JOHN MAHAMA AND THE STAN DOGBE’S HORN ON HIS NECK: TO DROP OR TO CARRY ON? AN ADMIRER’S LETTER TO H. E. JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA

Dear President Mahama,
I am an ardent social democrat from the Chiana-Paga Constituency. By my introduction, it should be obvious to you that I am deeply steeped in the great NDC – proudly sharing this association with astute statesmen like your good self, President Rawlings, late Prof. John Mills, Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, Alban Bagbin, the rapidly rising Haruna Iddrisu, young, vibrant and energetic Sammy Gyamfi and your beloved Stan Dogbe. For the greater part of my life, I have devoted my energies and knowledge to the advancement of NDC – first as a Journalist and now a Communications practitioner.
The charm that drew me, and some of my associates into the NDC can be traced back to the era of President Rawlings. As was the case then for many, we hopped onto the NDC bandwagon with no real reasons for our choice, but would later discover that this great political tradition, was the truly genuine tool capable of developing Ghana evenly, and guaranteeing equity and fairness in rewarding efforts of party members. I should also mention, President Mahama, that your humility, candor and tolerant posturing even in the face of mean-spiritedness from your detractors, further cemented my faith in the NDC.
Indeed, over the years, my admiration for my earlier “idols” in the NDC has evaporated from its well known big names, and condensed onto your good self. When you lost the 2016 elections, at the risk of exaggeration, some of us fell sick. We were bedridden for weeks, from depression and exhaustion from independently campaigning for you from personal resources. We sacrificed time, family and energy for your sake, although we’ve never met you before – let alone shaken hands with you. Many of my kind are still out here and you may never get to know us before you exit active politics. We do not seek your political coronation for self serving ends, but for posterity.
However, your Excellency, I am moved to write you this letter because of a nightmare about which you are aware, but which resurfaces in gloomy form occasionally. Here, I refer to the irresistible Stan Dogbe effect. There is existing concern among your admirers that Stan Dogbe’s continued close association with you, and constant visibility in your affairs severely dents your brand against the charming one.
I say this without prejudice. I do not know him personally, neither have I met him before. His name often surfaces in the news for rather unpopular reasons perhaps the media dislikes him for their own reasons. I understand he is baked in strategy, protocols and media relations which are useful for your outfit.
My main recollection of him is particularly from news reports about his overzealous tendencies as a Presidential Staffer when you were President. I recall he allegedly shattered a recording device of a GBC reporter in 2015, after assaulting the said Journalist. In 2016, he is alleged to have manhandled a BBC Correspondent in Scotland at a program you attended, nearly serving you disgrace internationally. Pronouncements about his stone cold disrespect and disregard for those who dare get close to you abound, to the extent the respected Alban Bagbin, had to confess that accessing you was impossible – because Stan Dogbe had become an impregnable fortress around you.
Mr. President, I am not worthy to recommend to you who to keep around you as a friend or aide. But the old adage goes, that when three or more men, storm out of a hut filled with smoke, you don’t ask what is being prepared. The polarizing tendencies of Stan Dogbe have been admitted to by no mean persons, the smoke billowing therefore cannot be from a cooking pot, but hut on fire.

Sir, many are those who are battle ready to sacrifice their all to campaign and die for you again in the 2020 general elections. However, your continued association with my friend Stan, stirs apathy among us, due to the rather unflattering image he has. If I could meet you in person, I would have mentioned to you, that Mr. Dogbe can serve you from a distance and discretely in a manner that doesn’t cause displeasure among your support base.

I am sorry this letter will introduce me to my friend Mr. Dogbe in a rather unfortunate mode, but he needs to understand me and even your action after this. Our people say “if there is a strange item in the private part of your mother and you use your dangling stick to remove it, it will never be considered or described as sex”. I am convinced that you know too well, that this sentiment is seething deep within the rank and file of the NDC and many well-meaning Ghanaians. That Mr. president does not bode well in a situation where you need as many as you can muster on board your train.
Mr. Dogbe may be very useful to you personally but many of your party members see it differently and since politics is about numbers, you may have to consider their observations and concerns. You are a patron of social media today and I will let you reflect on another friend of mine, Mr. Gabby Otchere Darko, the cousin of H.E. Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo. He is not the president of Ghana, he is not a Minister or an appointee of the president but has a hardly admirable image which renders him a whipping boy, each time he tries to participate in any discourse or express his opinion on social media. By his posturing, he appears to have darkened the shine of his uncle.
As a leading politician I know you listen to people although you have your own way of taking decisions. In all humility, Sir, you should listen to the masses for what they see is further and wider than you as an individual. Their perspective counts a great deal. Sir, remember what the sages say, “if your mother is popular in your community and you get prevented from entering your home while returning from a journey, you should sense the danger”. Please, don’t wait for us to tell you your nose may be longer when you know and can sense it yourself.
Recent comments at the mention of Stan around you are unpalatable and that may have goaded the youth group called “NDC Action Movement” boldly stating that you may be heading down again if the likes of Stan do not step aside. There are many muted voices who agree. I am one of them though I like the persona of Stan.
Your Excellency, let me sign off with this cliché, remember that “a word to the wise is usually from the North”. Kindly give my suggestions some worthy consideration and DROP YOUR STAN!!

The writer’s special edition.

By Akuntingakoma Ntayure