Is Mahama really suggesting that there are no competent presidential candidates in NDC?

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Mon, 27 May 2019 Source: Kwaku Badu

Some of us could not end our astonishment upon reading that the former president, who happens to be the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has allegedly suggested that there are no competent presidential candidates other than himself in NDC, hence his timely candidature (see: ‘No competent candidate in NDC-Mahama suggest; dailyguidenetwork.com/ghanaweb.com, 25/05/201).

Ex-President Mahama is reported to have been interviewed by a Nigerian journalist, Wale, during his presentation at the Oxford University Business School Distinguished Speaker Seminar recently.

Following a poignant question by the interviewer as to why he wanted to return to office as President, Ex-President Mahama is reported to have retorted: “I had hoped my party (NDC) will select somebody else. But trials as I did, the insistence was that I should run again.”

In fact, if anything at all, former President Mahama was only echoing the sentiments of the vast majority of NDC supporters.

If you may remember, somewhere last year, Kofi Adams, the former national organiser of the party, was reported to have opined: “I have said and will continue to say; former President Mahama remains our biggest asset. If he decides to contest or declines to do same, he will still remain our biggest asset. So any member, who loves the NDC and wants us to win political power in 2020, should not do anything that will antagonize or malign him. It will not augur well for the party” (see: ‘Stop antagonising Mahama; he is our greatest asset’-Kofi Adams; rainbowradioonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 15/03/2018).

Perhaps, the likes of Kofi Adams and Mahama, more than anything else, are living in a denial over the competence of the NDC 2020 flagbearer.

Flagbearer Mahama, so to speak, could not have been entirely correct for suggesting that there are no competent candidates in NDC other than himself, in the sense that even a group of organisers within the opposition NDC urged the National Executives of the party to allow Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin to go unopposed in the party’s 2019 flagbearership contest (See: Alban Bagbin must go unopposed – NDC organisers; ghananewsagency.org/ghanaweb.com, 12/03/2018).

The dispirited party organisers articulated: “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.

Given the rot and the well-publicised incompetence in the erstwhile Mahama’s administration, some of us were not a bit surprised that some concerned supporters within the NDC Party were vehemently ventilating their arousing disgust over former President Mahama’s candidature.

In fact, following their 2016 humiliating election defeat, the NDC faithful have been undergoing a process of grief. The NDC loyalists are indeed living in a denial over their 2016 humiliating election loss.

Ever since they lost the 2016 election, we have been witnessing unbridled reactive emotional responses from the NDC diehard supporters.

We have also been observing a section of the NDC supporters constantly urging their leaders to do something about the painful election defeat.

Some of the grieving supporters have been lamenting ceaselessly: "We’ll not vote if you failed to bring “the former president” (Mahama) back ".

So, the crucial question is: is former President Mahama really the most competent presidential candidate in the NDC fraternity?

Apparently, the critics insist that former President Mahama lacks effective leadership skills to steer a country like Ghana to the right direction.

The sceptics contend that it was due to former President Mahama’s poor leadership qualities that a GH9.5 billion debt in 2009 rocketed to an incredible GH122.4 billion in just eight years.

Moreover, the critics maintain that former President Mahama’s irrevocable errors in decision-making accounted for Ghana’s economic downslide. For example, Ghana’s GDP shrunk from $47 billion to $37 billion in just five years.

Somehow, Ex-President Mahama’s decision-making came under sharp scrutiny when he abysmally dragged an economic growth of around 14 per cent in 2011 to a nauseating 3.4 per cent as of December 2016.

Furthermore, the sceptics have been arguing that former President Mahama and his government’s woeful errors in judgement and alleged corrupt practices 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.

On the whole, the critics contend that former President Mahama’s government remains the worst ever in Ghanaian political history.

Nevertheless, the loyalists of former President Mahama hold a faint hope that he remains their greatest asset, who could recapture power from the NPP in 2020.

Well, all that I could say is that Mahama couldn’t have been the most competent leader judging from the harsh economic conditions Ghanaians experienced during his coarse administration.

Truly, it will take more than a miracle for discerning Ghanaians to vote former President Mahama in 2020.

K. Badu, UK.


Columnist: Kwaku Badu