20 November 2012

Ghana: When Attacks On the Clergy Begins to Harm the Party


The National Democratic Congress never ceases to amaze. The other day, when Pastor Mensah Otabil, head of the International Central Gospel Church, held a press conference and complained about the misuse of his voice and words in an advertisement aimed at promoting the party and its presidential candidate, the ruling party rather emboldened its supporters and surrogates to continue misusing the Pastor's voice and words.

Dr. Otabil had complained that by using his voice and words, taken out of context, to support the NDC's position that fee-free education was not possible, the party had drawn the Pastor into partisan politics and invited the President and presidential candidate of the NDC to be an influence on the membership of the so-called Education Watch to withdraw the advert.

The campaign office of President John Dramani Mahama issued a statement, rather playing on the intelligence of the Ghanaian. In an official statement signed by Ms. Hannah Tetteh in her capacity as Campaign Strategist of the NDC, the Cabinet Minister supervising over the nation's dwindling revenue from our trading partners, stated that the presidential candidate of the NDC, lacked the capacity to stop the so-called Education Watch from continuing with the advert on the basis that those behind the Otabil's voice propaganda, were not mainstream advocates of NDC policies.

Indeed, members of the so-called Education Watch, one of the many spurious organisations linked to the party, have rather intensified their campaign, based on the voice and words of the religious head. Apparently, instead of galvanising support for the NDC's opposition to free second cycle education as part of a general education reform allowing kids to truncate basic education only after the Senior High School, the advert is hurting the NDC campaign.

As a result of this harm, NDC spokespersons have now gone on the offensive, accusing the rival New Patriotic Party of causing disaffection for the party in government, based on the attacks on Pastor Otabil.

Ghana politics has not seen many such comedies. The Chronicle is tempted to rejoice in the party's predicament. In Akan folklore, the goat is captured scratching its body against the owners' wall with the intention of punishing the owner. Apparently, the goat has not reckoned with the destruction on its own body.

Having used Pastor Otabil's protestation as reason to heap insults on the clergy, the good news is that the NDC is beginning to feel the pinch.

This is no time for The Chronicle to shed any tears for the NDC and its leadership, which is now shedding crocodile tears.

President John Dramani Mahama enjoyed seven years of fee-free education at the Ghana Secondary School at Tamale. The Chronicle is inviting the President to tell Ghanaians what is wrong with allowing kids in the whole country to enjoy a privilege that has propelled him to the highest office of the land.

What is intriguing is that at the time his father took advantage of the fee-free education to educate his son, he, as an immediate past Minister of State, was in a position to pay young Dramani's school fees. The chickens are now coming home to roost!

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