I don’t begrudge our one-term lame-duck President, John Dramani Mahama, his share of due credit for the success of our constitutional democratic culture, but I find it quite amusing that President-Elect Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would so fulsomely commend the man who defeated him in 2012, under very dubious circumstances, for conceding a more than convincing electoral defeat over which Mr. Mahama had absolutely no other alternative than to concede.
Needless to say, some of us close observers of the Ghanaian domestic political scene are well aware of the fact that but for the timely intervention of Mr. Kofi Annan, the globally distinguished Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former United Nations’ Secretary-General, who strongly and steadily prevailed upon the Mahama-appointed Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei, and we reliably understand on the losing incumbent himself, we would be telling a story very different from the one I am presently writing (See “Let’s Be Thankful to Mahama – Akufo-Addo to Ghanaians” Citifmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 12/31/16).
A lot of Ghanaians may not know this, but the fact of the matter is that but for the equally timely, albeit flagrantly long overdue, intervention of Mr. Annan, the story regarding the relinquishing of power by the globally notorious and politically bloody Chairman Jerry John Rawlings would be quite different as well. On the latter score, though, we prefer to leave matters as they presently stand.
I predicate my mention of the fact that the 2012 presidential election was won by then-Interim President Mahama “under dubious circumstances” on the public admission by the National Democratic Congress’ own General-Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, that it was not simply that a palpably bumbling President Mahama had narrowly edged out his most formidable political opponent, then-Candidate Akufo-Addo, but that polling agents and election observers assigned by the leadership of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), to monitor affairs on the ground on behalf of their flagbearer, had not been vigilant with their respective duties well enough.
Then also, the NDC operatives had deployed a remarkable modicum of violence to entrench themselves in government. I hope President-Elect Akufo-Addo has not so soon forgotten the yeomanly likes of Dr. Sammy Ohene, the younger brother of Ms. Elizabeth Ohene, the former editor of the government-owned Daily Graphic and former Deputy Education Minister for Tertiary Affairs, who was at the time Head of the Psychiatry Department at the University of Ghana, who came dangerously close to losing the use of one of his eyes.
Dr. Ohene had been savagely mauled in his Volta regional hometown of Abutia, for daring to boldly and courageously challenge electoral irregularities. This is the kind of Ghanaian citizen that President-Elect Akufo-Addo and the rest of all democracy-loving Ghanaians ought to be celebrating, and not the pathological and rascally operatives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who have criminally and perennially attempted to barbarically abort the smooth operation of Ghanaian democracy.
I have also written and published a couple of articles highlighting what may be aptly termed as “Ghanaian Exceptionalism” which needs reprising here. The fact of the matter is that comparing our local political situation to the worst-case scenarios on the African continent does not serve any meaningful or progressive purpose. It is simply a non-issue. This is primarily because the polities of hitherto discrete ethnic and sub-ethnic multi-states and nations presently called Ghanaians have a consciously forged history of “Cultural Exceptionalism” that has been quite extensively written about by some of our erstwhile Western-European overlords, notably the British colonialists, of which we ought to be extremely proud.
What I want to emphasize here is that Ghanaians are not just any ordinary group of Africans or African nationals; we are simply Ghanaians, a glaring exception to the norm and rule. We are not “superior Africans,” we are simply no run-of-the-mill Africans to be stereotypically held in abject condescension. I hope President-Elect Akufo-Addo fully recognizes this incontrovertible fact. Under Messrs. Jerry John Rawlings, John Evans Atta-Mills and John Dramani Mahama, Ghanaians were scandalously reduced to the flagrantly unenviable status of ordinary Africans, which is absolutely no status to covet.
Indeed, if any of our present-day leaders deserves to be profoundly commended for healthily helping to “deepen” postcolonial and Fourth Republican Ghanaian democracy, that personality is none other than Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. But we ought to also promptly appreciate the inescapable fact that nation-building is a collective effort. I also hope that Nana Akufo-Addo has not forgotten “Sir John,” Mr. Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, that unabashedly radical and fire-spitting, no-nonsense former New Patriotic Party General-Secretary, who may be singularly and aptly credited for making a third Akufo-Addo shot at the presidency not only a political possibility in the country at large, but a highly delectable one at that.
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