volumes about the level of disdain he holds for Ghanaians, our expectations and our right to hold our government accountable. No, really. While on the campaign trail, which has been dubbed the Changing Lives Tour, he said this:
“We are working just like an artist. When artists are working you don’t actually know what they are doing until they finish the work. Those who are saying we are not working are entitled to their opinions, but all Ghanaians would testify to the contrary.”
C’mon dude. I don’t know what artists you’ve been hanging around, but the majority of them have an outline – an outline that allows the viewer to predict an outcome. You can tell from the first few strokes that this will be a pigeon, or a cat, or a cathedral. The NDC has no outline, and that’s why we can predict a mess. Unless the president and his team are finger painting a plan for the country…in which case the result is still a mess.
In conclusion, I believe the NPP and any other opposition party that has labelled both the president and his performance as “incompetent” has been rather generous in their choice of adjective. There is a thesaurus FULL of adjectives that I think could do the job better, beginning with, but not limited to:
Hei, hei, hei! All you NDC sympathizers who are happy with your 36 hours light off and reliance on gen-power to run your businesses, skyrocketing cost of living and soaring food prices: Stay out of my comments section with your vitriol. We all already know your man is going to win in 2016. I’ve admitted as much in a previous post and given reasons why. He’s your champion and will bring you the political victory your pride so craves. But that is only because John D. Mahama a catfish in a small pool of guppies.
It’s a shame catfish don’t make better decision makers and leaders.