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Is the Ghanaian Politician a Glorified Trickster?

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We often hear disappointed electorates say “politicians are tricksters”. But there is this other fact that – politicians love to trick, fool those people who in return wants to get tricked and fooled, especially when the whole con theory comes loaded with freebies. These political tricksters only generate absurdity and chaos and their behavioural pattern is manipulative and duplicitous. They subtly control any situation for personal or group advantage and engage in sleight of hand manoeuvres, and like the shape shifter can assume any guise to deceive. Some can best be described as “sophisticated criminal masterminds, and archetypical tricksters”. In typically manipulative manner, some of these politicians collaborate to generate fear making fake stories and false evidence real. We saw application of this theory prior to the 2016 election. We hear Ghanaians repeat this statement daily “politicians are tricksters” and one could see frustration and disappointment boldly written on their faces when pouring our their frustrations. But the truth is that we are standing amidst solutions while looking for solution to this decades old problems

What is standing between our current political situation and the “Macron situation” is o our tribal centered politics. The masses have lost confidence in the traditional politicians but cannot free themselves from their claws because ethnic links and tribalism. What the masses should know is that we are our own saviours. There are many archetypal patterns are there are stars in the sky. Patterns will change or recede, and new ones will emerge according to the growth of human consciousness. Our politicians create interesting stories and dodgy dossiers in order to justify their actions and win the hearts of the masses and it has been so since 1966.


Corruption, implementation of bad policies, and human rights abuse were among the many reasons the 1966 coup makers enumerated as reasons why they ousted the Nkrumah regime. The masses bought into the fake stories allegations they levelled against the regime. The West made things more difficult for the regime and the global economy at the time worsened the the situation. Busia, Edward Akufo-Addo and others who joined the military regime as advisors, supported the agenda against Nkrumah. Opponents of Nkrumah lied to Ghanaians that Nkrumah had estates in Russia, Yugoslavia. They took pictures of some buildings in Accra and Nigeria and displayed them in the villages as private homes of Nkrumah. They are yet to point to us a single room house Nkrumah built for his personal use. His Chief accuser [Afrifa] built a whole estate ( settlement project) at Krobo. Kofi Badu who was the editor of Spokesman was arrested and detained for publishing news on the resettlement project at Krobo. The military officers and their civilian politicians engaged in unprecedented thievery, built houses and factories, educated their wards in expensive schools in the UK and other foreign countries and persistently trampled upon fundamental human rights of the citizenry. They introduced another for of PDA imposed life ban on some seasoned politicians who were perceived as ideological opponents. Busia who constantly attacked Nkrumah over human rights issues, sacked workers, disobeyed our courts, arrested and detained people without trial etc when he became the prime minister.

Busia assured Ghanaians that he was coming with a miracle wand to save Ghana from what he described as “Nkrumah’s mess” he mischievously failed mention the rot caused by the Afrifa regime he was part. In 1971, the messiah, announced that there was balance of payment problem. After demonizing Nkrumah for taking loans for his infrastructure development agenda, Busia in 1971 accepted that external support was necessary to support government. He embarked on an economic liberalisation agenda that culminated in the exchange rate adjustment of about 42% by Dec 1971. His western friends including Nixon, Hearth, Pompidou etc lost confidence in his administration and started reviewing loan requests put before them by the Busia administration. Busia constantly demonized Nkrumah over Ghana’s debt but interestingly, under Busia, Ghana’s debt increased by US$65.1 by Dec 1971 excluding immature trade debt.


The Limann administration inherited a very weak economy. All the economic indicators were negative, inflation was high and the economy had suffered serious bruises as a result of reckless policies of the military administration between 1977 and 1979. Inflation jumped to over hundred percent. The AFRC did few repair works on the economy and successfully reduced the threatening inflation rate. The PNP managed to bring it down further but decided to go to the IMF to enable it restructure the economy.

