Is the sexagenarian Mahama really the right man to rescue Ghanaians?

John Mahama Laugh 98 John Dramani Mahama

Wed, 9 Feb 2022 Source: Kwaku Badu

Whilst some of us genuinely empathise with the concerned Ghanaians over Mahama’s puzzling desperation to reclaim the presidency, the NDC loyalists, many of whom businesses inadvertently collapsed in the peak of the unspeakable dumsor, unfortunately, seem oblivious to the apocalypse of Mahama returning to the Jubilee House.

Some of us, in fact, were not the least dumbfounded when prior to the 2020 general elections, former President Mahama passionately and honestly owned up to the unpardonable errors in decision-making which led to the massive economic mess during his tenure in office.

It is absolutely true that the former President made catastrophic mistakes during his time in office and therefore could not steer the nation to the right direction.

As a president, Mahama really disappointed the good people of Ghana with his laisser-faire style of leadership and the good people of Ghana rightly voted him out in 2016 and retired the sexagenarian in 2020.

Some of us, as a matter of fact, cannot get our heads around how and why former President Mahama and his teeming supporters would then fight tooth and nail to reclaim the presidency after being voted out of office by discerning Ghanaians due to his terrible errors of judgement.

Although I cannot present myself as a pastor, a soothsayer, a prophet, or a black magician, I was the first person to predict through a couple of articles a few years ago that NDC will stay in opposition for at least sixteen years(see: ‘Why Dr Bawumiah could keep NDC in opposition for sixteen years-part Iⅈ ghanaweb.com/modernghana.com,16/12/2016).

Admittedly, though, my previous prediction was not from God. I am an unrepentant sinner, and therefore God would not send me to deliver a message to His children in the presence of His begotten sons, ‘the Angel Obinim and Oborfour.

In fact, I based my prediction on Ghanaians overwhelming acceptance of the NPP administration and a retrospective analysis of the successive NDC government’s performances in the area of socio-economic standards of living.

Apparently, the sceptics have been fretting that it would be extremely disastrous if Mahama was to reclaim the presidency, given the catastrophic errors in decision-making which led to the massive economic meltdown.

But despite the incontrovertible harsh economic conditions amidst corruption allegations (Bus branding, Brazil World Cup, SADA, SUBA, GYEEDA, SSNIT, NCA, Ford Expedition Vehicle, amongst others) which led to his 2016 humiliating election defeat, Ex-President Mahama can still muster the courage to stage a comeback. Why?

Why wouldn’t discerning Ghanaians dread and express grave concerns over the return of a former president who has more alleged bribery and corruption scandals hanging around his neck than any other president in the history of Ghanaian politics?

Truth be told though, no true nationalist will ever shrill and thrill over the return of a former president who has serious questions to answer over the puzzling corruption scandals such as the STX housing deal, the Brazilian aircrafts, the Ford Expedition Vehicle and the Armajaro saga.

Take, for instance, a few years ago, we read that four courageous Ghanaians had petitioned the then Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu to probe into the alleged E.O. Group’s $13 million corporate social responsibility fund towards the development of the Western Region which the petitioners claimed to have been diverted by Ex-President Mahama (See: ‘Mahama diverted $13m E.O. Group money; probe him – Four citizens petition Amidu’-todaygh.com/ghanaweb.com, 18/06/2018).

To be quite honest, we cannot fault the patriotic Ghanaians for dreading the return of a former President who can boldly accept a furtive gift of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle worth over $100,000 from a Burkinabe Contractor called Djibril Kanazoe.

If you may remember, a few years ago, the Europe’s aerospace multinational Airbus admitted paying huge bribes to a few countries including Ghana in order to secure contracts during Mills/Mahama administration between 2009 and 2015, which prompted President Akufo-Addo to instruct the outgone Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu to probe into the grave corruption scandal.

Following an investigation into the seeming damning scandal, the Office of the Special Prosecutor finally concluded that the said Government Official 1 in the Airbus bribery scandal was the former president and the 2020 flagbearer of NDC, John Dramani Mahama.

The report, however, concluded that since we were in the election period and the said protagonist was a presidential candidate, the Office of the Special Prosecutor was not in a position to take any immediate action.

If you may also recollect, a few years ago, we were greeted by yet another damning news of corruption scandal in the erstwhile Mahama administration, on that occasion, it was alleged oil money of GH40.5 million secret transfers to the presidency, via the then Chief of Staff (See: ‘Group explains why Amidu must probe Mahama, Debrah in GH¢40.5m BOST payment’; myjoyonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 19/09/2018).

