By Kwasi Frimpong
Two renowned politicians from the Northern part of Ghana have clashed over criticisms and response by the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress, former President John Dramani Mahama, and Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia respectively.
The Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, and the Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, are deadlocked on whether political discourse between Mr Mahama and Dr Bawumia are attacks borne out of old family conflict or criticisms shared among politicians of the same geographical background.
Mr Fuseini, in an open letter to members of the NDC, had sought to disabuse the minds of their supporters of a supposed fracas that existed between the fathers of Mr Mahama and Dr Bawumia, which some have alluded to as the basis for a constant tussle between the two.
In page 317 of “the Fourth John; Reign Rejection and Rebound”, a book authored by Journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni, he has disclosed: “John Mahama’s father, E.A. Mahama, and Dr. Bawumia’s father, Mumuni Bawumia, were the first generation of politicians from Northern Ghana. When John Mahama’s father, the first minister of the Northern Region, was removed from office, he was replaced with Dr. Bawumia’s father.
“He had travelled, and Mumuni Bawumia was asked to act, but he never returned to his position. The reason for John Mahama’s father removal, according to sources, was because Dr. Bawumia’s father had reported him to Nkrumah. The subject of the complaint was the allegation that Mr. E.A. Mahama had installed a generator meant for Tamale in his home town of Bole. This, according to sources, created a friction between the two.”
According to Mr Fuseini, this could not have been the basis for ‘attacks’ by the Vice-President since the families of the two still lived in peace several years after their parents had died. He, however, stated that the attacks by the Vice-President on Mr Mahama are his personal means of finding ‘relevance’ in the NPP.
Two legs good, four legs bad?
However, in responding to Mr Fuseini, the Deputy Minister of Energy wondered why the Tamale MP and members of the NDC would think they have the right to ‘attack’ leaders of the NPP and call it ‘criticisms’ but Dr Bawumia cannot do same.
“Fact is, former President Mahama has ruled our country in our very recent past, as Vice-President and then as President, and every Ghanaian has right to question or criticize him about his stewardship (you may call that attacks), just as Ghanaians including the former president are constantly demanding accountability of President Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia. This is the democratic culture we have accepted to live with. It cannot be normal when you criticize Dr Bawumia, the Vice-President, as you just did in your piece, but becomes abnormal when Dr Bawumia criticizes former President Mahama. If that is the NDC’s logic, let it be with you,” Mr Amin Adam said.
“I cannot speak for the fathers of the two political leaders, but I firmly believe it was for both of them an honour to have served their country; and if they were alive, they would find it equally honourable that their sons continue to play relevant roles in the affairs of our country. To attempt to draw them into a civil political competition of the present day is not only unpatriotic but irresponsible. The game is to show respect for and tolerance of divergent views, and we dare not substitute them for jungle democracy of the ‘Animal Farm’ in which ‘Four legs good, Two legs bad’,” he added.
The ‘family debate’ came up when the Vice-President questioned the former president’s handling of the dumsor crisis during his time. Vice-President Dr Bawumia, in a COVID-19 meeting at the Jubilee House, said the current Akufo-Addo administration is better at handling crisis as compared to the former Mahama administration.
Supporting his statement, he noted that the NDC performed poorly in managing the power outages that hit the country during the Mahama era. On the contrary, the Akufo-Addo administration has reduced the burden of Ghanaians in this period of the coronavirus pandemic, by reducing electricity prices.