The year 2016, particularly, was a magical year for the New Patriotic Party and its members. It was a year Ghanaians had seen magicians who had come to “rescue” a nation from a man the magicians declared incompetent. It was a year of magical slogans – “We’ve the men.”, “Solid economic management team”, “Incompetent Mahama”, “Stealers”, “Free SHS is coming”, “One Village One Dam”, “One District One Factory”, “One Constituency One Million Dollars”, “Yɛ ti sika su…We’re sitting on money…”, “Family and friends” and “the Battle is the Lord’s” spiced it all.
Confession; for some of us in the NDC, 2016 was a year of pain and one of awful experiences. How could we cope with the magic wand of the NPP, whose aroma unstoppably blew across the country? How could we thrive in a competition of sugar-coated words and honey-coated promises? How could we appeal to a citizenry that had been swept away by the sweetest political talks in the history of our dear nation? How could we survive the vilification, the scorn, the lies, the character assassination, the smear campaign and the many despicable words and deeds that were visited on our flagbearer? How could we withstand the punches of an NPP, whose every activist and linchpin had become the most knowledgeable in the governance of this nation?
There were days I woke up feeling, “Ah, the way these people are talking, is it not possible that they truly possess special brains that my people do not possess in the governance of our dear nation?”. I would soliloquy, “With these kinds of brains, Nana Addo and Dr. Bawumia can solve the problems of Ghana in just one term, should they win because they know too much about Ghana’s problems.”. I would continue, “If after all John Mahama is doing, they have succeeded in tagging him incompetent, then Ghana under them, will be the heaven we’ve been hearing about in the scriptures but have never seen.”. The words of Nana Addo and Dr. Bawumia in particular, created a Singapore-like Ghana in the minds of many citizens, in that fateful year of 2016. Nana Addo on his singular part, enthroned himself to the belief of majority of citizens, the King of the Incorruptible, before he faced the task. Indeed, such was how magical 2016 was, for the “aliens”, who had come to “save” a nation.
On December 7 to 9, the NDC fell. Mahama fell. Wave of their magic washed us, including Mahama, to the shores. There we lay as debris, and, a pile of rubble, as the unstoppable magic consumed us like the Australian fires have consumed millions of wildlife. The “brainy” words of NPP still rang in the inner chambers of my ears, and I felt it was the end of the political road, for NDC, given the magicians then had the opportunity to show what would even marvel Harry Potter, Merlin, Zedicus Zu’l Zorander or the Lady of Light (Melisandre) in Game of Thrones. “The NDC will stay in opposition for 36 years.”, they poured pepper onto our wounds. It was just hard to bear, as so many supporters of NDC called it the way the cookie crumbled.
Came January 7, came the beginning of a monumental catastrophe, in the history of our nation. The NPP began its administration of the country with theft. Yes. You read me right. Theft. The President’s, Nana Addo’s inaugural speech was littered with stolen lines from inaugural speeches of past American Presidents and of others, including a neighbour’s, a Buhari’s. Ghana, for the first time, went global for reasons of a Presidential plagiarised speech. Well, anyhow, the “almighty” President Nana Addo read his plagiarised speech, in a magnificently audacious style, akin to his promises. Then, the real show came in a moving train of supersonic incompetence – the first time Ghanaians have testimonially tasted the true meaning of incompetence.
It’s been three years of horror. It’s been three years of mediocrity. It’s been three years of dishonourable leadership. It’s been three years of sophisticated corruption and historic, topical and unparalleled stealing and decimation of the public purse, which Nana Addo swore to protect. It’s been three years of boldly clearing corrupt appointees of wrong doing. It’s been three years of lies and insincerity. It’s been three of the greatest form of nepotism. It’s been three years of the boldest form of family and friends government in the history of this Republic. It’s been three years of extreme culture of silence, perpetrated, against the media, which once was very bold in keeping past governments on their toes. It’s been three years of threatening the lives of Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Manasseh Azure Awuni, investigative journalists who had never feared for their lives under past governments. It’s been three years of the cold murder of Ahmed Suale for exposing corruption and bringing Nana Addo out of the pocket of Nyantakye.
It’s been three years of Nana Addo splashing Ghc 63 million on foreign travels. It’s been three years of 20 billion old cedis worth of refreshment for the Office of the Vice President in just nine months. It’s been three years of making a poodle out of the almighty Martin Amidu, who has been made a Special Prosecutor, only to be writing impact-less long articles littered with legal verbosity. It’s been three years of accepting failure in the fight against corruption. It’s been three years of a failed fight against a notorious dollar. It’s been three years of doing twice or thrice as much, the wrongs for which Mahama and NDC had their heads on a spike. It’s been three years of failed and poorly implemented policies. It’s been three years of untold hardships and economic quagmire. It’s been three years of sawdust packaged and sold to Ghanaians as first grade gold. It’s been three years of key soap packaged and sold to Ghanaians as an iPhone 11. It’s been three years of exchanging our colour television for a blinking and a bleeping black and white/”konkontey” television.
It’s 2020 and the magic has disappeared. The magicians tend to possess no modicum of magic. The weighty drums have turned out to be empty barrels. The noisy hens are rather barren. It’s 2020 and the NPP smart attempts to repeat the lies and magical talks that cajoled 53% of the electorate are limbo. It’s 2020 and the party that made mockery of the non-partisan Senchi Economic Forum has since set up a 40-member Committee to investigate the depreciation of the Cedi. It’s 2020 and the party that said NDC would stay in opposition for 36 years now believes without a new register, NPP and Nana Addo are kissing goodbye to power. It’s 2020 and there still is so much focus on blaming Mahama than there’s on ensuring good governance. It’s 2020 and the elephant has shrunk to the size of a rabbit. When you look at the NPP today, it tells you a lot about why empty barrels really make the most noise.
John Dramani Mahama, it’s clear you’re returning, by God’s grace but first, you must continue to be moderate with your promises to words. You must continue to be honest with the Ghanaian people. You must see Ghanaians as citizens who are discerning but not citizens who can easily be lied to and continue to be lied to. You must choose a running mate who’ll not braggingly impress citizens with words of his knowledge but prove to be a huge disappointment and a disaster in the industry of governance. And on a lighter note, you must not read a stolen or plagiarised inaugural speech on January 7, 2021.
– Alhassan Rabiu
A Ghanaian citizen