Patriotic Ghanaians don’t want Mahama at the presidency again

John Dramani Mahama 1 Former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama

Wed, 13 Apr 2022 Source: Kwaku Badu

Please, in the name of God, cut the expensive jokes, patriotic Ghanaians don’t want Mahama at the presidency again

I read with an utter incredulity an opinion piece, captioned, ‘Ghanaians want back the era of John Dramani Mahama but can’t turn back the clock.

Of course, the author is absolutely right in stressing that there is an untold hardship in the country. However, the opinionist is failing to admit that the economic meltdown is rather ecumenical due to the pernicious Coronavirus, and not Ghana specific.

I have always held a firm and unadulterated conviction that discerning Ghanaians made a calamitous mistake by voting the NPP administration out in the 2008 general elections, like Ghana, as a matter of fact, and observation was heading in the right direction following the eight years of prudent governance by Ex-President Kufuor’s administration.

But in spite of all the advantageous programs and policies that put the country in a highly favorable economic position, discerning Ghanaians disastrously bought into the NDC’s propaganda and voted out the NPP administration in 2008.

Some of us were not the least surprised at all when prior to the 2020 general elections, former President Mahama owned up to the unpardonable errors in decision-making which led to the massive economic mess.

There is no denying the fact that the former President made catastrophic mistakes during his tenure in office and therefore could not steer the nation in 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 presented his pension package in 2020.

Therefore it is quite ironic that former President Mahama and his teeming supporters would move heaven and earth to reclaim the presidency given his terrible errors in judgment which led to the massive economic meltdown.

With all due respect with no attached condescension whatsoever, former President Mahama had had enough opportunity to show discerning Ghanaians his ability to steer the nation in the right direction but woefully failed to do so. So, what else does he want in the presidency?

Strangely, albeit truism, Ex-President Mahama and his NDC loyalists are moving up and down the country and scolding President Akufo-Addo who is prudently fixing the unprecedented mess left behind by the erstwhile NDC administration.

Perhaps, more than anything else, Ex-President Mahama and his teeming supporters are still holding on to the elusive belief that Ghanaians suffer from memory loss and therefore cannot recollect the revoltingly ugly events which took place under their watch.

Well, if that was not the case, what would then drive the people who brought the country to its knees through catastrophic decision-making to relentlessly accuse someone who is doing everything possible to undo the massive mess?

There is no denying or ignoring the fact that we are more often than not been electing ‘a semicircle’ of negligent and selfish officials whose only preoccupation is to sink the nation deeper and deeper into the mire through unpardonable incompetence and unbridled corruption.

Make no mistake, it is absolutely true that Ghana’s economy was in shambles under the erstwhile NDC administration and every honest critic can attest to the fact that Akufo-Addo is steadily fixing the huge mess left by the Mahama’s administration.

Therefore it is quite unfair for anyone to claim that Ghana’s economy under former President Mahama (3.4% growth and 15.4% inflation) was better than President Akufo-Addo's record before the insidious coronavirus (8.6% growth and 7.5% inflation)?

Given the harsh conditions under the erstwhile NDC administration, it is boundlessly unconscionable for the NDC loyalists to keep insisting that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration has rather messed up the economy.

Some of us, as a matter of principle, can wholly understand the NDC teeming supporters for blatantly denying the conspicuous vast improvement in the economy under the able leadership of President Akufo-Addo.

That being said, it is intellectually incoherent for any economist to gleefully back the seemingly political gimmicks being thrown about by political propagandists.

Whilst I am a stranger in the economists’ world, common sense will tell me that it is only a failed government that will go to the IMF for policy credibility.

Let us however be honest, if the erstwhile NDC administration built a solid economic foundation from 2009 to 2015, why did the government-run to the IMF for policy credibility sometime in 2015?

Where was the sound economic foundation under the NDC when 14% economic growth in 2011 dropped to 3.4% by December 2016?

How can the NDC loyalists claim excellence in economic management when single-digit inflation was dragged to 15.4% by December 2016?

What do you call a solid economic foundation when the agricultural sector recorded negative figures consistently?

Where was the favorable economic foundation when the industry sector recorded dreadful figures?

How can NDC operatives beat their chests and claim ownership of a solid economic foundation when the GDP shrunk from $47 billion in 2011 to $40 billion by December 2016?

Where was the sound economic management when the erstwhile Mahama administration spent profligately and invariably raising Ghana’s debt from $9.5 billion in 2009 to a staggering $122.4 billion by December 2016 with a little to show for it?

Where was the solid economic foundation when former President John Dramani Mahama unabashedly claimed that his administration had edaciously consumed all the meat on the bone?

The fact of the matter is that the late John Evans Atta Mills left a sound economic growth of 14% and Mahama wilfully reversed it to 3.4%; the late Mills left the agricultural growth of 7.4% and Mahama dragged it to 2.5%; the late Mills' single-digit inflation was reversed to 15.4%; GDP of $47 billion shrunk to $40 billion by Mahama.

In fact, no economist can tell us that the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration’s well-accepted policies and programs such as Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development, Rearing for Food and Jobs, One million dollar per Constituency, One District One Factory, One Dam One Village, and tax reductions have not contributed to Ghana’s favorable economic outlook.

To be quite honest, Ghana went into the throes of economic collapse due to the calamitous errors in decision-making under the leadership of Ex-President Mahama.

Take, for example, Ghana’s economic growth slowed for the fourth consecutive year to an estimated 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014 as energy rationing (dumsor), high inflation, and ongoing fiscal consolidation weighed on economic activity (World Bank, 2016).

Moreover, the high inflation rate remain elevated at 18.5% in February 2016 compared to 17.7% in February 2015, even after the Central Bank’s 500 bps policy rate hikes (the inflation stood at 15.8 percent as of October 2016).

It is worth stressing that before the insidious coronavirus, the Akufo-Addo government efficiently raised economic growth. Ghana’s economy grew provisionally by 8.5 percent in 2017 compared to 3.7 percent in 2016 (Ghana Statistical Service, 2018).

Indeed, Ghana’s economic growth, just before the pernicious coronavirus, stood at around 8.6% from 3.4% in December 2016.

Columnist: Kwaku Badu