By Abdul Razak Bawa
Our elders have a saying that, What an Old Man Sees Sitting Down, A Young Man Cannot See Standing Up.
When in 2017, the former president and founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said in Ashaiman that, “I have noticed that John Mahama is not the only mover and shaker here…when General Mosquito arrived, I realised he is also a mover and a shaker.
“When the time comes…it is a pity he is not handsome. If he were handsome, we would mount him on the horse and ask him to help.
“Because he is lightweight like wind, the horse will gallop very fast”.
Former president Rawlings teased Asiedu Nketia, together with everybody at the Mandela Park in Ashaiman venue for the ceremony, burst into several minutes of uncontrollable wild laughter.
This statement was made during the 25th-anniversary rally of the National Democratic Congress (NDC.
More than two years after this famous statement, the chickens they say, have finally come home to roost.
Last week, there were stories circulating on social media, about the likelihood of ex-president and the flagbearer of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, considering Johnson Asiedu Nketia, as his running mate for the 2020 election.
Former president Rawlings, is not a prophet, neither is he a soothsayer, but although he joked on that day, as he always does, events in the past days unfolding before us seem to suggest that, he foretold the future on that fateful day on Saturday in 2017.
Ghana is standing on the threshold of a crucial election next year that will determine the direction of the country for the foreseeable future, after a failed experiment in 2016, with the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Thirty or perhaps fifty years from today, our kids born and unborn, will look back at this moment in our checkered democracy and ask where I, you, we stood when the NDC, specifically John Dramani Mahama, decided who he runs with for election 2020.
We cannot afford to fold our arm and watch while our manifest destiny is toyed with. We have a voice and we must be heard.
Since 1992, the choice of running mate for the two major political parties, the NPP and NDC has always been a big deal.
People from all walks of life, those with financial muscle, others who are strategist, those with wide experience, including even pollsters, lobby for their preferred candidates.
Whoever the presidential candidate eventually settles for and is endorsed by the Council of Elders of the party, must be someone, who is not only academically astute, but one with the political clouds to add to the numbers, because after all, as they say politics is about numbers.
Former president Rawlings, a military man, chose John Evans Atta Mills, a tax expert and someone you can say is an economist to complement him.
John Evans Atta Mills, settled on John Dramani Mahama, because he was a communication expert and who has been around and knew the political terrain very well.
Nana Akufo-Addo, picked a political neophyte in the person of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who is an economist, with vast experience both in and outside Ghana, his contribution to the victory of the NPP, is well known and documented, to the extent that some of the things he said, is coming back to haunt him now.
John Dramani Mahama and Amissah Arthur, is another story and one that will be told one day.
Albert Einstein told us that one, who is out to describe the truth, should leave elegance to the tailor.
So, I will leave elegance to the tailor and state bluntly that, the NDC, is at the cross-road, the choice of who to partner John Dramani Mahama, must not be taking lightly, every conceivable consideration, must go into that choice, because Ghanaians have since 1993, depended on the NDC, to take them out of wilderness, the country is on its knees and they will not be forgiven should they lose the 2020 election.
Because of what I have stated above, I do not think General Mosquito, is best suited for the position of running mate at this crucial moment in the life of this country.
I will endorse General Mosquito, for any position, not only in the NDC, but the country.
My endorsement of General Mosquito is an endorsement of someone that sees things differently.
It is an endorsement for someone that has attempted to share in the concerns on issues that affect millions of Ghanaians, regardless of which political party is in power, the NDC, when it matters, has not been spared.
You can disagree with General Mosquito’s style – bluntness; you can vilify him for being witty; the one thing you can’t do, is ignore him. It is only his types that change things.
The NDC, has benefited immensely from his experience, when he was first elected as the General Secretary for the NDC, together with the late Dr. Kwabena Adjei as Chairman, they were able to beat the incumbent NPP in 2008, with little or no resources at all.
One moment when you stare at Dr. Kwabena Adjei and notice a particular weakness, you stare again at General Mosquito, and see how he makes up for it exactly, they were perfect fit and that election was one to remember.
I doubt any other executives, have been so complementary as Kwabena Adjei and Asiedu Nketia.
So by every criteria in the book, General Mosquito, qualifies to partner any candidate, more especially ex-president John Dramani Mahama, who on his own, can snatch victory for the NDC, as he did in 2012.
But, there is a certain constituency in Ghana, called floating voters. A good running mate is one, who is able to appeal to the floating voters, and General Mosquito, is not one to deliver that constituency.
How such a sharp contrast between Mahama and Asiedu Nketia, can be merged into a team, is something that defies logic and so it is a thought that must never be entertained. It is dangerous and callous.
Some people in this world are catalyst, they are added to the mix to make it whole, but on their own, they do not mean much.
Asiedu Nketia, is one of those people, he has been around for a very long time, he has contributed in helping others achieve their dream ,but he was only a catalyst.
The position of the vice president since the office became known to the Ghanaian Constitution, although has been more of a ceremonial position with its core requirements being to appear at events the President does not consider important or deserving of his personal presence, it is still a very important office that cannot be left to chance.
It is as sensitive, as that of the president, whoever occupies it must have the temperament and finesse for it. Asiedu Nketia, does not fit that bill, sometimes the jokes are just too much.
Former president Jerry John Rawlings, must have seen in the crystal ball that a day like this will come, but it was comical in 2017, as it is today and so as the party follows did that day, I think we can all laugh over it and leave it at that.