29
MenuWallOpinions
Articles

7 Reasons JM Is Likely To Succeed

Sun, 13 Oct 2013 Source: Dailypost

On January 7, 2013, a former Member of Parliament,

once a former Deputy Minister who was also once a Cabinet Minister and later became


a Vice-President of Ghana was sworn in as the 6th President of a


democratic Ghana and the 4th of the 4th Republic of Ghana. John Mahama(JM)


is currently ten months inside his first four-year term.


Arguably, there is no President in the history of


Ghana who has had to face the kind of challenges JM has faced in the embryonic


stage of his Presidency. He is the first President, for example, whose


legitimacy as the democratically elected President of Ghana has been challenged


in court. Going about one’s Presidential duties while waiting for the verdict


of the Supreme Court is like having Damocles’ Sword dangling over one’s neck. Then


there were the doctor’s strike, pharmacists strike, teachers strike and other


strikes that he had to contend with. As if that was not enough, the mysterious


market fires became the order of the day. The energy crises, a.k.a. ‘dum sor’ ‘dum


sor’ was going on


unabated. Many well-wishers of JM


rightly feared that in the face of all these challenges, he is bound to fail.


But, ten months on, it can be said that he succeeded in riding the storm. The


reasons why he succeeded and other factors are the reasons why he is very


likely to succeed as President of Ghana. Below, we discuss seven of the


factors.


7. NATURE OF


POLITICAL OPPOSITION


The NPP is undoubtedly the biggest opposition party.


It is also the party with the oldest tradition in Ghana politics. Conservatives


and often ethnocentric, their style of opposition has not changed since the


pre-independent era. They believe that it is their divine right to rule. If


they are not in power, then everything that the ruling government does is


wrong. They have the knack for instigating labour, the businesses and traders,


the academia, students and other identifiable groups against any ruling


government.


Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, writing about them in


his book “Dark Days In Ghana” described them as “unpatriotic selfish men” who have


“a long record of go-slow policies, of subversive activities”. Nkrumah adds that


that they were people

who regarded themselves as “respectable,


the professional and intellectual elite, as having nothing to do with the


toiling masses whom they regarded with a mixture of fear and scorn.”


This description of the Busia-Danquah tradition is


still apt of adherents of the tradition today represented by the NPP. Intellectual


arrogance as well as tribal


bigotry and this opposition party are bedfellows. As a result, they do not have


a mass appeal. They hold sway during elections in only Akan areas, many of who


have begun to reject them. In non-Akan areas, they are rejected without a


second thought. Their ability to turn identifiable groups against ruling


governments was manifested during the reign of Jerry Rawlings and Prof. Mills


and is now being witnessed under President Mahama. While they were in power,


the Trade Union Congress (TUC) became a toothless bull-dog. Never did Ghanaians


hear that the TUC was embarking on a demonstration against the NPP government;


not when the price of petrol was increased by over 300% and utility tariffs


went up over 100%. When the same TUC is ready to go on strike over an 80%


increase in tariffs, one can see the NPP at work. The number of doctors and


teachers strike, as well as strikes by CLOSSAG and other identifiable bodies


that have rocked Ghana from since the NDC came into government in 2008 are


clear manifestations of how the NPP is able to manipulate these bodies against


the government of the day. However, the ordinary man has long ago wised up to


this anachronistic tactics. They know what the opposition NPP really want when


they shout themselves hoarse that they are fighting for the ordinary man. That


Ghana’s


opposition is still resorting to such inferior tactics which no longer jells


with the ordinary man is going to help JM to succeed.


6. INTERNATIONAL


GOODWILL


In an era when the world has become a global


village, the International Community plays a role in local politics.


President Mahama undoubtedly has a lot of goodwill


in the international arena which he can count on to shape local politics. For


instance, while the opposition were challenging his legitimacy in court,


England, France and Japan, extended invitations to him to pay official visits

to their respective countries. Obviously, this move by these powerful countries


was to send signals to the international business community that they back him


and his government. U.S President Barack Obama was on record as being one of


the first Presidents to congratulate JM after he won the Presidential elections


in December last year. The high esteem his colleagues on the West Coast of


Africa hold him in has been demonstrated severally. JM has a lot going for him


internationally and this would help him succeed as President.


5. HIGH


LIKABILITY RATE


To say most Ghanaians like JM is an understatement.


Even as a Minister of state, he was voted the most loved politician by opinion


polls conducted by some media houses. His high likeability rate helped Prof.


