The Senior Minister Mr Osafo Marfo went full throttle in his criticism of Former President Mahama, describing the ex-president’s meeting with the diplomatic corps as “unpatriotic and shameful”. As if that wasn’t enough, the senior minister went on all the major radio stations in the capital and brutally attacked the former President.
Responding to his statesmen is a difficult task because of the huge respect I have for the senior minister. He is one of the senior politicians I respect highly. I am forced to react to his statement because of his outdated, selective and hypocritical stance on the very issue he raised. When did the senior minister become a true patriot of the land. Patriotism refers to loving and respecting one’s country but not hating your country just because your party is not in power. To become a true patriot, there is no necessity to incite one tribe against the other for political convenience – it is enough if you can love your fellowmen unconditionally. It doesn’t matter if you get or don’t get goosebumps when you’re singing our national anthem – it truly matters if you can empathise others pain and help them.
The right to dissent is being challenged by people who claim themselves to be the white knights of patriotism. Anyone who does not support vigilantism, maiming and shooting of innocent souls by the npp hoodlums is being branded as unpatriotic or a traitor; anyone who vehemently condemns happenings in the country is being attacked in an inhumane manner by the senior minister and his assassins. There is widespread propaganda of militant patriotic principles that stand against the very core of the principles of democracy. Who said making diplomatic corps aware of atrocities being meted out to political opponents by the incumbent is unacceptable. Is this the first time? What about those who collaborated with the CIA to remove Nkrumah from office. Mr Osafo Marfo should go back to his party’s history/records from 1992 and will bow his head in shame for making that childish statement. He will see the number of times that his tradition called the international community’s attention to certain electoral issues. Hope he remember the series of meetings President Kufour held with some diplomats after the first round of the 2000 election. Instead of going to bring South African mercenaries to train party folks to misbehave, he appealed the diplomatic corps to intervene to avert repetition of what happened which is a normal practice. Using calabash to beg for money in China, begging for funds to educate our children, asking for financial support to balance our budgets is acceptable but asking the international community to intervene to end the senseless maiming and shooting of political opponents is unpatriotic and shameful?
Patriotism is a virtue and it should not be denigrated by using to serve personal ends.I am reminded of the famous quote by Charles De Gaulle “patriotism is when love of your own people comes first;nationalism, when hate for people other than yours own comes first”. So John Mahama, the NDC and discerning minds in the country who are speaking against activities of those Npp hoodlums must keep quiet because of foreign investment? Is that what the over 70 year old politicians is telling Ghanaians?
What is more “shameful and unpatriotic” than boycotting a forum organised to find solution to the country’s economic problems. Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo was personally invited by the Mahama administration to join Ghanaians drawn from organised Labour, private sector, professional associations, traditional leaders, security agencies, policy think tanks to find solution to our economic problems and also build a national consensus for economic and social transformation as well as collective pursuit of inclusive and sustainable development. He was invited to be part in his capacity as a former Finance Minister and an elderly statesman. He boycotted this important forum because of cheap political reasons.
What about Mr Marfo’s tribally discriminatory and tribal bigotry statement. The man who is preaching patriotism today and describing genuine concerns being expressed by the former President as unpatriotic and shameful, was heard on tape inciting a group of Npp members to challenge the status quo for what he perceived as an unfair treatment of certain tribes (Akans particularly ) by the Mahama administration. On that famous tape, he claimed there was discrimination in the highest level in the NDC government, key positions occupied by non akans. He also complained about unfair distribution of resources to deserving ethnic groups in the country, saying, that even through 90 percent of our natural resources are concentrated in the Akan speaking enclaves, it is people who come from regions without resources that are governing these resources.
This is the man preaching patriotism to John Mahama and discerning minds who are speaking against vigilantism in Ghana. May be he has forgotten how that reckless statement affected the image of his party and how he was described by some senior party folks. Dr Nyaho Tamakloe, a founding member of the Npo said, he was possessed by an evil spirit. His own party disassociated itself from that reckless statement.
Mr Patriotic Marfo and the CNCTI loan haha. The King of patriotism safety landed Ghana’s finance ministry in a hair dressing salon for a loan.
Mr Osafo Marfo, and all who support the maiming and shootings going, should know that election is an irreducible feature of democratic governance. It’s main goal is peaceful resolution of societal differences, while building citizen trust in the capacity of collective decisions and institutions to govern. Violence will undercut the entire the entire investment. When poisoned by violence, the voting process is fatally flawed and the outcome is suspect, trust, therefore, is diminished or lost. It not only affect the credibility of the electoral system, but also destroys the democratic system and the rule of law.
How do you attract investors under this terrible political environment? So for Osafo Marfo to think first about foreign investment without looking at what vigilantism and state sponsored violence could do to our democracy, is perplexing.
He was around when Akufo Addo and his henchmen imported the South African mercenaries into the country to train Npp activists in weapon handling and other dangerous military moves. What about the Serbians? Where was his patriotic cap when these terrible moves were being executed.
It is the responsibility of the government and the election organisers to protect the electoral process from conflict and violence through security planning and putting security instruments in place. This is what John Mahama and all well meaning Ghanaians are yearning for.
Research shows that when conflict or violence occurs, it is not a result of an electoral process; it is the breakdown of an electoral process. Hence President Akufo Addo, Mr Osafo Marfo, the electoral commission and all stakeholders should bear in mind that the nature, extent and magnitude of violence and rigging associated with elections in recent times in Ghana pose a serious threat to the National quest for stable democratic dispensation as well as the attainment of the long term goal of consolidated democracy.