Apparently, the Presidency is contagious with a sort insulting nonchalance that trances Presidents into telling off voters once they are there.
Former President John Mahama described the disease as ‘Dead-Goat-Syndrome’, and the writing is on the wall that President Nana Akufo-Addo, who criticized President Mahama over the syndrome in 2015, is now oozing the same symptoms.
In shocking display offhandedness by the President on Monday, this week, the bluff of illegal miners, popularly called galamseyers, who have threatened to vote out the President in 2020, was called with Akufo-Addo swearing that he does not care a hoot about their concerns.
According to him, he does not mind at all, losing the Presidency over a clampdown on galamsey.
“I have said it in the Cabinet, and perhaps this is the first time I am making this public, that I am prepared to put my Presidency on the line on this matter.
“If, by the grace of God, my party allows me to go again and I have the health and everything to go again but do not get it again, then I will say to myself: ‘Well, this is a choice I have to make as a human being.’ Do you do what is right or what you think will make you get along? I think you do what is right and what you are required to do,” President Akufo0-Addo told a cross section of traditional leaders at a meeting with them in Accra.
This sort of lingo has been heard before; President John Mahama, in March 2016, exuded the same sort of indifference in a speech to Ghanaians living in Botswana, saying numerous strikes that had beset his administration had made him develop thick skin.
The former President described that sickness of Presidential nonchalance as, “a Dead Goat Syndrome.”
“I have seen more demonstrations and strikes in my first two years. I don’t think it can get worse. It is said that when you kill a goat and you frighten it with a knife, it doesn’t fear the knife because it is dead already.
“I have a dead goat syndrome.”
That statement, was to be a part of John Mahama’s undoing as the opposition New Patriotic Party at the time, then led by selfsame Nana Akufo-Addo, who is President now, latched on to it and used it against President Mahama in the 2016 election campaign.
Current Vice President and then Running Mate to Akufo-Addo, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, had used the statement as rallying call on Ghanaians to reject President Mahama as according to him, “Ghana does not deserve a dead goat President.”
But just six months down the line, after the NPP had won the 2016 election, President Akufo-Addo is exhibiting the same syndrome over galamsey. According to the President, he does not mind losing the Presidency over his decision to clampdown on galamsey.
What is interesting is that this new position of Akufo-Addo on galamsey is totally volte-face as the man had sworn fair and foul, while in opposition, to never end galamsey if he was voted President in 2016.
In a voice clip that buttresses the President’s inconsistency on galamsey, he is quotably, heard telling illegal miners and party supporters in the Western Region in 2016 that he would never end galamsey as it was an important source of employment in the country.
“The NDC people are all about Ghana, that I, who is seriously looking for ways to create jobs for our young men and young women, that if I come (become President) I will stop galamsey (illegal mining).
“There isn’t a single iota of truth in it at all. It is not true today neither will it be true tomorrow.”
President Akufo-Addo’s Presidential campaign had even been partly funded with contributions from galamseyers who had deemed him as a champion of their cause against the then NDC administration which had been fighting the menace gradually.
Since Akufo-Addo became President, the whip has really been cracking on galamseyers, throwing thousands who depend on the vocation as a source of livelihood out of job, without creating alternative employment for galamseyers.