Mills a lot to clinch victory in the 2008 elections after his partnership with


Martin Amidu and Mohammed Mumuni failed to get him the Presidency in 2000 and


2004. In the 2012 elections, the love Ghanaians have for John was demonstrated


by the fact that he managed to overcome Akufo Addo’s populists offer of Free


SHS to the electorate to win at the polls. Akufo Addo, with JM’s high


likability rate, must be flattered that he lost by about 360,000 votes only.


JM’s high likeability rate among Ghanaians will


definitely help to succeed as many are likely to exercise patience with him


till his policies begin to bear fruit. With a high likability rate among


Americans, in spite of the economic difficulties, President Barak Obama went


ahead to win the 2012 elections.


4.


VISIONARY LEADERSHIP AT GIPC


There is no doubt that one area where JM has to


succeed is in the area of job creation. There are thousands of Ghanaians who


are unemployed and desperately seeking for jobs. Job creation should therefore


be among JM’s main areas of concern.


One of the vehicles through which he can create jobs


is the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). The Centre is tasked with


wooing foreign and local investors into the Ghanaian economy. Investors create


jobs. A GIPC that is active will therefore create jobs. Under Mawuenam Trebarh’s


leadership, the GIPC has shown the will to woo investors into the Ghanaian

economy. Already, Singapore has taken the lead to establish an office in Accra


to direct Asian businesses to Ghana, thanks to GIPC effort. If theis trend


continues, and jobs are created, JM will be on course to telling its own


success stories.


3.


HARDWORK


When President Mahama’s campaign Team unveiled one


of his adverts in the run-up to the 2012 elections with the slogan “working for


you”, many did not understand the idea


behind it. However, ten months into his Presidency, JM has shown that his


intention of becoming President is to use hard work to better the lot of


Ghanaians. Seeing him go about his duties, especially at the height of the


energy crises, market fires and doctor’s strike was just a marvel. No wonder,


he has been able to overcome these major monsters in a short time and at a time


his legitimacy was being challenged.


Hard work will definitely reap JM success.


2.


CALM DISPOSITION


JM has shown that he is not ruffled by any challenge,


within and without his party and government. Many a President would have


flipped if they were in his shoes at the time his legitimacy as President was


being challenged in court, doctors and other professional bodies were on


strike, the energy crises was at its peak and the market fires were on. But JM


never flipped. He never showed any emotion. He remained calm, pensive sometimes


but generally with a smile on his face. This is an attribute of a good leader.


His demeanor calms the nerves of his people. He is able to keep the ship of


state calm in the midst of turbulent waters. Such leadership qualities are


lacking in many leaders. At the height of crises, they flip and take populist


decisions or go after opponents. JM is cool. A leader with such nerve is able


to think properly and take correct decisions.


1.


MEDIA


Generally, the media in Ghana are anti-NDC. This anti-NDC


stance has naturally seen JM being demonized, especially on radio. The new

craze is the concoction of stories about him in the social media by NPP


activists. The anti-NDC stance which now seeks to create a devil out of JM as


it sought to create out of Jerry Rawlings and Prof. Mills often lures the NPP


into a false sense of victory because


they think people believe what these anti-NDC media houses opine. But ordinary


folks long ago stopped trusting these media houses. They recognize that all the


noise they make is just to score cheap political points for the NPP. It accounted


for the NPP’s loss in 2008 and 2012 even though they had about eighty per cent


of the press backing them with presenters especially in the twi language


shouting themselves hoarse, deceiving themselves that they are impressing the


people. With a noisy press that has long ceased to be trusted, JM is bound to


succeed because the wild allegations against him will just be the opposition


press tickling themselves and laughing.


CHALLENGES


Obviously, President Mahama’s psychological make-up


and other factors are going to help him to succeed. But it is not going to be


smooth sailing for obvious reasons.


Firstly, the President has got to find a way of


ensuring that the men and women around him do not short change him. It is


natural to have one or two not being up to scratch. Even some among the 12


Jesus Christ appointed as his apostles were found wanting. But in the main, the


majority must share in the President’s vision, eschew arrogance and


ostentatious lifestyles and help him achieve his goals.


Another challenge JM may face is from within the NDC.


The NDC has a way of pressing the self-destruct button. But, it is important


for NDC supporters to always remember ex-President Kufuor’s admonishment that


“being a messenger in government is better than being a General Secretary in


opposition.”


The President’s ability to confront corruption, no


matter who is involved, will also be key in determining his success.


In the main, JM has all it takes to succeed. He has


already demonstrated it. With all shoulders to the wheel, he will make it easy


for the NDC to clinch more victories after he steps down in 2020!

Columnist: Dailypost