At 72, the five-time Presidential Candidate of the splinter Nkrumaist party, the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr. Edward Nasigiri Mahama, knows that he is in the twilight of his political career as a minor opposition leader, with absolutely no chance, whatsoever, of realizing his presidential ambitions, that is, if he really ever believed that he had a fighting chance at the presidency. Indeed, the closest he came within striking distance of the Flagstaff House, or the Osu Castle, the erstwhile national seat of government, for that matter, was when then-Candidate John Agyekum-Kufuor was widely rumored to have attempted to tap the renowned obstetrician-gynecologist as his 2000 presidential-election running-mate.
Back then, Dr. Mahama was in his prime and a bit too full of himself and his own self-importance, from the look of things. He would insist on elevating the status of the Dr. Hilla (Babini) Limann-founded PNC to the level of the institutional coequal of the country’s most progressive and most formidable political party, namely, the Danquah-Busia-Dombo-inspired New Patriotic Party (NPP). That was a gross miscalculation on his part, for there was absolutely no way of bringing the PNC, which was not even a match for the rump-Convention People’s Party (r-CPP), to-date, the most formidable of the six, or so, Nkrumaist splinter political parties, to the level of the country’s neoliberal and most modern and massive political party.
Nearly 20 years later, the former Chicago, USA, resident physician appears to have realized the errors of his youthful days and ways, thus his quite laudable and even gracious acceptance of the post of Ambassador-at-Large, recently, from President Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo (See “I’m Going to Serve Ghana[,] Not NPP – Edward Mahama” Daily Guide / Modernghana.com 7/11/17). Naturally, his decision to go to bat for President Akufo-Addo has provoked the ire of many an executive operative of the longshot People’s National Convention. His PNC associates, no doubt, realize the fact of Dr. Mahama’s being far and away the most significant figure not only in the PNC, but the fact of Dr. Mahama’s being much bigger in size and stature than this party of largely wet-eared dreamers itself. Indeed, PNC Chairman Bernard A. Mornah could not have been more dead on point, and target, when he recently bitterly complained that the tapping of his party’s most valuable figure by President Akufo-Addo, as the diplomatic equivalent of his Senior Minister, had irreparably left the PNC in ruins.
To be certain, the PNC never emerged out of the doldrums when its much younger former Presidential Candidate, and some say an NDC hireling, Mr. Hassan Ayariga, left the party about four years ago to found another splinter party, after his leadership skills, credentials and credibility came under severe attack. Indeed, Dr. Mahama is not the first PNC leader or member to have been tapped by the ruling New Patriotic Party. Under President Kufuor, MallamIssah was named Deputy Sports Minister. Unfortunately, the latter did not dignify himself and ended up in prison on embezzlement charges. Then, of course, we have the current Minister of the Interior, Mr. Ambrose Dery, who, we learn, is also a product of the PNC. There have also been several others as well. Dr. Mahama appears to have finally come to a pragmatic realization of the need for him to transcend rigid ideological partisanship, if he is to make himself more relevant and significant to the citizenry of the country at large.
And this is primarily why Dr. Mahama has rather philosophically chosen to envisage his ambassadorial appointment from the all-inclusive lens, or perspective of a statesman, rather than as a party operative. And so he says that he intends to serve Ghana and not either the man who so appointed him or the NPP and the PNC. “To the glory of God,” he soberly says. But, of course, we all know that deep down the cockles of his heart, Dr. Mahama is darn grateful for having been granted the honor, the second time around, to make himself matter where the affairs of the country in the global community are concerned. And, of course, the least we can do is heartily wish the old man all the best.