Sometime ago, I wrote in this column that liars have shorter legs. That was why a former President of the US said you can fool some people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all of the time. The Akans say if the fool wises up, then the game is over (Se okwasea ani te a na agro no agu).
When the NDC was formed to contest the 1992 general election, they had a plan which worked to perfection. They went about telling the people of the Zongo that the NPP was an Akan party and that when they voted for the NPP, all aliens would be deported like the way Professor Busia did when he introduced the Aliens Compliance Order. Because majority of those who reside in the zongos are family members of those aliens expelled during Professor Busia’s era, the people believed in the lies and fell into the trap.
They used the same lies and propaganda in 1996 and in all these occasions, the people of the Zongos voted massively against the NPP. In 2000, candidate Kufuor chose the late Aliu Mahama as his running mate. The father of the late Aliu Mahama is a Hausa migrant and the mother is from Yendi. When the NDC got to know that they could not use the same propaganda to cheat the people of the Zongos, they tried desperately to find something against the fine Alhaji but hard as they tried, they could not find any skeleton in the cupboard of the Alhaji. That was when they stopped the propaganda that the NPP is an Akan party.
When Mr. Kufuor won the 2000 elections and Alhaji Aliu became the Vice President of Ghana, the NDC vile propagandists were put to shame. For the first time in the political history of Ghana, an Alhaji from the Zongos became the Vice President of Ghana. The meek and mile Alhaji carried himself in such a gentle manner that the NDC for eight years could not find him wanting in anyway. When the Alhaji launched his campaign against indiscipline in Ghana, it was the NDC leadership who first congratulated him for taking the bull by the horns.
Enter Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, a Mamprugu royal from the Northern Region and a zongo boy for that matter. On three occasions, candidate Akufo-Addo insisted that the Alhaji should be his running mate against all odds. Nana Addo saw something good in the man and did not want to lose him. Then God opened the sky and the rains fell on the green grass of Ghana. Bawumia became the second Alhaji and a Northerner to become the Vice President of Ghana. Because the man exposed the lies of the NDC when the party was in power, the liars turned their guns on him, firing from all cylinders. They even doubted his qualifications as an astute economic whiz-kid and an intellectual of international repute.
Then the fine economist hit the road running like a hare. He started introducing measures to clean up the mess left behind by Mr. Mahama and his cohorts. The paperless duty payment at the ports, the cleaning of the banking sector, the reduction of taxes and many more policies mesmerized the opposition NDC. They are still reeling under the sterling performance of Alhaji Bawumia. The man has refused to be distracted as he keeps moving on. When Bawumia and his able team moved to China to sign a Memorandum of Understanding concerning a barter deal for the exploitation of our bauxite, the NDC, led by their ranking member of Finance shouted from the rooftop that it was a loan but not a barter system. They even run to the IMF to complain that the NPP government was going for a loan from China and the IMF officials, after investigation told the world that what Dr. Bawumia and his team did was a barter system which is allowed in any international transactions. They were put to shame and have never been heard of again on the issue.
From the very day Dr. Bawumia was chosen as a running mate to Nana Akufo-Addo, he decided to pitch his camp at the zongos. As a running mate he criss-crossed the country, interacting with the people of the zongos and explaining to them that the NPP was not an Akan party and that if the party were to be an Akan party he and the late Aliu Mahama would not have had the opportunity to serve the party the way they did. Gradually, the poison that the NDC planted in the minds of the people of the zongos was diluted. In politics, propaganda has its limit because people can easily wise up and when they do, no matter how you use propaganda, it will not work. In Nana Addo’s government, many sensitive positions are held by northerners.
During the recent Ramadan fasting, Dr. Bawumia released his magic wand again. This time around, he visited all the regions of Ghana to interact with the people of the zongos and Muslims who were fasting to preach the gospel of peaceful co-existence and the need for togetherness among the people of the zongos. He preached against religious zealotry and appealed to the conscience of the people of the zongos to avoid violence and also be on the look out for people who try to introduce terrorism in their list. Sometimes he will meet Christian leadership and their Muslim counterparts and appeal to them to continue to live in peace and refuse to be drawn into any unnecessary fight as it is happening in other parts of the world.
During his tour, he also seized the opportunity to meet traditional leaders and thanked them for moving in sympathy with the Akufo-Addo administration. At Tain, in the Bono Region, the chiefs honoured him with a chieftaincy title called Nkabomhene (the chief who unites his people). No Vice President in this 4th Republic ever did what Dr. Bawumia did during this Ramadan fasting period. No wonder wherever he visited, the leadership of the Zongo communities confessed that they now know that the NPP is not an Akan party. There was this Alhaji in the Bono East Region who spoke on one of the radio stations and confessed that even though he is a staunch supporter of the NDC, he was crossing carpet because of the behavior of Dr. Bawumia. He said he used to believe in what the NDC used to tell them but now he can read between the lines. Barka da salla, Alhaji!!!
From Eric Bawah