I suppose he is a political scientist at the nation’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana, Legon, where I partly grew up. And so Prof. Ransford Gyampo perfectly understands the fact that electioneering campaigns are generally and historically about competing narratives of visions and policy agendas. In other words, all things being equal, it is the narrative of the political party that sounds and appears to be more practicable and logically convincing to the electorate that invariably carries the vote. Short of ballot-rigging, of course.
And so it is unforgivably scandalous for Prof. Gyampo to viscerally accuse President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the other key players of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of lying to Ghanaian voters to win power, almost as if to imply that, somehow, it was the inalienable constitutional right of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) to have been retained in power (See “NPP Lied to Win Power – Ransford Gyampo” Opinions/Features – Modernghana.com 8/10/17). Indeed, going into Election 2016, even first-time Ghanaian voters were fully aware of the fact that they were not voting for angels or perfect human beings, against the latter’s far less perfect counterparts. What mattered most, going into their polling booths, was the very critical question of which party’s leadership appeared to be more visionary, less corrupt and more competent and capable of bringing remarkable improvement into the quality of the lives of these voters. We must also bear smack in mind, the fact that the Mahama Posse, first led by the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, with the now-former President John Dramani Mahama as Vice-President, had occupied the seat of governance for 8 years. And in the last four of those 8 years, Ghanaians were being repeatedly told by an increasingly testy and arrogant President Mahama that they had absolutely no inalienable democratic right to criticize his, at best spotty, job performance because these critics whose mandate had placed Mr. Mahama into the Flagstaff House, had themselves never been voted presidents, therefore they could not so facilely presume to be qualified to criticize him. I suppose even highly schooled political scientists like Prof. Gyampo have so soon and woefully forgotten then-President Mahama telling Ghanaians that the only citizens who qualified to criticize his job performance were former Presidents John Agyekum-Kufuor and Jerry John Rawlings. And now what is even more risible is to hear the same Mr. Mahama and some of his staunch backers among the front ranks of the National Democratic Congress vitriolically light into the founding-father of their own political party for having driven the NDC onto the gray margins of the political opposition, with his incessant exposure of rank corruption among the key operatives of the Mahama regime. I in no way doubt that President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government’s appointees have been making their relatively fair share of blunders and faux-pas during the last 7 months, as reality has begun to slap them in their faces and on their pates, as it were. But the fact still remains that within this short space of time, the Akufo-Addo Administration has performed far better than either the Mills Posse or the Mahama Posse within the same period in their tenures. We must also bear in mind the fact that the two parties locked horns with their respective performance track-records in full mnemonic view of the voters. Anyway, what the Akufo-Addo Administration has so far done impressively is to radically reverse the existentially destructive economic culture of Galamsey, or illegal small-scale strip-mining, that only less than a year ago threatened to make at least 60-percent of the country’s waterbodies unusable, much less drinkable. Then also, Nana Akufo-Addo and his ministers have laudably undertaken the renegotiation of a legion contractual agreements recklessly and amateurishly contracted by some key operatives of the Mahama regime, that have mired the country in avoidable indebtedness and are making it next to impossible for the Akufo-Addo Administration to initiate any significant development projects. Prof. Gyampo and his ilk ought to be looking at the proverbial bigger, long-term development picture than desperately and vacuously nitpicking at bread-and-butter problems that will soon be easily solved, once the bigger hurdles have been gotten out of the way.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 10, 2017