It beggars belief that despite the wanton corruption and the crass incompetence exhibited by the erstwhile Mahama administration which brought about massive economic collapse, the NDC faithful could still muster the courage to chastise Akufo-Addo and clamour inexorably for the return of former President Mahama.

Given the unpardonable rot in the Mahama administration, some of us cannot help but to laugh off Mahama and his supporters renewed zeal to return to power so soon.

The fact however remains that Ghana under the erstwhile NDC administration experienced massive economic downslide which regrettably brought to pass harsh socio-economic standards of living.

Given the circumstances, it will be difficult for any government to reverse such mess within a shortest possible time.

So, it is somewhat unfair and unreasonable to see the brassbound NDC faithful, who are currently enjoying uninterrupted electricity, reductions in electricity tariffs, low inflation, tax reductions (including import taxes), favourable economic growth, gargantuan savings on free SHS, amongst others gathering the courage to censure the NPP administration.

It is, indeed, extremely baffling to keep hearing such ridiculous misconceptions from the NDC apologists, many of whom only follow narrow party coloration, devoid of patriotism and solicitude.

Whatever the case, one has to contain his/her emotional intelligence, show unconditional deference and composure, for after all, sycophancy, partisanship and lack of patriotism have been our greatest nemesis.

Given the circumstances, we can logically conclude that vague apprehension of patriotism exists in the minds of many Ghanaians, who prefer hero worshipping to defending the national interests.

Thus, some of our leaders, having first-hand knowledge of our hero worshipping gimmicks, tend to take us for granted and continue to provide us with mediocre leadership and services.

Despite the huge economic mess left by the outgone NDC administration, the Akufo-Addo administration, before the deadly coronavirus, raised Ghana’s economic growth from a disappointing 3.4% in December 2016 to a favourable 8.6%. And the double digit inflation (15.8 in December 2016) was reduced drastically to around 7.5%.

It must, however, be emphasised that no economist can undo the huge economic mess created by the Mahama administration within a short space of time.

So, it is quite unfair and unjust for the NDC loyalists to expect Akufo-Addo administration to conjure magic and fix the mess so soon when the NDC administration egregiously wasted Ghana’s resources, including paying GH800 million dubious judgment debt, amongst other things, the GH51.2 million to Woyome, $35 million to the Waterville and $375,000 to the Isofoton which resulted in the drastic reduction of capital expenditure.

A couple of years ago, I thought I was dreaming when I chanced on the unfortunate news about the misappropriation of $175 million loan facility secured in 2012 which was meant to provide seven district hospitals.

But I was not. I was wide awake. The Mahama government indeed misapplied the loan facility on the blind side of Ghanaians.

The all-important question every patriotic Ghanaian should be asking then is: why did the NDC administration flagrantly divert $6 million of a government loan facility of $175 million meant to provide seven district hospitals into researching the then governing NDC’s chances of winning the 2016 general elections?

Shockingly, the secret research was alleged to have carried out by the United Kingdom based SCL Social, the mother company of Cambridge Analytica.

According to the report, although SCL Social was given $6 million to carry out a nationwide survey to provide appropriate data for the proper planning of the healthcare needs of Ghana, the NDC administration led by Ex-President Mahama, regrettably, deemed it fit to divert the loan facility for their internal research at the expense of the sick and infirm Ghanaians. How insensitive could Mahama be?

If we do the arithmetic of the $175 million loan facility which was supposed to provide seven district hospitals, each hospital should have cost us $25 million.

However, credible sources have it that out of the seven district hospitals, only the one in Dodowa in the Greater Accra Region received the full funding and was thus completed successfully.

The overarching question then is: where is the rest of the $175 million loan facility?

In 2012, the Parliament of Ghana duly approved a loan of 200 million United States dollars, an equivalent of 1.2 billion Ghana cedis to build 5000 affordable housing units.

Regrettably, however, the erstwhile Mahama administration strangely readjusted the original contract on the blind side of the Parliament of Ghana and initially reduced the housing units to 1502 and further reduced to 1412.

What is more bizarre is that the outgone Mahama administration ridiculously used the 200 million United States dollars to build only 668 housing units.

If we do a simple arithmetic, 668 into $200 million will give us around $299,400. Do you call that affordable?

In fact, the Saglemi scandal is not an isolated incident. Somewhere in 2009, the Mills/Mahama administration promised that a certain STX Housing deal was going to provide about 200,000 affordable housing units to the country’s security agencies at an estimated cost of $10 billion.

