These wishy-washy National Democratic Congress’ leaders are really funny, indeed. After imperiously taking all bets off the table, vis-à-vis the chance of participating in any debate hosted by the Institute of Economic Affairs featuring both President John Dramani Mahama and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the country’s main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), the NDC Abongo Boys are now back again saying that they would be willing to participate in a debate featuring President Mahama, except that such a debate must be organized and hosted by the so-called state broadcaster, namely, operatives of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).
But, of course, nobody can be fooled by this new tactic being employed by Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, the General-Secretary of the ruling party, who is also popularly known as General Mosquito, and his Beijing-oriented party headquarters associates (See “NDC Boycotts IEA Presidential Debate” MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 11/2/16).
Even a day-old Ghanaian citizen knows that the GBC is nowhere near the operational impartiality of such globally recognized state broadcaster as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), for anybody to repose any remarkable modicum of confidence and/or credibility in the same. Well, the NDC Abongo Boys would have the rest of us believe that the privately owned and sponsored IEA think-tank is not only like what Americans call a Mom-and-Pop Store, but that the husband-and-wife operated think-tank is also a political and ideological appendage of the New Patriotic Party. The fact of the matter, though, is that the ruling party’s grievance against the IEA traverses nearly each and every one of the tens of think-tanks dotted across the ten regions of the country.
In other words, the problem of General Mosquito and his associates is not restricted to just the Institute of Economic Affairs, which has been hosting the presidential debates since the inception of the same. The NDC operatives’ problem is one of “DEMOPHOBISM,” a thoroughgoing and systemic fear of the sort of salutary democratic cultural ideology subscribed to by nearly every one of these Ghanaian-based think-tanks. Tersely put, the NDC is pathologically anti-intellectual and anti-democratic. Needless to say, if the key operatives of the NDC had their own way, Ghana would be a one-party state. In other words, General Mosquito and his associates and cronies would have Ghana run like the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), from whose entrenched leaders the Mahama regime takes its marching orders.
The NDC operatives also insist that about the only presidential debate in which they would allow their presidential candidate to participate is one that includes the presidential candidates of all the four political parties with parliamentary representation. That way, as we all witnessed in 2012, the NDC operatives would be able to bribe and gang up with the leaders of the two other minor parties against Nana Akufo-Addo. Fortunately, their decision to participate in any presidential debate comes too late to be of any practical relevance to either any forward-looking Ghanaian citizen, or the salutary democratic culture of the presidential debates themselves.
Besides, a negligible few Ghanaian voters predicate their choices of leadership on these presidential debates anyway. It is also all too obvious that the NDC operatives have absolutely no substantive grievance or grievances against the IEA. They are simply deathly afraid of having their candidate debate Nana Akufo-Addo one-on-one, which is why Mr. Asiedu-Nketia would insist on any renewal of his party’s perennially uneasy relationship with the IEA taking place only after the 2016 presidential election, the last election which is likely to feature Nana Akufo-Addo, unless, of course, the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice wins the 2016 election and decides four years from now to seek the renewal of his mandate from the Ghanaian people.
What is also limpidly clear is the fact that the NDC operatives and their leader have decided to dodge this year’s IEA-sponsored presidential debates because they have absolutely no substantive message for the Ghanaian people. Indeed, President Mahama himself recently bitterly complained that he has not been able to successfully channel the message of his own personal and party’s accomplishments to the Ghanaian people, whatever such personal and/or collective accomplishments may be.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
November 11, 2016