There was absolutely nothing baffling when the vast majority of the NDC Delegates overwhelmingly threw their support behind Ex-President John Dramani Mahama in the NDC’s 2019 flagbearership race.
We cannot also stand accused of harbouring an inborn predilection for suggesting somewhat passionately that there are not many patriotic Ghanaians who will gleefully shrill and thrill over the return of Ex-President Mahama with the exception of the diehard supporters who probably laid hands on big chunks of the national cake, ostensibly, shared unequally by the former president.
Obviously, the Mahama’s praise singing bandwagon never experienced the harsh socio-economic standards of living their ‘redeemer’ Mahama wilfully brought upon the nation. So, what do you expect? They will definitely clamour for the return of the spoon that over fed them.
If you may recall, during the NDC’s 2019 flagbearership contest, the other potential presidential aspirants emitted vehemently and inexorably that former President Mahama was the main reason why NDC lost the 2016 election.
Unsurprisingly, however, the multitude of concerned supporters within the NDC were in solidarity with the then aspiring flagbearers.
The aggrieved supporters uncompromisingly ventilated their illimitable indignations over the comeback of former President Mahama.
Bizarrely, while the sceptics were insisting that Mahama was not up to the task during his tenure in office and must therefore be replaced with a much more capable flagbearer, the Mahama loyalists were moving heaven and earth to have him back as the party’s next presidential candidate.
To be quite honest, some of us are struggling to get our heads around how and why anyone with reflective thinking prowess could aim accusing fingers at the critics for insisting that Mahama kept his eyes off the prize, and therefore does not warrant another chance at the presidency.
Let us be honest, in as much as former President Mahama commands some respect among the NDC foot soldiers and a section of ordinary Ghanaians, the sceptics could not be far from right for being doubtful over Mahama’s 2020 electoral chances.
Given the circumstances, it came as no surprise to some of us at all when a group of organisers within the opposition NDC beseeched the National Executives of the party to allow Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin to go unopposed in the party’s 2019 flagbearership contest (See: Alban Bagbin must go unopposed – NDC organisers; ghananewsagency.org/ghanaweb.com, 12/03/2018).
“So many people in the party feel Hon. Bagbin is the best person to lead us into 2020 and the reasons are pretty clear: he is the exact contrast to former President John Mahama in the matter of marketability and yet retains the Northern extraction that will satisfy the need to have a Northerner complete an eight-year mandate.”
Back then, the spokesperson for the group insisted forcefully that since corruption would be a key campaign theme in 2020, and the fact that former President Mahama administration had issues with corruption, Ghanaian voters would be forced to reject him if he was to be elected as the next flagbearer.
In fact, it is not only the aggrieved NDC organisers who have been expressing concerns about the corruption in the erstwhile Mahama administration.
Somewhere last year, the NDC founder and the former president of Ghana, J. J. Rawlings, audaciously came out and disclosed that the corruption in the Mahama administration was so pervasive to the extent that a former NDC minister licentiously bought two luxurious mansions worth at a staggering $3 million from an estate agent in Accra shortly after the Mahama’s government exited power (see: ‘NDC minister grabs two mansions’; dailyguidenetwork.com, 12/06/2018).
And more so prior to the NDC’s 2019 flagbearership contest, the Honourable Bagbin, the MP for Nadoli Kaleo and a contestant of the NDC’s presidential race, attributed the humiliating defeat of Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 general elections to bad governance (See: ‘Mahama's boys bought V8, built mansions in 4 years – Bagbin; myjoyonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 19/08/2018).
Mr Bagbin was reported to have lamented: “Don’t tell me that the boys that suddenly came closer to the president within four years can build mansions and buy land cruisers and you say there are no resources, where are they getting the money, their salaries?”
The crucial question however is: is former President Mahama the only capable leader in the NDC?
In fact, I will not be surprised a bit if the teeming supporters of the other potential presidential aspirants revolt againstMahama during the 2020 general elections as the NDC hierarchy would want us to believe it happened in the 2016 election.
To be quite honest, some of us are struggling to get our heads around how and why any real patriot would seek the return of someone who disastrously collapsed the country’s economy to the detriment of the poor and the disadvantaged Ghanaians.
So the Mahama loyalists would want us into believing that every single Ghanaian was oblivious to the happenings in the country prior to the 2016 general elections?
The fact of the matter is that the diehard NDC supporters were living in a denial about the harsh economic conditions prior to the 2016 general elections.
Back then, the vast majority of Ghanaians struggled to make a living or eke out an income. The dreadful errors in decision-making, the incompetence and the unbridled corruption culminated in untold economic hardships.
In fact, one cannot help but to agree with those who insist that former President Mahama lacks effective leadership skills.
The sceptics however argue that it was due to former President Mahama’s poor leadership qualities that a GH9.5 billion debt in 2009 rocketed to an incredible GH122.4 billion in just eight years.
Besides, the critics have been maintaining that former President Mahama’s dreadful errors in decision-making accounted for Ghana’s economic downslide.
Take, for example, Ghana’s GDP shrunk from $47 billion to $40 billion in just five years.
Somehow, Ex-President Mahama’s decision-making came under sharp scrutiny when he abysmally dragged an economic growth of around 14% in 2011 to a nauseating 3.4% as of December 2016.
