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Following former President Mahama’s expected announcement of his intention to join the NDC’s 2020 flagbearership race, several prominent NDC members have come out to express grave concerns over the ex-president’s seemingly bizarre decision.
In fact, the party stalwarts like Nunoo Mensah, Kojo Yankah, Ambassador Osei, amongst others have suggested to Mahama to rescind his idiosyncratic decision.
What is more, Mr Bagbin, the MP for Nadoli Kaleo and the NDC’s 2020 presidential aspirant has attributed the humiliating defeat of Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 general elections to bad governance (See: ‘Mahama's boys bought V8, built mansions in 4 years – Bagbin; myjoyonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 19/08/2018).
Mr Bagbin is reported to have quizzed: “Don’t tell me that the boys that suddenly came closer to the president within four years can build mansions and buy land cruisers and you say there are no resources, where are they getting the money, their salaries?”
Apparently the NDC stalwarts concerns stem from the fact that Ghanaians rejected former President Mahama massively in the 2016 election and therefore it will be politically suicidal for anyone to clamour for his return.
And to the reflective critic, it is baffling to see former President Mahama and his apologists moving heaven and earth to return to the presidency barely nineteen months after being voted out of power by discerning Ghanaians for his dreadful errors in judgement which brought about huge economic collapse.
Ironically, however, there is an ongoing tug of war amongst the NDC loyalists over the choice of a more formidable flagbearer to lead the party to recapture the elusive power in 2020.
While the Mahama loyalists are fighting tooth and nail to have him return as the party’s 2020 presidential candidate, the loyal supporters of the other presidential aspirants are insisting that Mahama was not up to the task during his tenure in office and must be replaced with a more competent flagbearer.
Indeed, the other contestants of the NDC’s 2020 flagbearership race have been emitting vehemently that former President Mahama was the main reason NDC lost the 2016 election.
Unsurprisingly, however, a multitude of supporters within the NDC have been in solidarity with the concerned presidential aspirants. The concerned supporters have been dreading the talk of former President Mahama returning as the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer.
Therefore it came as no surprise at all when more recently, a group of organisers within the opposition NDC beseeched the National Executives of the party to allow Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin to go unopposed in the party’s forthcoming flagbearership contest (See: Alban Bagbin must go unopposed – NDC organisers; ghananewsagency.org/ghanaweb.com, 12/03/2018).
“So many people in the party feel Hon. Bagbin is the best person to lead us into 2020 and the reasons are pretty clear: he is the exact contrast to former President John Mahama in the matter of marketability and yet retains the Northern extraction that will satisfy the need to have a Northerner complete an eight-year mandate.”
The spokesperson for the group insisted that since corruption would be a key campaign theme in 2020, and the fact that former President Mahama administration had issues with corruption, Ghanaian voters would be forced to reject him if he was to be elected as the next flagbearer.
Even though the loyalists of the other presidential aspirants hold the preponderance of the argument about former President Mahama’s unsuitability for the 2020 flagbearership position, the diehard supporters of Mahama will somehow succeed in their quest to have him as their presidential candidate.
A neutral observer, however, cannot be far from right for drawing an adverse inference that the vast majority of the NDC loyalists are living in a denial about former President Mahama’s unpopularity and will thus choose him over any other presidential aspirant.
It is, therefore, quite ironic that despite Mahama’s unpardonable coarse governance which brought about his humiliating defeat in the 2016 election, the Mahama loyalists are holding a phantom hope that they can present him and recapture power from NPP in 2020.
But all said and done, I, for one, do not envision former President Mahama’s imminent return to the presidency, judging from his dreadful errors in decision-making which brought about the massive economic collapse.
Let us face it, though, the unbridled corruption, the arrogance of power and the irreversible incompetence which culminated in economic collapse are still fresh in the memories of discerning Ghanaians.
Unfortunately, however, the brassbound Mahama loyalists do not want to acknowledge the fact that Ghana’s economy was in such a terrible state because a large portion of the country’s scarce resources went down the drain from the mismanagement and the wanton sleazes and corruption perpetrated by the officials of the erstwhile Mahama administration.
There is no gainsaying the fact that discerning Ghanaians cannot so soon forget the harsh economic conditions the Mahama government wilfully imposed on them. Indeed, those sad memories will long be stencilled on the mental sheets of discerning Ghanaians.
The all-important question one may ask the brassbound Mahama supporters is: where is the justification about former President Mahama’s ability to steer Ghana to the right direction when a GH9.5 billion debt former President Kufuor left in 2009 rocketed to an incredible GH122.4 billion in just eight years?
How can the diehard supporters convince some of us about former President Mahama’s capability to lead Ghana again when he woefully shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion to $37 billion in five years?
How could Mahama supporters justify former President Mahama’s suitability to lead the nation again when he abysmally dragged an economic growth of around 14 per cent in 2011 to a squeamish 3.6 per cent as of December 2016?
The fact of the matter is that the unobjectionable incompetence and corrupt practices regrettably resulted in excessive public spending, less efficient tax system , needless high public deficit and destabilization of national budgets, heightened capital flight and the creation of perverse incentives that stimulate income-seeking rather than productive activities.
By and large, the successive NDC governments have proven to be worst economic managers who can never improve upon the socio-economic standards of living of Ghanaians.
Well, whichever way you may choose to place the issue under discussion, Mahama and the other presidential aspirants impending battle will most likely create an unbelievable cleavage in the Umbrella fraternity in 2020.
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