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Opinions Thu, 23 Jul 2020

The similarities and differences between President Nana Akufo-Addo and Former President John Mahama

Fellow Ghanaians, may you please be aware of my observations about His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and former President John Dramani Mahama. It is just right that I disclose my honest opinions formed about these two personalities as concluded from my practical observations of both of them. The observations will be revealed in a contrasting manner.

Let me first start from the similarities between these two individuals. Both Nana Akufo-Addo and John Mahama are Ghanaians. They have had the chance to become the First Gentlemen, thus leaders, of Ghana. They are both Ghana and foreign educated individuals. Their fathers were politicians and like father like son, they have themselves become not only politicians but political party leaders. They are both married men with children.

Both of them have a degree of question mark on how they use Meritocracy, Pragmatism and Honesty (MPH) in their style of governance. Without ruthless adherence to MPH, building a successful economy in one's country will fail, if not take unnecessarily many years.

The differences between these two individuals are very striking, and stand in stark contrast to some public perceptions. That is what will be appealing to many a Ghanaian, guide them when making an informed decision or choice between who is a preferred or a more credible candidate to rule Ghana and who is not.

Nana Akufo-Addo is a septuagenarian in his mid 70s born in the Gold Coast era. John Mahama is threescore old, born after Gold Coast being granted independence and renamed Ghana. Therefore, John is a Ghana born.

Nana Akufo-Addo is very visionary, selfless and has the collective interests of Ghanaians at heart. Subsequently, he has implemented policies and programmes tailored towards developing the human resource base of Ghana, boosting the health and safety of Ghanaians, the desired foundation for building a strong and prosperous economy and nation. John Mahama is a short-sighted personality, selfish and lacks the ability and capability to initiate programmes and policies sound enough to engender the economic and human development of Ghana.

Nana Akufo-Addo thought of the need to acquire many, if not all, Ghanaian youth of school-going age, knowledge, through formal education. It is through formal education with its attendant intelligence that a country can excel prosperously in this competitive world that we live. Subsequently, he made it his campaign policy since year 2012 to introduce a free Senior High School education in Ghana. He has kept faith with his promise and introduced a free Senior High School education in Ghana since September 2017, after a few months into winning the 2016 presidential election.

John Mahama, on the other hand, had been attacking the free SHS policy since year 2012, organising an array of TV and radio campaign advertisements to rubbish the policy, although he had himself enjoyed free education from elementary to the tertiary level to acquiring his Masters degree. He plans to cancel the free SHS education through his avowed determination to review the free SHS policy were he to win election 2020.

Nana Akufo-Addo knows that a soldier walks on his stomach. A country teeming with hungry people cannot prosper. The health and safety of the citizens is paramount in any attempt to realise economic development for a nation. Following from that, he has implemented the agricultural policy of "Planting for Food and Jobs" by which Ghana is now gradually becoming self-sufficient in food production. John Mahama never dreamt about the need for Ghana to be self-sufficient in her food requirements let alone, introducing or implementing a vibrant agricultural policy.

Nana Akfufo-Addo is very focused and consistent with his beliefs e.g. he said the Ghana electoral register is bloated so a more credible one must be made. He, with his NPP party continually agitated for a new electoral roll to be made, piling pressure on Mrs Charlotte Osei, then Chair of the Electoral Commission. Since about year 2013, John Mahama has been saying the Electoral Commission must be left alone to do their work since they are independent and constitutionally mandated so. However, he has been threatening the current Chair of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Mensah with brimstone and fire, should she compile a new voter register. Now, he doesn't see the Electoral Commission as an independent body to be left alone to do its job. What a nasty hypocrite he is!

Nana Akufo-Addo thinks about the collective welfare of Ghanaians hence implementing policies and programmes meant for all. However, John Mahama thinks only about his party interests and about winning power hence buying cars and building houses for chiefs, some pastors, some journalists, some women, some crooks who can insult and attack his political opponents. What a myopic leader he is!

While Nana Akufo-Addo refers his government appointees suspected by the public of wrongdoing to appropriate bodies to investigate them, John Mahama just moved his publicly acclaimed or perceived corrupt government appointees from one ministry to the other or reassigned them to the presidency. While Nana Akufo-Addo punishes perpetrators of crime, John Mahama rather promoted them and gave them a tap on their back or shoulder.

John Mahama unconstitutionally sought to, and awarded, about 75% of the Nyinahini bauxite deposit, to his younger brother who was evading import duties levied on his imported goods into the country by issuing dud cheques in payment. However, Nana Akufo-Addo resorted to the constitution to abrogate the dodgy contract awarding the Nyinahini bauxite deposit to John Mahama's younger sibling, and by Nana Akufo-Addo's mere shadow compelled John Mahama's brother to pay up the import duties he owed.

While Nana Akufo-Addo is wise not to insult, and listens to the voice of the public, John Mahama is fond of insulting and disrespecting the Ghanaian electorate hence self-claiming to be "Mr Yentie Obiaa" and "Mr Dead Goat"

Nana Akufo-Addo has created jobs for the youth through NABCO and continues to exploit ways to create more jobs for the nation's unemployed. He took Ghana out of the constraints of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). John Mahama did not create any jobs but took Ghana to the IMF and accepted all their harsh conditionality.

John Mahama has the difficulty answering the straightforward question put to him as to whether or not he is corrupt. He fumbles whenever the question is posed to him. Nana Akufo-Addo easily and quickly answers, I am not corrupt when the same question is put to him.

Many more will come in the following days so please, stay tuned.
Columnist: Rockson Adofo
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