It is also true that the NDC administration moved a gallon of petrol from GH3.69 in 2009 (Ghanabusinessnews.com/energypedia.info, 06/01/2009) to around GH18.00 in January 2017(See: Fuel prices increase by about 11%; cityfmonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 05/01/2017).
If you may recollect, former President Kufuor left the currency exchange rate at around GH1.20 to 1 U.S Dollar in 2009 and the NDC administration dragged it to GH4.20 to 1 U.S Dollar by December 2016.
The critics would thus argue vehemently that former President Mahama and his government’s woeful errors in judgement and alleged corrupt practices resulted in excessive public spending, less efficient tax system , needless high public deficit and destabilization of national budgets, heightened capital flight and the creation of perverse incentives that stimulated income-seeking rather than productive activities.
By and large, the critics insist that former President Mahama’s government remains the worst ever in the history of Ghanaian politics.
However, the loyalists of former President Mahama are ridiculously holding on to a phantom hope that they could bring Ex-President Mahama to recapture power in 2020.
Well, some of us are not in a position to offer any advice to Mahama and his teeming supporters, but all that we could venture to state is that, judging from the harsh economic conditions Ghanaians experienced during Mahama’s coarse administration, it will take a miracle for discerning Ghanaians to easily forgive and vote Ex-President Mahama in 2020.
Given the massive economic mess under his watch, Ex-President Mahama should do the right thing by eating humble pie and apologise to the good people of Ghana for wilfully messing up the previously favourable economy.
Dearest reader, tell me, how can former President Mahama stand in front of the good people of Ghana to solicit for their votes in 2020 if he cannot see the need to beg discerning Ghanaians for forgiveness for woefully dragging the 14% economic growth in 2011 to a disappointing 3.4% by December 2016?
Does former President Mahama really believe that he can manage the economy again when he needlessly raised Ghana’s debt from GH9.5 billion in 2009 to an incredible GH122.4 billion by December 2016 with a little to show for?
The good people of Ghana cannot so soon forget and forgive former President Mahama for the business crippling dumsor in the last five years of the erstwhile NDC administration.
Regrettably, however, in his desperation to solve the problem, Mahama administration ambivalently sign a superfluous ‘Take or Pay’ Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs) in which Ghana is needlessly paying over $600 million per year for extra power we do not need.
By gleefully signing the excessive Power Purchasing Agreements and entering into ‘Take or Pay’ deal, Ghanaian consumers are unfairly being forced to pay exorbitant electricity tariffs as a result of the Mahama government’s negligence.
If anything at all, former President Mahama should stop taking Ghanaians for granted and ask for forgiveness for terribly collapsing the Agricultural sector by reducing the growth from 7.4% in 2012 to a miserable 2.9% by December 2016.
If former President Mahama really wants to lead the country again, then he should render an unqualified apology to the good people of Ghana for shrinking Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion in 2011 to $40 billion by December 2016.
Who says that discerning Ghanaians have forgiven former President Mahama for recklessly giving out large portions of Ghana’s scarce resources to parasitic creatures?
Former President Mahama should, as a matter of urgency, apologise to discerning Ghanaians for unjustifiably giving apologists like Madam Akua Donkor of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) two four wheel drive cars and a luxury bungalow (estimated to cost a staggering $470,000) for no work done.
Why must discerning Ghanaians trust Ex-President Mahama again when he flagrantly gave away 58% of Ghana’s bauxite to his cronies on 29th December 2016, just a little over one week before exiting power?
In fact, former President Mahama should do the honest thing by apologising on behalf of his brother Ibrahim Mahama for egregiously evading import taxes to the tune of GH12 million during his tenure in office.
So former President Mahama thinks that Ghanaians have forgiven and forgotten the purported GH800 million dubious judgment debt payments, including the GH51.2 million to Woyome, $30 million to the Waterville and $325,000 to Isofoton which resulted in the drastic reduction of capital expenditure?
How can discerning Ghanaians be so sure that the alleged misapplied loan facility of $200million which was supposed to provide around 5000 affordable housing units and only provided just under 1500 housing units will not happen again in Mahama’s second term in office?
Is former President Mahama not concerned about the wilful misappropriation of a $175 million loan facility secured in 2012 which was meant to provide seven district hospitals and the NDC hierarchy misapplied on the blind side of Ghanaians?
To be quite honest, some of us would be extremely surprised if Ex-President Mahama failed to beg Ghanaians for forgiveness before 2020 general elections for surreptitiously diverting $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.
Well, former President Mahama should not think that Ghanaians still suffer from chronic memory loss and therefore cannot recall the over GH200 million SADA funds invested on trees which were reported to have burnt down to ashes and the guinea fowls miraculously flew to the nearby Burkina Faso without a trace. How bizarre?
Even though a competent court of jurisdiction has convicted and sentenced two former NDC officials over the embezzled GYEEDA funds meant to provide suitable employment for the youth of Ghana, former President Mahama must apologise to Ghanaians for superintending over such a mess.
Last but not least, former President Mahama definitely owes discerning Ghanaians an unconditional apology over the scandalous Bus Branding, the Brazil World Cup, SUBA, SSNIT, NCA, MASLOC, and the Ford Expedition Vehicle, amongst others.
From the look of things, unless former President Mahama decides to render an unqualified apology, the good people of Ghana will continue to ventilate their arousing disgust over his terrible errors in decision-making which culminated in harsh socio-economic standards of living.
K. Badu, UK.