Former President John Mahama has said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) is so vindictive that Ghanaian professionals fear associating with the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for fear of losing their jobs or being hunted by the government.
Speaking at the annual conference of the NDC’s Professionals Forum’s in Accra on Thursday, 29 April 2021, the 2020 flag bearer of the NDC said: “I think one of the good things that Pro Forum has done is to increase the confidence of our professional groups in terms of being identified as being proud members of the NDC”.
Before Pro Forum, Mr Mahama observed that “we had a lot of people who support the NDC but they hide under the covers and are not willing to show their faces as supporters of NDC”.
“Of course, you can understand why. With people who are so vindictive, I mean for many of them who are still in service, I mean showing their faces is often dangerous”, he noted.
According to him, “it’s not the same when NDC is in power”, explaining: “I mean people, very freely identify with the NPP when NDC is in power and they don’t suffer any adverse consequences for it”.
“It’s not the same when they [NPP] are in power”, he said.
“There’s a lot of vindictive hunting down of people who are believed to be NDC and taking them out of jobs. So, this confidence and pride is making more people join the Pro Forum and it’s a very good thing”, Mr Mahama said.
His comments come a few days after Sir Sam Jonah lamented that the culture of silence appears to have returned to Ghana’s current democratic dispensation.
In a speech to Rotarians in Accra titled ‘Down the up escalator – Reflections on Ghana’s future by a senior citizen’, the executive chairman of Jonah Capital, an equity fund based in Johannesburg, South Africa, said: “In the past, when all had failed, academia was the last vanguard”.
“We all remember the role that the Legon Observer played”, he said, adding: “Under the hallowed cloak of academic freedom, men and women of conscience could write and speak words that penetrated the halls of power”.
However, he noted: “It appears to me that in recent times in our fourth Republican dispensation, the courage to stand up for the truth and the determination to uphold the common good are lost. In our dark moments as a nation, it is concerning that the voices of the intellectuals are receding into oblivion”.
“Sadly, it is a consequence of the deep partisan polarisation of our country such that everything is seen through the lenses of politics”, noting: “It appears to me that the culture of silence has returned. This time, not enforced by legal and military power but through convenience, parochialism, hypocrisy and lack of conviction”.
“Where are our Adu Boahens and PAV ANSAHs?” he asked.