However, due to the unpardonable negligence on the part of Mills/Mahama administration and the boardroom tussle between the project supervisors– STX Korea and GKA Airports Company Limited (STX Ghana), the deal unfortunately hit a dead-end.

Subsequently, President Mills had this to say during a press conference: “we have some difficulties with the STX project and as a president I am eating a humble pie to say that we are looking for alternatives.”

Somehow, it was later reported that Ghana had allegedly lost a staggering $300 million in spite of the fact that the deal did not materialise.

Interestingly, however, sources had it that at all material times, it was the then vice president, John Dramani Mahama’s office that handled issues concerning the STX Housing deal.

Strangely though, President Mills of blessed memory seemed apocalyptic about the whole deal, judging from his state of the nation address in 2010, when he had this to say: “the Vice President had travelled to Seoul, Korea, to nail the coffin' of STX.”

We can, recollect, albeit with extreme sadness, that although the STX Housing loan agreement which was supposed to provide affordable housing units to the security agencies did not materialise, the then vice president, John Dramani Mahama, is alleged to have given us a bill in excess of $300 million. How strange?

In a related development, after the failed deal with STX to build 200,000 housing units for the nation's security agencies, the NDC government entered into another deal with the GUMA Group for the construction of 500 housing units.

The deal which was alleged to have negotiated by the then vice president, John Dramani Mahama, was widely criticised by various stakeholders, just as the STX deal, following the decision to side-line local construction firms in favour of the foreign company. The unusually high cost of the project was also a source of concern to many.

Some observers thus believe that it was due to the countless dubious agreements which made Ghana’s debt ballooned from an arguable meagre GH9.5 billion in 2009 to an incredible GH122.4 billion by December 2016 with a little to show for.

How can we advance as a nation when some conspiratorial plotters keep hiding behind party coloration, devoid of patriotism and rapaciously squandering our scarce resources to the detriment of the poor and disadvantage Ghanaians?

You may believe it or not, but the fact remains that since the birth of Ghana’s Fourth Republic (from 1993 to present), the nation has regrettably lost billions of dollars meant for developmental projects through unbridled sleazes and corruption.

The all-important question then is: if the rampant bribery and corruption, the stashing of national funds by some greedy opportunists , the misappropriation of resources and the crude embezzlement of funds meant for developmental projects by some public officials do not warrant criminal charges, then where are we heading as a nation?

You may agree to disagree, but there is admissible evidence of gargantuan bribery and corruption cases, including monies which were given to parasitic creatures who did not render any services towards the national development. Woyome and Akua Donkor come to mind.

A large portion of Ghana’s scarce resources, regrettably, went down the drain due to the mismanagement and the wanton sleazes and corruption perpetrated by the officials of the erstwhile Mahama administration.

Take, for example, a few years ago, a competent court of jurisdiction convicted two of the numerous corruption suspects in the erstwhile NDC administration and sentenced them to prison.

As if that was not enough, more recently, a competent court of jurisdiction convicted and sentence two former NDC appointees of the National Communication Authority(NCA) under Mahama’s administration to prison for malfeasance.

In fact, I share in the sentiments of the concerned Ghanaians, who have been maintaining all along that the sins of the two convicts are meagre in comparison with the other scandalous corruption cases which took place in the erstwhile Mahama administration.

But in spite of the admissible evidence of Mahama’s government’s unbridled corruption and incompetence, the loyalists NDC supporters would want discerning Ghanaians into believing that the erstwhile NDC administration provided exceptional governance.

The good people of Ghana, regrettably, will attest to wanton corruption, incompetence and frequent abuse of power in the erstwhile NDC administration.

Take, for instance, but for the Honourable Agyapong’s whistling blowing prowess, former President Mahama’s sibling, Ibrahim Mahama, would have evaded import taxes in the tune of GH12 million. How pathetic?

Delightfully, however, the EOCO ordered Ibrahim Mahama to pay the GH12 million as all his previous 44 cheques were dishonoured by the respective banks. How bizarre?

As if that was not enough, the Mahama administration revoltingly sanctioned a 30 year bauxite mining lease of around 58% to Ibrahim Mahama and his partners on 29th December 2016, just a little over one week for his brother’s government to exit power.

Please, my dearest readers, don’t tell me a leader who can move a sound economic growth of 14% to 3.4%, can move agricultural growth of 7.4% to 2.5%, can reverse single digit inflation to 15.4%, can drag GDP of GH47 billion to GH40 billion is the man to redeem Ghanaians from a supposed economic bondage.

K. Badu, UK.


Columnist: Kwaku Badu