All over the world the only thing that is permanent is change. You buy a motorcycle or a car and use for some time and then change it. It may be cloths, it may be shoes, may be eye glasses, may be household wares, machines etc, we change them because they are not meant to last forever. In Engineering they tell us that everything has a life span including life itself and that we do not use human beings to their destruction.
The man died, he was 95 years (1918-2013), there would be no Nelson Madiba Mandela again, I offer my heartfelt sympathies to the people of Africa, South Africa and his immediate family in this moment of grief.
Beautiful words have been used, the eulogies are countless, in the social, and conventional media even those that cannot spell his name “Rolihlahla”
have had a word or more to say about him, so am not about to join in the praise singing and tribute writing.
What I am doing today is to simply narrate an encounter I had with the greatest son of Africa, apart from our first President and founder, Dr. kwame Nkrumah in my dream.
I consider myself privileged to be part of a generation that witnessed the passing away of a man that was loved by friends and foes in different measure, for different reasons.
I cannot recall, when a prostitute celebrated a man, in like manner a president, a mechanic, a footballer, or an activist, such is the love that the world had for this one man, from India to Canada, Accra to London, New York to Pakistan, Zimbabwe to Abuja, Russia to Kenya, the least is endless.
In the encounter I had with late President Nelson Mandela I asked him, why he did not seek re-election after his first five years in office, especially after having spent 27 years of his prime life in prison for a just cause, a cause that was achieved, a cause that catapulted him to the highest office of the land, a cause that set a land and people free from oppression.
I recall vividly his pragmatic and modest words when he said to me in the dream that “Razak, show me a progressive people, place or country in the world where a man of 80 years is running the affairs of his country”.
After reflecting so hard on those lines, I share in my admonition in the next few paragraphs what Madiba told me, specifically about Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his unrepentant ambition to be in the history books of this country as a former President.
Mandela wondered why a resourceful political party like the New Patriotic Party (NPP), with men of intellect, will tie its fortunes to only one man, who have had the benefit of running for President on two consecutive elections and losing miserably, with each election seeing the erosion of the gains of the party.
With this he asked me, when would, the NPP elect leaders that love the party but not themselves and are not on an ego trip of ruling Ghana at all cost, even when it is clear and apparent that the people of this country do not want them.
Or as they say, we get the type of leadership we deserve, so NPP’s craze for Nana Addo is a reflection and manifestation of what the party deserves, until it breaks free from its current crop of leadership, they will lose elections today, tomorrow and forever.
He told me that he could understand that as Journalists, sometimes we are tied by words for purposes of marketing and often break the rules—but really he did not understand why a lot of senior journalists think that Nana Addo will win the NPP’s primaries when he decide to contest, without any scientific proof or basis, except to say he contested twice and lost and so delegates of the party still consider him as the favourite among other aspirants.
He wondered why members of the NPP feel they were more Ghanaians than the rest of us, and will insult everybody who does not agree with them.
We talked about Alan Kwawdo Kyeremanteng , I was surprised he knew the fine gentleman, who is the new face of the party, and I told him, I am not a fan of the opposition as currently composed, because commonsense have been thrown to the dogs.
I asked him if he knew the rustic General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, known as Sir John, he smiled and asked can we get saints from sinners, in local parlance they say it is from the same market.
If there was ever any man who should have been a President for life, it is Nelson Mandela, not Robert Mugabe and other despotic rulers scattered across Africa, yet he gave up so that other generations can take over the mantle of leadership.
My conclusion about him was that he is one person, who lets go, when everybody is expecting him to hold and fight on. He let go of his freedom when he could have fought to his death, he let go of the Presidency when he realized he had nothing more to add, because the future belongs to today and future generations, he let go of his wife Winnie Mandela, when his relationship with her was going to tarnish his image.
With this and many attribute, is it not a height of hypocrisy and blasphemy for John Kumah to say Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the party’s 2012 flagbearer, bears a resemblance with Nelson Mandela, as one of the great leaders who have selflessly rated their countries above their political ambitions.
Funny isn’t it. I hope the NPP is not cursed with Nana Addo.