Saw all the social media videos on the Nigerian elections? You can’t put anything past the megalomaniac looking to actualize their delusions of grandeur and self-importance. They are everywhere.

Consider Donald Trump in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 US elections and the events of January 6, 2021. Shows that power drunkenness has no skin colour: it is a symptom of our fallen humanity.

Recently America confirmed it again. In his deposition at the public hearings into the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill, media mogul Rupert Murdock confessed that talk show hosts on his network, Fox News, who endorsed Trump’s claims that the 2020 elections were stolen, KNEW that Trump was lying.

Until this deposition, Murdoch’s empire was my definition of fine journalism!

Today, every politician’s motto is to seek first political power and all other things shall be added unto them, especially in Africa (truth be told) where political power seems now to be the only guarantee of quick advancement in life through juicy contracts, board, ambassadorial and state CEO appointments.  

In an election year, the politician’s order goes out to his hatchet men: “Bribe, change figures at collation centres, stuff ballot boxes with thumb-printed ballots. Do everything: only make sure I am declared President”. The worst other contestants can do is holler, howl, kick up a storm, call satan by his middle name – all that. All these will come to nothing. Soon, the “freely and fairly elected” President will be sworn in. In a matter of a few months, he will be seated with his peers at AU and ECOWAS meetings and lo, the regime is legit.

In the October 2003 elections in Nigeria, there was so much rigging that in one constituency, no voting took place but the results were declared, several hundred thousand votes in favour of the incumbent, President Olusegun Obasanjo. Two weeks ago, 23 years later, the same Obasanjo, who backed Peter Obi in the 2023 poll, issued a press statement calling the election a farce and asked President Buhari to order a review of the results.

Incidentally, Ghana’s former President Mahama, a chief critic of his country’s electoral commission, saw nothing wrong with the Nigerian election. He headed the West African Elders Forum (WAEF) in the February 25 polls.

Nigeria: check

In Ghana, the process has just begun. A few hats have been thrown in the ring, the most prominent being that of former President Mahama. He is easily everybody’s tip to bear the flag for NDC.

How will his ambition pan out? Will it end up in court again? To be heard by the same Supreme Court judges whose reputation he dragged in the mud in 2020? Who will his rival be: Alan, Bawumia, Joe Ghartey?

Whoever NPP’s candidate may be, Mahama seems to be in a comfortable lead, for now, thanks to the unprecedented hardships in the country. Remember, he lost by over a million votes in 2016 but reduced the gap to about 500,000 in 2020. Looks like Mahama is coming back. If he does, he would step into history.

But is that why his tone has become so unpatriotically acerbic? In a region where NPP has no friends, I think the 6th March event at Ho this year took on a really national character. What an atmosphere for patriotism! And Akufo Addo’s speech was uniting and invitingly nationalistic.

But Mahama boycotted the event. His reason is that NPP turned the Tamale March 6, 2022 celebration into a party jamboree.

When in Ghana, since 1992, did bussing party supporters to an event become a politician’s reason to boycott a national event? For crying out loud, Mahama is the NDC’s presumptive flagbearer for 2024, a party famous for draping even coffins in party colours! Politicians shouldn’t sound so desperate.

But Mahama has landed the hammer right on the head when it comes to Article 71 emoluments. This anti-people constitutional provision is every suffering Ghanaian’s Public Enemy Number One. To seek to ridicule Mahama on this account is to show a ruling government that has stopped its ears against the cries of the people who elected them.

It is in the same vein that I am with former Chief Justice Sophia Akufo’s call on governments to invest funds earmarked for Independence Day celebrations on meaningful public projects such as building a new school or health centre every independence anniversary year and naming it Independence School or Independence Hospital, rather than they “going to talk, march, eat and come back and then that’s all.”

Remember John Magufuli (RIP). As Tanzania’s newly elected President (2015), he cancelled the independence day celebration, considering it “shameful” when “our people are dying of cholera”. He also ordered the cost of a party to inaugurate the new parliament to be slashed from $100,000 to $7,000!

I call it leadership.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.