After my recent post about how splendidly Nana Akufo-Addo is handling the coronavirus crisis, some NDC wise men, foot soldiers and benighted buffoons have been baying for my blood, calling me all sorts of names â€“ from an inept, hired journalist applauding a fish for swimming to a complete blockhead lacking in analytical skills.
None of that was unexpected. So I take it all in great stride.
The NDCâ€™s unofficial but highly inflamed beef against me is that I mentioned in my previous post that Nana Addo was handling this unprecedented crisis â€œpretty darn well, considering that those before him performed so abysmally when confronted with relatively minor crises like â€˜dumsorâ€™.â€
They have assumed, and rightly so, that this quote was referring to their presidential candidate, your former president, my former president, our former president, John Mahama.
Of course, Mahama is one of those who came before Nana Addo. But heâ€™s not the only one, is he?
There was Rawlings. There was Kufuor and there was Atta Mills. Â They all faced (or created) one power crisis or another with varying severity.
The power crisis from about 2012 to 2016 was, however, the worst many of us have experienced and so itâ€™s not surprising that itâ€™s the freshest in our memory. Itâ€™s therefore equally unsurprising that the NDC folk are taking my reference to it as a jab at their leader. Thatâ€™s perfectly reasonable.
But some foot soldiers can be very unreasonable and only God knows what they might try to do to me when they meet me on the streets on the way to the KVIP. So to assuage their anger, Iâ€™ve decided to just take a few minutes of my precious lockdown time to chronicle some of the many great things Mahama did while in office so that, you know, the accolades will be shared â€“ even if unequally. I donâ€™t want anyone to be left out.
So here are just five of Mahamaâ€™s monumental achievements whiles he was previously employed by us to do Nana Addoâ€™s current job:
- Under John Mahamaâ€™s great and visionary leadership, great hospitals were built which are now being used to take care of some of the Covid-19 patients. These include the fantastic Ridge Hospital, the ultra-modern University of Ghana Medical Centre at Legon, and the strangely named Bank Hospital. Mind you, these are just the facilities in Accra alone. There are a lot of other similar facilities dotted all over the country. If these had not been built, we would all have been infected and many of us would have died by now because there would have been no place in the country to take care of Covid-19 patients. Itâ€™s Mahamaâ€™s hospitals Nana Addo is using to treat his coronavirus patients and if Ghanaians are unwilling to give credit to Mahama, they shouldnâ€™t give it Akufo-Addo either. Afterall, no one should â€˜huhuâ€™ for another to come and â€˜kekaâ€™.Â
- Mahama also invested in roads and bridges that have made it very easy to transport the Covid-19 patients from one end of town to another. Never mind that he forgot to invest in ambulances to transport these patients. Perhaps, he thought â€˜Mahama cambooâ€™ and â€˜Aboboyaaâ€™ would pretty much be able to do a decent job of conveying patients to his ultra-modern hospitals. If it werenâ€™t for the roads Mahama built, Coronavirus would have found its way round Ghana very easily and infected and killed hundreds of thousands of us by now. You see, when Coronavirus decided to come into Ghana, it thought it was coming to a developing country with very bad roads. Imagine its shock when it got here and realised that Mahama had tarred most of the roads and changed most of the street names. Luckily for us, coronavirus forgot to update its Google Maps, and now itâ€™s quite lost â€“ the roads are better and the street names have changed. It canâ€™t go all the way back to China (the airport has been closed, duh!) and even if it could, itâ€™s not sure whether it will be allowed in the country again. So now, itâ€™s just loitering â€“ perhaps, only able to pounce on the few who are foolish enough to ignore my favourite Nana Addo quote in this crisis so far: â€œthe frontline of the fight against Coronavirus is your front door. If you cross it, you and your family will likely be infected.â€ Basically, Coronavirus is causing less harm than it could because John Mahama has gotten it stranded.
- It was Mahamaâ€™s vision that led to the construction of the Number 3 Terminal at the Kotoka International Airport â€“ the most beautiful and modern airport terminal in the whole of Ghana. Where else? If Mahama had not constructed that airport terminal Nana Addo would probably not have had any airport to close to enable people like me to have the temerity to praise him for providing exemplary leadership in this Covid-19 crisis. Perhaps, it is the very fact that Mahama built that Terminal that made it difficult for Nana Addo to order the airport closed in good time. The man didnâ€™t know where the keys were.
- Mahama ended â€˜dumsorâ€™ and, really, if he hadnâ€™t done so there would have been no electricity for Nana Addoâ€™s inauguration. If Mahama hadnâ€™t ended â€˜dumsorâ€™, the whole country would have been in total darkness by now and if we all agree that coronavirus is evil we will all know that evil thrives very well in the dark. Thanks to Mahamaâ€™s intelligence and foresight which brought â€˜dumsorâ€™ to an end, thereâ€™s so much excess capacity now on the national grid that we have enough electricity to power the 75 or so extra ventilators Nana Addo intends to bring into the country to fight coronavirus.
- Finally, but for Mahamaâ€™s resounding loss of the 2016 elections would Nana Addo have become president and be given the opportunity to lead the country through this crisis? That loss was a monumental achievement and we should all be grateful that Mahama managed to lose an election he should have won â€“ succeeded in becoming the Fourth Republicâ€™s first, and by far, only one-term president. If we are going to be honest with ourselves, we would all concede that Nana Addo couldnâ€™t have won the election in 2016 without Mahamaâ€™s benevolence: Nana Addo didnâ€™t win the presidency, Mahama just handed it over to him. Just like that. He did so because Nana was so desperate to become president. Age had caught up with him and Mahama felt that not allowing Nana to enjoy the presidency for a while would have been inhumane, too hard on Nanaâ€™s aged soul. Furthermore, after supervising all of the above-mentioned infrastructural projects, Mahama had just become tired and needed to take a well-deserved rest. So he decided to take a break so Ghanaians could get an opportunity to try Nana for a while. In December, we will know whether Ghanaians are as satisfied with Nana as the NPP claims. Thereâ€™s a fair chance that Mahama will win the presidency again so he can complete all the infrastructural projects Nana Addo has either failed or refused to work on. If Ghanaians are wise and vote for Mahama again, who knows, he might furnish all the KVIPs in the country with air conditioners and build Africaâ€™s first space station in Nakpanduri. That man just has too much foresight.
Thereâ€™s a lot more I can write about Mahamaâ€™s achievements. But there isnâ€™t much space and I donâ€™t have a lot of time. I hope that with the few Iâ€™ve mentioned here, I have adequately assuaged most of the NDC people baying for my blood, even though I know that a few ungrateful ones would insist that this is not enough.
To these ingrates, let me point out that if I had a vote, Iâ€™d gladly place my thumbprint next to Mahamaâ€™s photo. But then Iâ€™d tear up the ballot paper before placing it in the ballot box.
To those who believe that I write only what Iâ€™ve been paid to write, please, Iâ€™m waiting for the payment for this glowing fluff Iâ€™ve just written for Mahama. I accept bank transfer, Mobile Money, World Remit, Western Union, ExpressPay, PayPal, motorbikes, shaving creams, sanitary pads, toilet rolls, Ford Explorers, Airbuses, coconut juice, roasted plantain and even umbrellas. Please, let me know what you want to pay me with, when and how. In this lockdown, man make wild. And Nana Addoâ€™s money is finished, anyway. It was small and it only lasted for (ahem!) a short while.