Altering Standards Of Statesmanship

John Mahama

Former President John Mahama’s advisers are not helping him unless his recent expressions are extemporarily delivered without their inputs.

Be that as it may, the advisers must engage with him so he does not cause more injuries to his already unenviable public image.

Sometimes we are tempted to wonder whether his advisers are not sabotaging him by not reporting to him the counterproductive effects of his public space expressions and the illogicalities contained therein.

If he, for instance, could not clap for his successor President Akufo-Addo for bombarding the country with ambulances and thereby resuscitating the moribund National Ambulance Service, he should have just shut up. By not doing so, he has incurred a heightened public opprobrium.

Why would a former President seek to deride the importation of gadget-fitted ambulances by his successor more so when his version of such a feat was riddled with corruption and not up to a scratch?

Free consultancy to his advisers for onward transmission to him: let him not be incensed when he wants to take on the President and his achievements. Doing so reduces him to an ordinary man with no experience of governance and whose standard of good governance is without sophistication. As a former Vice-President and later President, he should be the last man to seek to mock the ambulances. Many wondered whether he really said Ghana needs hospitals not ambulances. He did. His question as to where patients in the ambulances would be taken to ‒ when according to him there is a dearth of the facilities ‒ sounds disingenuous and incompatible with his status as a former President.

The former President is changing an age-old standard: those who once served as heads of state automatically become statesmen and stateswomen.

By his campaign trail expressions he is losing at an alarming speed the attributes of a statesman.

When some Ghanaians refer to him in a manner bereft of deference they do so because of his declining stature occasioned by some of these statements which we would have rather he stayed away from.

We wish we could insist that he continues wearing his tag of ‘statesman’  but no matter how hard we try to overlook his recent gaffes, the more they pour on the rather slippery terrain of campaign politics.

As if the ambulance gaffe is not enough, he has riveted his attention on the National Peace Council (NPC), painting them with the most unacceptable colours.

Why would a former President descend on this important state institution with such expression like ‘they are in bed with the NPP’?

Such baseless and unsubstantiated allegation should ordinarily attract harsh remarks but we are guided by his former position as President and would not join others to rubbish him in the most despicable fashion.

Suffice it to state, however, that the former President has embarked on a reckless campaign of calumny.

Now that the Airbus story has touched down at an unusual Mach, perhaps the former President would recoil into his cocoon. That should be good for him because the gaffes would be reduced to the barest minimum. Let us see how things pan out in the coming days which would definitely be interesting.