Whenever I make the casual observation that Ghanaian politics is at times crude, crass, down and dirty, the common assumption is that I have lost my marbles, taken leave of my senses. Some say that by virtue of my residence overseas, I am a quintessential outsider, naïve, one dimensional and a dupe. Well, what can I say but to take all that in stride? Yes, I may be outside the realm of politics back home, but I can read the tea leaves.
The skeptics and the doubters don’t have to look further than the comments the vice president, Dr. Bawumia made barely a fortnight ago about former President John Mahama to get a drift of what I am saying.
The comments, coming as they were, from someone who is highly thought of by millions of Ghanaians were stunning and shocking to the core.
Bawumia made his remarkably ill-advised and awful remarks at a festival in the Upper East Region. He said that as the President of Ghana for four plus years, Mr. Mahama did not leave a legacy in the northern region, a place of his birth and ancestry. Mr. Bawumia called that woeful neglect and abominable and went on to make disparaging remarks about SADA and guinea fowls.
This is not the first time Bawumia has taken the cudgel to Mr. Mahama. We all remember the campaign of 2016 during which time he did his best to devalue and marginalize Mahama with petty insults and personal attacks.
But his recent savaging of the former President takes the cake; it was just too much and uncalled for, unjustified and no matter how much Bawumia tries to rationalize it, it was cowardly and speaks volumes about his political maturity.
Even his boss, President Nana Akuffo Addo won’t utter such despicable remarks. Mr. Addo will never bring himself to saying that his predecessor, Mahama has no legacy in Ghana, let alone in the northern region.
Nobody knows why Dr. Bawumia says these things; these are beneath the dignity of his office. What at all is he trying to achieve with these unseemly attacks and, most important of all, who is putting him to this dirty job.
Criticism of political opponents in a toxic environment such as ours should be expected; it is a given. However, to feed the public falsehoods about an opponent’s achievements while he was in office is not just wrong, it is outrageous and disingenuous.
Perhaps, vice president Bawumia, despite his great intellect, still needs a history lesson. He should be reminded, rather forcefully, that there is no president in modern history without a legacy; even the worse ones, leave positive footprints behind.
John Mahama’s footprints are all over the country. Bawumia can take that to the bank.