By Abdul Razak Bawa
The name Barack Obama, evokes unimaginable anger in Donald Trump. To Trump, all the problems of the United States of America, should be placed at the doorstep of his predecessor.
Development is never in abeyance, every president, even military despots, add something to the socio-economic development their countries, let alone democratically elected leaders. Fingers are not the same, so will the performance of leaders not be the same.
In as much as it is good to sometimes look back, while moving forward, you can’t make any meaningful progress, when you are more concerned in looking behind you than concentrating on what is ahead of you.
Donald Trump, since assuming office as the 45th president of America, has never spared a moment to take a swipe at his predecessor.
Even disagreements with his own appointees must be blamed on Barack Obama. A century problem that has existed even before Obama was born and has not been attended to by past presidents,only Obama, must be singled out for blame, for doing little or nothing about it.
Our elders have a saying that, the one charting the path, does not know that his back is crooked, with this in mind, it stands to reason that, leaders make mistakes, they don’t get to turn every stone, they don’t get the luxury of second chances, they learn to live with the consequences of their decisions, whether for good or bad.
They are human, and so are fallible, we must accept their short-comings, but for Donald Trump, Obama, is a god, who does not deserve to make mistakes, he should have solved all the problems of America, perhaps including Trump’s tax problems.
Many observers, will not be worried, as it takes leaders with exceptional qualities to shower praises on their predecessors, but for Trump, even the good Obama, has done must be torn down. One of his legacy, the Obamacare, has been bastardised by Trump and has even attempted to repeal it, but for the tenacity of Congress and men of principle like the late Sen. John McCain, whose dramatic thumbs down on a crucial vote, saved Obama’s signature health law.
In Ghana, the story of John Dramani Mahama, and his successor, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is even worse.
President Akufo-Addo, has not only blamed John Mahama, for the woes of the country, he tries as much as possible to avoid him even at public functions.
The open hatred towards Mahama, makes me wonder, whether he has taken more than the presidency from Nana Addo.
They can be only one president at every point in time, John Mahama, is not carrying himself today as president, but it seems Akufo-Addo, is not satisfied with his current position. He does not want to hear and see anything Mahama.
He hates the air Mahama breathes, if he has the power to take that away, I am sure, he will not think twice. The name Mahama, gives him sleepless nights.
Nana Addo, claims to believe in democracy, but his actions suggest otherwise. In 2012, when Ghana, held one of its free and fair elections since 1992, Akufo-Addo, a sour loser together with his party, the New Patriotic Party, dragged John Dramani Mahama to the Supreme Court, in the famous election petition, challenging his eligibility. To Akufo-Addo, the presidency is his birthright and John Dramani Mahama, has no right to be there before him.
To be fair, Akufo-Addo and the NPP, did nothing wrong by choosing to go to court in 2013. That is still within the purview of democracy and well within their right. It is far better to go to court than resort to self-help.
But because John Evans Atta Mills, raised the bar in both 2000 and 2004, everyone expected something more from Akufo-Addo, the self-styled democrat.
There are no perfect elections anywhere in the world. Ask former Vice President Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, both former presidential candidates of the Democratic Party of the United States of America.
To this day AI Gore, still believes he won that election. It was to avoid a monumental crisis that he conceded, unlike Akufo-Addo, whose childhood dream, must be fulfilled no matter the cost.
Hillary Clinton would still have been in court now trying to reclaim “her mandate” from Donald Trump for an election, which all the intelligence agencies of the United States have confirmed, the Russians interfered with to make Trump president, imagine it was Ghana and Nana Addo, was the candidate?
As painful as it remains for her, and even though she won the popular vote, she conceded because the interest of the nation is larger than her own.
Adolf Hitler at least got one thing right when he said, “Anyone can deal with victory. Only the mighty can bear defeat.”
President John Dramani Mahama,in 2016 showed sportsmanship and statesmanship, when he conceded defeat even before the returning officer, Madam Charlotte Osei announced Akufo-Addo, as the winner of the presidential contest.
Akufo-Addo, since the inception of his administration, is making sure to diminish the contribution of John Dramani Mahama. He does this not only by failing to acknowledge projects started by his predecessor, but by abandoning most of them.
Any visitor to Ghana, if he was not told the Terminal 3, at the Kotoka International Airport, where he was received was built by president Mahama, the person would think his administration, has been such a woeful failure.
Thanks to the daily insults he receives not only from ordinary members of the NPP, but the president himself.
Few days ago, president Akufo-Addo, commissioned the first phase of the Tema Motorway , a project initiated and the funding secured by president Mahama, as usual he conveniently decided not to give credit.
One of the jewels of the nation, the Terminal 3, which has been acknowledged by visitors to this country, but Akufo-Addo, has decided not to commission it, despite the many calls by well-meaning Ghanaians.
His behavior is nothing short of petty, the University of Ghana Medical School, was almost left unused, until Ghanaians raised issues with it, including a one man demonstration staged by a student of the University of Ghana.
The hatred was raised to an absurd level, when the president was welcoming dignitaries at the Kofi Annan Peace and Security Summit in September last year, the president when he got to the turn of John Mahama, not only did he avoid eye contact but he avoided a proper handshake, unlike he did with others. At a peace summit, a lot was expected of the president, but not the vindictive Akufo-Addo. The man takes no prisoners.
Ghanaians are hungry. They want access to cheap food, opportunities. They want jobs and security.
They want the state to respond to threats before they blow out of proportions. In other words, the rhapsody of change, which Akufo-Addo, promised is yet to be fully or even partially fulfilled.
As the countdown to elections 2020, is soon to begin, there would be need for the people to compare and contrast notes. It would be done with the best of intentions and in the overall interest of Ghanaians.
It will be obvious by December 7, 2020, that Akufo-Addo, has diminished our democracy, diminished the country and, sadly, also diminished himself.