Rawlings told Ghanaians that the Limann administration’s attempt to enter into the IMF deal was a move to sell Ghana to the imperialists. He made that one of his core reasons for ousting the PNP administration. The PNDC unable to contain pressures in the economy, feel on the IMF it described as imperialist for support. His PNDC’s relationship with the IMF and other so called imperialist organisations grew thicker and stronger than we anticipated. He [Rawlings] also preached the “one man one toilet” concept and executed persons his regime described as economic saboteurs. I don’t think that political concept was adhered to by Rawlings and his men including members of his NDC.


Candidate Kufour and his Npp levelled serious corruption and human rights abuse allegations against Rawlings’s NDC administration. They successfully buried all the great achievements recorded under Rawlings with their false allegations and succeeded in inciting the masses against the administration. He said the fuel price at the time was unacceptable and always appeared on their campaign platforms with a gallon of petrol. He spoke against the number of ministers in government at the time etc. In government, President Kufour made fuel increment part of his administration’s core policies and justify it with huhudous calculations, he appointed more ministers into his administration than his predecessor and openly apologised for condemning his predecessor over the number of ministers he appointed. He assured his ministers that he will not investigate them over corruption allegation since that could affect his government negatively. The irony was that while giving his ministers that assurance, he was at the same time jailing ministers of the previous administration over what he described as causing financial loss to the state and taking kickbacks at the castle. He could not account for all the benefits his administration got as a result of its HIPIC initiative. ToR collapsed under his watch, sold Ghana Telecom to pay salary of workers and decided to sell Ghana Commercial Bank because of debt distress.


Prof Mills and his administration applied same fuel theory and promised sharp reduction of fuel prices if elected. They also levelled corruption allegations against the previous administration but could not jail any of the alleged perpetrators as happened to their appointees. The fuel price reduction never happened. The administration found reasonable excuses to explain why it could not fulfil that campaign promise.


We saw same old trick. The opposition Npp led by Nana Akufo-Addo peddled lies and falsehoods and made fantastically gargantuan rhymic promises. We heard them say “we don’t eat roads and schools and we don’t swallow hospitals”. Mahama suffered same treatment opponents of Nkrumah meted out to Nkrumah. The Npp displayed pictures of buildings in Dubai and lied that they were properties of Mahama, said the wife was putting up a warehouse inside the Flagstaff house, displayed pictures of fuel stations and lied that they were properties of his appointees. The Npp candidate accused his administration of inflating cost of projects and described projects implemented by the Mahama administration as Photoshop. They vehemently opposed many of the policies and projects of the administration including the US$7 billion investment in the oil industry, the stabilisation levy etc. In a typically manipulative manner, the opposition elements in collaboration with their allies in the media and in some civil society organisations, generated anger and fear and made false evidence and well packaged unrealistic promises appear real.

Unprecedented in the history of our politics, the former President told Ghanaians ” He he would rather risk a second term bid on grounds of principle
than on petty
politicking”. He said he ” I’d rather lose the election than implement election winning policies to the detriment of the masses and of the country’s economy. This position angered some his folks who expected President Mahama to continue the old trick of making outrageous promises during campaigns. He allowed his ministers to be investigated fully by security agencies and other bodies and sacked his minsters over issues of malfeasance and reckless pronouncements. His opponents through their allies in the media and civil society organisations, successfully buried these exemplary leadership skill with their false allegations and attacks.

Mahama openly admitted the challenges his administration faced and called on all Ghanaians including traditional heads and his political opponents to join his administration find lasting solution those decades old economic torments. He organised the Senchi Forum which brought together experts and others outside the mainstream political arena. He never blamed his predecessors for the challenges his government faced including the decades old power crisis. Barbara Padmore described President Mahama “too sincere a politician” and told him after the 2016 defeat that ” You are too honest a person to lead an African country”. That nothwitstanding, we cannot say he presided over a perfect government. There were few negative issues and the President himself did not present himself to Ghanaians as an angel sent from heaven. He opened his doors to all Ghanaians including his critics and political opponents.

Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow

Ghana News Online

The primary function of GhanaNewsOnline.com.gh is to gather, process and distribute news about Ghana and Africa to the World. To serve as a News Agency with the mandate to present complete, in-depth objective and impartial information, news, and features rooted in investigative journalism.

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