Beyond March 6, what next?

Celebrating Ghana’s independence with antiquated mindsets and empty political rhetoric leads to only one realization: the harm to the national psyche and purse is real.

Folks, the celebration of Ghana’s 61st independence anniversary In “Grand Style” with the usual show of pomposity (or is the trite characterization of “pomp and pageantry”?) is over. Everything fits into the pattern as programmatic and stereotypical. Nothing new to enthuse over but a lot to damn.

In other parts of the country, the celebration wasn’t so glamorous. In the Tatale area, for instance, the chiefs and 35 sub-chiefs refused to participate in the event because of the extremely provocative and negative attitude of the District Chief Executive who won’t cooperate with the local authorities on how to work together and do things for the good of the people. Is that what democracy entails under Akufo-Addo at the local level?

We have seen images of all that happened all over the place and heard speeches delivered by all manner of people at the Independence Square in Accra, including Nigeria’s Buhari (even if we couldn’t clearly understand what gushed out of his mouth because of his heavy accent problems and lack of good communication skills in English. He said a lot that passed off as incomprehensible except his pledge to join Akufo-Addo fight corruption in Ghana that piqued our curiosity. What a travesty of common sense and honesty?)

We note here how the net got narrowed this time unlike what Akufo-Addo did at his inauguration and last year’s celebration of Ghana’s independence when a horde of foreign dignitaries graced the occasion.

More than 12 African Presidents and representatives of governments from other parts of the world joined Akufo-Addo to usher him into office on January 7, 2017.

At the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence that year, we saw those dignitaries who were lured into the show. Not so this time. Only Buhari towered above all and made no positive impact on the occasion because of the huge baggage of credibility problems that he carried along.

No wonder that one of those in his entourage would damn his own country and praise Ghana for celebrating the national Day of independence. Does charity really begin at home for Buhari?

And to hear him say that he would help Akufo-Addo fight corruption in Ghana damages everything about him beyond repair. Is corruption worse than terrorism? Boko Haram has negated all that he is worth.

Ghana’s John Mahama led efforts to help him solve the Boko Haram crisis only for him to lose gravity and spend months in London at the expense of the Nigerian tax payer. What has Buhari done better than his predecessors to warrant the ugly noise that he made on the occasion at the Independence Square in Accra? He is a really bad debt to be written off by Nigerians.

If he insists on fighting corruption, he should start from his own backyard, especially where it is evident that something terrible happened to hurt Nigeria. Ghana’s Jerry Rawlings is poking him right in the eye.

The millions of dollars that Abacha scooped from the Nigerian kitty to dole out to Rawlings (and many others yet to be exposed) can do a lot to improve the lot of the poor 170 or more million Nigerians living in dire circumstances despite their sacrifices to sustain the country.

Will Buhari pinpoint Rawlings in this fight against corruption so the ill-gotten reward from Abacha can be retrieved and lodged in the Nigerian kitty? And how will Akufo-Addo complement his efforts?

No need for any long, winding obfuscation. Rawlings had stood stony-faced all over the years to deny rumours only to end up eating back his own vomit to say that he received only 2 million Dollars (and not 5 million Dollars) from Abacha. What did he do to warrant that “gift” from the Nigerian kitty?

Isn’t that the most worrisome instance of abject corruption that Buhari (the so-called reformist and anti-corruption leader in Nigeria) should have fought first before coming to Ghana to annoy Ghanaians about his resolve to help Akufo-Addo fight corruption in Ghana? What nonsense isn’t that?

To his discredit, Buhari came to Accra to make useless noise that darkens his political future and angers alert political observers. He is the kind of wretched old man that Mo Ibrahim won’t ever want to see in power in Africa. So also is Ghana’s Akufo-Addo.

Two ugly old birds of sorts flocking together to the detriment of political leadership in our part of the world whose narrowness hurts the lot of youths holding the key to the future of Ghana and Nigeria. Thanks, Mo Ibrahim for your insights!!

So much for Buhari’s misguidedness. I will pardon him at this point, taking cognizance of the medical problems that took him away from his country all those months at the expense of the Nigerian tax payer. Indeed, the Nigerian tax payer is really patient, tolerant, accommodating, and forgiving.

Interestingly, though, Buhari doesn’t seem to acknowledge that fact and is behaving as if anybody owes him a debt for being defeated by the fates. Such a dullard needs no respect. He doesn’t deserve it and will be painted as such. Mo Ibrahim, come for your stone!!

In turning everything round to our Ghanaian condition, it is clear that all the bombastic talk delivered by Akufo-Addo doesn’t cut butter. He needn’t overstretch himself in telling the whole world that no miscreant will have any room in Ghana to carry out armed robberies in Ghana; he has no justification for all that noise about forthcoming prosecutions in regard to corruption or anything else.

From what has happened thus far, Ghanaians are better judges of his weaknesses than his own self-gratifying utterances will make him believe that he is the grand master to solve systemic problems that doomed his predecessors.

I am happy that he has created a comfort zone for Rawlings and Kufuor to settle in as they rub shoulders with him. Gradually, he will get the scales removed from his eyes to see the reality that his ‘showiness” for now won’t help him transcend.

Isn’t it intriguing that Kufuor and Rawlings would seek to snuggle to him even as they maintain their antagonistic stance against each other? What did Rawlings do wrong for which Akufo-Addo helped (or guided Kufuor) to humiliate him after Election 2000 only to turn round to find in him the Messiah that would help him realize his political ambitions at Election 2016?

And what motivated Rawlings and his wife to go that way, knowing very well how they antagonized the Danquah-Busia family in their days of glory (and should have been mindful of the implications to their disadvantage? Now, anything goes. Someone seems mindless of the noose dangling around).

Folks, let me stop the musing at this point. All that is happening is a reflection of the frailties of our political system. There are too many paid busy-bodies shouting “Halleluia… Halleluia” and deceiving themselves that by so doing, they are working hard to ensure piety. The public

I shall return

Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D. for MdernGhana

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