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John Mahama was a young president but still failed Ghanaians

38667738 John Dramani Mahama was Ghana's president

Mon, 30 Jan 2023 Source: Maxwell Okamafo Addo

Ex-President John Dramani Mahama has been misspeaking on an international stage in the past couple of days.

Funny enough the ex-President did not take into consideration the reality of the situation in the international stage when he questioned the ability of people in their 80s and 90s to lead their countries.

Joe Biden, the American president and leader of the free world, is 80-years-old and seeking re-election for President. He has out-performed many younger leaders around the world.

In Malaysia, prime minister Anwar Ibrahim is 75 years old. He was voted into office after the failed leadership of a 53 year old prime minister Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob.

Mandela became president at 75 years old. No younger African leader can surpass his leadership record.

Ivory Coast is doing better than Ghana from all the indicators, even after war in that country with an older leader above his 80s.

Most developed countries attained their heights under the older leaders, not young ones.

However, the focus of this article is his mispronouncement on the issue of age and leadership which boarders on the concept of retirement and the idea that when people reach retirement age, they loose their natural vigor for work and must therefore not seek the highest office of President or any other office for that matter.

It is surprising that this is coming from a man who is well over his retirement age and still wants to be President.

In his case, John Mahama did not only retire, he also received all his retirement benefits and ex-gratia payments from the people of Ghana which settles him as a former President. Yet at 64 years old, he’s looking to come back from retirement.

Going by John Mahama’s own logic, is he telling us that since he performed very abysmally even as a young President, and was voted out as a result, that if he gets the chance to become President again, he will perform even more abysmally due to the fact that he is now older?

Is he also saying, that experience, grooming and wisdom does not matter when it comes to leadership?

Does John Mahama also know that there are many unhealthy young people due to their lifestyle of alcoholism, womanizing, drug abuse etc while many older people are physically and mentally strong due to their chosen good lifestyle?

If young age automatically translates into better performance, why did John Mahama inherit a healthier economy from President John Atta Mills and left Ghana worse off economically?

President Atta Mills, though died at 68, left behind a GDP of 14.5 % but when young John Mahama was leaving office he did not only fail to maintain what he inherited from Professor Mills, he also brought the GDP down to 3.2 %. Also, Professor left behind a single digit inflatable rate of 8.6 % which was maintained and sustained for 36 months but when the so-called young John Mahama was leaving office, he took inflation up to 18%.

Professor Atta Mills also left an enviable exchange rate of GH¢1.8 to the dollar In the hands of John Mahama who left behind GH¢4.30 to. the Dollar.

John Mahama and Vice President Dr. Mahamoud Bawumia were some of Ghana’s youngest leaders yet they have both made the worse case for any future young leader of Ghana.

John Mahama’s ill-conceived attack on older leaders on the international platform flies in the face of diplomacy and international relations and can be considered a geopolitical goof.

The big question is, how did John Mahama’s age impact his abysmal performance as a President? Negatively, of course.

It is apparent that John Mahama is struggling to find a message to convince NDC delegates ahead of his come back announcement just as he struggled to find a message to deliver on the international platform in London where he found it necessary to waste everyone’s time talking about age and leadership.

And if John Mahama cannot find a concrete message for NDC delegates, one wonders how he will find a message for the general Ghanaian public to make a case for another chance to mislead Ghanaians!

Columnist: Maxwell Okamafo Addo
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