The Duke’s: Political demagoguery and Corporate Ghana

It’s the period in our political season that many a protagonists seeking for public office adopt all manner of means to seek the attention of the electorates or by a little measure delegates, as the case may be in internal political party nominations, particularly, for the position of a party’s presidential candidate.

Some of such runners become forthright with the truth about the state of the country that they seek her highest office. They say it as it is. Others cover their processes with demagoguery and charisma. Loosely defined, demagoguery is that political activity or populist approach that seeks support from electorates by appealing to their desires and prejudices.

In many of the instances, the targets are the ordinary people who are cajoled through such heart desiring campaign messages rather than appealing to their reasoning faculties. How successful have such pretending politicians been both in Ghana and elsewhere? Perhaps Jerry John Rawlings is the most conning Ghanaian politician to have ruled the country.

His mastery in demagoguery endeared him to many regular Ghanaians to the extent that they even approved his infamous let the blood flow mantra that characterized his two military intrusions in 1979 and 1981. On the balance scale of his administration most Ghanaians came to appreciate how they’ve been shortchanged by Rawlings’ sheer rhetoric.

Our first President, Kwame Nkrumah was a master demagogue and charismatic. The difference though is that Nkrumah adopted that appeal to enable him to galvanize every available Ghanaian to buy into his vision of building the new Ghanaian state. Indeed, Nkrumah used demagoguery as guiled conduit to whip everyone in-line with his project Ghana. In effect, Nkrumah proved to be a demagogue with a substance.        

The mastery of such appeals dwells more on sheer bravado by exercising compelling charms that easily induce non-rational support from regular individuals. Unfortunately, the targeted groups are in the majority and therefore anyone with the finesse in demagoguery stands the chance of achieving his/her object in Ghanaian politics.

There is the compelling urge why such individuals fall to such trickery. They identify with the background of the demagogues; and therefore see themselves in the mirror being presented by the one they find to be one of them. Their mentor speaks their mind, their frustrations, their disappointment, their worries and generally, many of the struggles that these ordinary people are going through.

But how have these demagogues fared after managing the process to win power through the art of appealing to the brawn than the brain? This is the multi-million question confronting the minority few who have the legitimacy to vote in the upcoming NPP presidential nomination. There may be as many as nine persons vying for the NPP’s plume presidential candidate nomination, but so far media permutation suggests three gentlemen are the front-runners.

These are sitting Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahmudu Bawumia, former Trade Minister, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, former Press Secretary and NPP General Secretary, Kwabena Adjei Agyepong and Ken Kwame Ohene Agyapong. The others are former Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, former Attorney General, Joe Ghartey, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku and a former MP for Asante Mampong, Addai Nimoh.

So far it’s only three out of the pack who have presented their programme of action both for the NPP and Ghana as a whole. These are Alan Kyerematen, Dr. Afriyie Akoto, and Kwabena Agyepong. Alan’s Ghana’s agenda transcends our regular politics to what his followers term as running Ghana as a disciplined corporate entity; Akoto Afriyie talks about Agricultural Revolution, while Kwabena Agyapong hopes to restore the soul of the country.

Rather curiously, it’s Kennedy Agyapong who has attracted serious traction in both conventional and social media. In a series of media interviews, Agyapong was in his abrasive elements; daring his own political party and his avowed aim to expose them if they dared him. Expose what and who? These are some of the reactions of many who are following Ken Agyapong’s tirades.

He again went on to fight the Ghana Revenue Authority, claiming his own government was using the state agency to destroy his businesses; a charge he has labelled against the ruling government in recent past. Many NPP supporters are lauding the hardline stance of Ken Agyapong on his own party. They claim Ken Agyepong is the kind of leader that Ghana needs. Indeed, most of them seem to be falling for Ken Agyapong’s manipulative approach.

Talk tough? Is that all there’s about leadership? Anyone with a serious insight into speech analyses will admit that anytime Ken Agyapong goes on that boisterous tangent, then his interest is being curtailed, albeit legitimately. His latest outburst had been triggered by GRA’s routine checks of his company tax obligations. Is Ken Agyapong above such scrutiny? As someone with the mind of becoming President, why should Ken Agyapong be scared of GRA’s probes into his tax payments?

GRA has proven to be above Ken’s scare mongering, by calling off his bluff with a press statement stating why their routine checks could not exempt Ken Agyapong and his ilk.

Many outsiders are not the least surprised at Ken Agyapong’s latest scare trickery on GRA to stoke up his presidential juggernaut. This is a man who would sit on his television station to blackmail the President and his own party when someone is in bidding contention with him over public business.

He did it to Daniel McKorley (McDan) in the early days of the Akufo Addo administration. In the end, he used his political connection to get through with his wishes. He tried doing same to President Kufuor even after the former President had left office, claiming the former President made it impossible for him to access a contradict that he claimed was due him. He was however, unsuccessful when a spokesperson of the ex-President came to rebut Ken Agyapong’s claims. So for the many regular guys who believe Ken Ahyapong is their mouthpiece, it’s about time they delved into why the political intermittent noises have become the forte of the Assin Central MP. It’s purely to suit his personal agenda and nothing by way of speaking for the ordinary Ghanaian.

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