Name calling and ridicule against political opponents in the country is a tradition that reaches back in time in the country. It started as far as in the 50s when Ghana, was in the process of emancipating itself from colonial rule.
It reached a point during the first republic that, the then president Dr. Kwame Nkumah, had to introduce an avoidable, but a necessary legislature (Preventive Detention Act) that sent his bitterest rival, Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah, who eventually met his untimely death in prison.
Subsequent republics, also tasted its fair share political mudslinging, which often times led to the military stepping in, to in their words ‘save the situation’.
The New Patriotic Party in the run up to the 2000 elections used it effectively to cause disaffection for the then government, especially president Jerry John Rawlings, who was called ‘sasabonsam’.
Name calling defines the message of the NPP, they have used it to their advantage in the past and have used it as recent as the 2016 election, when President John Mahama, was described as ‘incompetent’.
Every opportunity they get and with every subject, Mahama, will be described as incompetent. The lead chorister in these ghastly imprints was Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who was the running mate to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
I recall that, this onslaught continued, until President John Dramani Mahama, had this to say to Dr. Bawumia, “Did you hear Bawumia say incompetent Mahama? You’ve never held any responsibility anywhere near the presidency before; you don’t know what it is like to be President.
“I’ll take that word from Kufuor or from Rawlings because they’ve been there before. All of you guys [NPP critics] have never ever come near the presidency. [Do] you know what it takes to be a President? And you stand and say incompetent Mahama administration”.
The unrelenting and unnecessary attack got the better part of President Mahama, to the extent that, he was forced to react the way he did.
Governance is a serious business, it is always easy to assume it is a walk in the park, when you are in opposition.
President Mahama, among the reasons, why he was said to be incompetent was because he was borrowing too much. Today the New Patriotic Party led by Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia, have borrowed in less than two years, how much John Mahama and the National Democratic Congress borrowed in four years.
Today, Dr. Bawumia is averse to criticism, criticize him small and he will lose sleep, until he replies you.
Dr. Bawumia today gets jittery, when he is criticized. Our elders have a saying that the cane that will be used on Baah, will be used on Takyi.
Dr. Bawumia told Ghanaians that, he was once a deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana and so was aware that, they is money in Ghana, so he did not understand why the government was borrowing.
Dr. Bawumia is now the second gentleman of the land and according to the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana which met to review the health of the economy, the Government ended 2017 with a debt stock of ¢142.5 billion cedis.
The ¢142.5 billion debt stock also meant that the debt-to-GDP stood at 70 percent, a mark that some economists have described as worrying.
Today Dr. Bawumia is not just the vice-president, but the head of the Economic Management Team (EMT) and the figures are not showing signs of competence, if anything, it shows that, the country is on auto-pilot.
Dr. Bawumia gave series of lectures and even asked the former vice-president, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, some 170 questions, that were not answered until we went into the 2016 elections.
One of his lectures was on how to restore the cedi to its lost glory. He went to the extent of saying Ghanaians price in cedis, but in their mind it is in dollars. Our expectation was that, when he becomes the vice-president, the cedi will stabilize against its major trading currencies.
The dollar Dr. Bawumia told us has been imprisoned and the key kept with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), if he is not aware, the dollar has escaped and wrecking more havoc than before its imprisonment.
Prices of goods and services are skyrocketing on a daily basis, the reason given yesterday, is the same reason being given today, the dollar is in a comfortable lead against the cedi.
The easiest thing anybody could do is to criticize and Dr. Bawumia perfected the art of criticism. As a president or leader, every decision you take has consequences, even deciding not to take decisions, have consequences. Not every decision a leader takes is palatable to him or her, but as a leader, as they say the bucks stops with you.
We have all become armchair critics, we all know more than the President, it is easy for us, because we don’t know the enormity of the responsibilities they carry and the choices they have to make against their won better judgment, but as long as it is in the interest of the general public, they have to take them.
Dr. Bawumia, disregarded the admonition of President Mahama and intensified the criticism and name calling, when it is his turn, he is exhibiting signs of not having thick skin, but the ride has just begun and the road is going to be bumpy. Today, because of him, we can all criticize a president.