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Alhaji Bature Is Only Being Facetious


Alhaji Bature Is Only Being Facetious

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D

We are all darned familiar with the jaded age-old joke about old-age and Ghanaian politics.

No pun, whatsoever, is intended here, of course  just sheer coincidence, you may aptly say.

And talking of coincidence, in 1979, for example, the old-age and politics joke revolved around the personality of Mr. William Paa Willie Ofori-Atta who, incidentally, also happened to be the maternal uncle of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Paa Willie, then-presidential candidate of the erstwhile United National Convention (UNC), even had the campaign tune of his party Vote For UNC, The Party For You” mischievously converted into a parodying riff suggesting the avuncular and affable 69-year-old candidate's death and burial at the Osu Cemetery well before electioneering campaign activities drew to a close.

Ironically, in the end, it was the putatively sturdy and ebullient likes of Alhaji I/Moro Egala, imperious founder of the Nkrumah-leaning People's National Party (PNP) who led the Osu-Cemetery pack. It would be nearly a decade later before the proverbial Ice-Man (or Eternal Leveler) came for this illustrious and revered co-founding father of modern Ghana.

Of course, it is all too predictable for a diehard member of the ruling National Democratic Congress to want to have his snail-paced performing and outright bumbling NDC to hang onto the reins of governance beyond 2012. The interesting and ironic fact of the matter is that were Ghana’s presidential election held as of this writing (7/10/10), President Atta-Mills would be hard put to garner upwards of 40-percent of the total legitimate votes.

What the former co-host of Radio Gold's Alhaji and Alhaji attempted to achieve with his remark on the Accra-based Citi-Fm Radio, was to simply play on the false psychology of a two-term constitutional presidency (See Nana Akufo Will Be A Good President But NDC's Alhaji Bature, Peace-Fm Online.com 7/10/10).

The fact of the matter is that while, indeed, our Fourth-Republican Constitution stipulates up to two presidential terms for our elected chiefs-of-state, the mandate of any individual being able to serve out two presidential terms of eight years remains the especial preserve of the Ghanaian electorate.

In other words, the two-term presidency, as witnessed in the cases of Messrs. Rawlings and Kufuor, is not automatic. And gauging by the moment's political pulse and temper in Ghana, just about the only way that the NDC would be able to retain power come Election 2012, is either by massive electoral fraud (which historically is not beneath the NDC) or the use of whatever oil money the nation would then have come by to bribe unsuspecting and economically desperate voters, assuming, of course, that the movers and shakers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would, once again, stolidly brook such flagrant act of unpardonable criminality in the dubious name of peace and tranquility.

Needless to say, when he objectively and poignantly alludes to the unquestionable and unassailable competence of the 2008 NPP flagbearer, the barely muted comparative reference to the lackluster Atta-Mills government could hardly be mistaken. Take: I don't doubt Akufo-Addo's competence at all, I think that he is capable, he will be able to manage this country and he will become a good president. But, unfortunately, time is working against him because if in the 2012 elections he doesn't make it, I wonder whether he can make it in their [NPP's] primaries in 2016.

Here again, the fact of the matter is that not only has President Atta-Mills woefully exhausted whatever credibility cash” he had in the Bank of Ghanaian Politics, none of his possible and/or potential replacements so far suggested, including Mrs. Rawlings, has either the credibility and/or the integrity to seriously challenge Nana Akufo-Addo. Couple the latter with the fact that the now-President Atta-Mills was single-mindedly and hermetically imposed on the NDC a la the infamous Swedru Declaration for three electoral cycles, and the abject cynicism of the Avaklasu apostles and disciples could not be easily lost on the average Ghanaian voter.

On the question of time, we ought to turn to Dr. Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the fact that although Messrs. Atta-Mills and Akufo-Addo are contemporaries and former classmates at Legon, generally speaking, the President looks to be nearly 10 years older than his arch-rival and now, presumably, his inveterate political opponent. And this marked physical differential, it is significant to observe, existed in even sharper relief going into Election 2008.

On the cognitive side, his much-touted academic credentials and all, it is still Nana Akufo-Addo who comes off as the far more nimble and politically astute, even if he has also on occasion been accused of being a bit too forthright for the comfort of those who seem to prefer practiced (or theatrical) humility over competence and vigilance in Ghanaian politics.

Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D



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