Yesterday, the internet went up in flames when a video of prez Nana Akufo Addo ‘snubbing’ his main rival in the next general election, John Dramani Mahama stormed the internet.
In the video, Nana Akufo-Addo is seen exchanging pleasantries and shaking hands with some dignitaries at the programme.
However, when he got to the turn of former President John Mahama, Nana did not engage him in any hearty chat but quickly shook his hands and moved to the next person.
The issue generated divergent views on the social media but the general consensus was that Akufo Addo did not ‘force’ at all.
It’s against this background that award winning journalist and former Multimedia employee, Manasseh Awuni Azure has added his two cents to the matter.
The journalist took to his Facebook page to admonish the president to be ‘heartwarming to his political opponent’, noting that despite Mahama being vilified when he was in power, he was very friendly to everyone, including himself (Manasseh was a fierce critic of the ex president.)
Once upon a time, when John Dramani Mahama was president of the Republic of Ghana, his encounters with fiercest political rivals at public functions were very heartwarming. The men and women who used to call him all manner of names received very warm welcomes and social media used to buzz with these pictures with the advice to followers of the two main parties that politics was not war.
I was one of the fiercest critics of President Mahama but he treated me as if I had never said anything bad about him. He is what one would call a true gentleman.
Generally, our politicians are not enemies. They are not supposed to be. They have opposing views and interests, but when they meet, they should show those of us following them that politics is not an “all-die-be-die” affair. And generally, our top politicians (both NDC and NPP) have played this game to the admiration of their followers.
It is for this reason that I find the video of President Akufo-Addo’s snubbing of former President Mahama at a public function unfortunate. In the short video clip, which is being widely circulated on WhatsApp, President Akufo-Addo is seen happily greeting dignitaries at the Kofi Annan Peace Conference. When former President Mahama stretches his hand, the President gives him the kind of attitude you would give a man who slept with your girlfriend last night.
This is not the way to go, Mr. President. Don’t let your body language, especially in the public, prove your critics right. A friendly act may not be part of your KPI, but it does help to lower the ever-rising political temperature.