Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, November 07, 2017
A comment by former President John Dramani Mahama apparently describing sitting President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his New Patriotic Party appointees as ‘pigs’ has sparked heated political debate.
At a National Democratic Congress (NDC) unity walk on Sunday in Cape Coast, Central Region, the ex-president said President Akufo-Addo was looking on unconcerned whilst his appointees, who he said were ‘enjoying,’ tread over Ghanaians with impunity.
“When they (NPP) were looking for your votes, Nana Akufo-Addo” (then he corrected himself) “President Akufo-Addo said they shall open the opportunities of this country to all Ghanaians, irrespective of their party or ethnic affiliations. He came to power and now that the pigs are enjoying, they say some Ghanaians are more Ghanaian than others, ex-President Mahama told a crowd of NDC supporters.
“For something like this, you don’t call the person to the Flagstaff House, draft an apology letter for him and ask him to sign. You sack him at once.” President Mahama said in reference to the recent furor that greeted a comment by George Ayisi Boateng, Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa.
Mr. Ayisi Boateng at a meeting with NPP’s tertiary branch – TESCON – had said if he had his way he would have ensured that NPP members were given jobs first before anybody else.
He later apologized profusely but the NDC does not want the matter to rest and has taken it up in parliament, trying to get President Akufo-Addo to relieve him of his position.
Without any proof, former President Mahama claimed that the apology letter written by the High Commissioner was prepared for him at the Flagstaff House, and claimed that if he were in-charge he would not have hesitated in firing the High Commissioner.
Strangely, Mr Mahama’s trusted aide and communication handler, Stan Dogbe - who allegedly slapped a GBC journalist and destroyed his tape recorder at the 37 Military Hospital after the fatal accident involving his (Mahama’s) press corps that claimed the life of a Ghanaian Times reporter - only received a pat at the back, goading him on to the surprise of most Ghanaians.
Mr Mahama’s comment has been described by many as ‘un-statesman-like’ and he has been receiving public bashing, but the NDC has quickly put in a spirited defence of him.
The opposition party is now requesting that the full audiovisual recording be played to establish whether or not the ex-president compared President Akufo-Addo and his appointees as pigs.
They are also accusing some journalists of selecting portions of the tape to play mischief.
Strangely, the NDC never gives breathing space to any NPP official whose comment they deem offensive and insulting and never bothers to investigate the context within which such comments are made.
Stan Dogbe, whom the Prof Kwesi Botchwey report has said Mr. Mahama should not engage again if he wants to contest in 2020, has offered to explain the context within which the president made that statement.
He stated that the former president did not refer to President Akufo-Addo and his appointees as pigs, saying rather that his boss used an analogy to make his case.
He said that Mahama had started his speech with an analogy based on George Owell's "Animal Farm," adding, “I see another failed but deliberate orchestration.”
The use of pigs to describe opponents in often derogative terms is becoming synonymous with some NDC officials.
Recently, Alhassan Suhuyini, NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale North - who in the past week or so, asked a lady to show her pants on live television programme during a debate on the authenticity of the leaked Prof Botchwey Committee report - used the same pig analogy to describe an NPP supporter, who wanted to engage him in a debate on social media when the ‘Free SHS’ programme was officially implemented by the NPP government.
“I don’t wrestle with pigs in their pens,” the former Radio Gold staff told Nana Damoah, asked the MP on Facebook to mention an intervention which stature could rival the rolled-out ‘Free SHS’ policy.