Opinions of Sat, 13 Apr 201912

Who else caused NDC’s 2016 defeat apart from His Excellency Ex-President Mahama?

The terrible errors in decision-making regrettably 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 stimulate income-seeking rather than productive activities.

Unbridled sleazes, wanton corruption, and unpardonable incompetence ineffaceably stenciled on the mental sheets of discerning Ghanaians, who fretted thy souls with disappointments and curses and waited patiently for an opportune time to show the Mahama government the exit.

But despite the overwhelming doubts over Mahama’s suitability to lead the country again, the NDC Delegates gleefully gave Mahama the nod of affirmation to lead the party to the 2020 general elections.

The all-important question the vast majority of Ghanaians have been asking following former President Mahama’s 2019 NDC’s flagbearership election is: “can the NDC’s Messiah take us to the promise land?”

Leading to the NDC’s 2020 flagbearership race, several prominent NDC members came out and expressed grave concerns over Ex-President Mahama’s decision to join the contest.

In fact, stalwarts like Nunoo Mensah, Kojo Yankah, Ambassador Osei, amongst others suggested to Mahama to rescind his apparent weird decision.

The NDC stalwarts concerns, however, stemmed from the fact that Ghanaians rejected former President Mahama massively in the 2016 election and therefore it will be politically suicidal for anyone to clamour for his return.

The likes of Mr Bagbin, the MP for Nadoli Kaleo and the Mahama’s competitor for the just ended NDC’s flagbearership race, attributed the humiliating defeat of Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 general elections to bad governance amid wanton corruption (See: ‘Mahama's boys bought V8, built mansions in 4 years – Bagbin; myjoyonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 19/08/2018).

Back then, Mr Bagbin was reported to have quizzed: “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 other contestants of the NDC’s 2019 flagbearership race emitted vehemently that former President Mahama was the main reason NDC lost the 2016 election.

Unsurprisingly, however, a multitude of supporters within the NDC were in solidarity with the concerned presidential aspirants.

The concerned supporters had been dreading the talk of former President Mahama returning as the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer.

So it came as no surprise 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 just ended flagbearership contest (See: Alban Bagbin must go unopposed – NDC organisers; ghananewsagency.org/ghanaweb.com, 12/03/2018).

Back then, the spokesperson for the group, insisted somewhat 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.

Even though the loyalists of the other presidential aspirants held the preponderance of the argument about former President Mahama’s unsuitability for the 2020 flagbearership position, the diehard supporters have somehow succeeded in their quest to have him as their presidential candidate.

It would, therefore, appear that the vast majority of the NDC loyalists are living in a denial about former President Mahama’s unpopularity and hence choosing him over the other presidential aspirants.

It is also quite ironic that despite Mahama’s unpardonable coarse governance which brought about his humiliating defeat in the 2016 election, the Mahama loyalists are holding an elusive hope that they can present him and recapture power from NPP in 2020.

Nevertheless, some of us do not envision former President Mahama’s imminent return to the presidency, judging from his dreadful errors in decision-making which brought about the massive economic collapse.

Let us face it, though, the unbridled corruption, the arrogance of power and the irreversible incompetence which culminated in economic collapse are still fresh in the memories of discerning Ghanaians.

Unfortunately, however, the brassbound Mahama loyalists do not want to acknowledge the fact that Ghana’s economy was in such a terrible state because a large portion of the country’s scarce resources went down the drain through mismanagement and the wanton sleazes and corruption perpetrated by the officials of the erstwhile Mahama administration.

Thus, discerning Ghanaians cannot so soon forget the harsh economic conditions the Mahama government wilfully imposed on them. Indeed, those sad memories will long be stencilled on the mental sheets of discerning Ghanaians.

The crucial question one may ask the brassbound Mahama supporters is: where is the justification about former President Mahama’s ability to steer Ghana to the right direction when a GH9.5 billion debt former President Kufuor left in 2009 rocketed to an incredible GH122.4 billion in just eight years?

How can the diehard supporters convince some of us about former President Mahama’s capability to lead Ghana again when he woefully shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion to $37 billion in five years?

How could Mahama supporters justify former President Mahama’s suitability to lead the nation again when he abysmally dragged an economic growth of around 14 per cent in 2011 to a squeamish 3.6 per cent as of December 2016?

If you may recall, following the NDC’s 2016 humiliating election defeat, the party leadership set up a 13-member committee, presided by former Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Professor Kwesi Botchwey with the sole mandate of travelling to the length and breadth of the country to interact with the grassroot supporters and investigate the causes of the historic defeat and put forward recommendations accordingly.

Credible sources have it that the Botchwey Committee’s report indicted former President Mahama, the NDC’s 2016 flagbearer as the main cause of NDC’s humiliating defeat.

The report is alleged to have put the blame at the doorsteps of former President Mahama for blatantly ignoring party structures and happily mingling with the likes of Madam Akua Donkor during the 2016 electioneering campaign.

The Kwesi Botchwey Committee’s report is alleged to have suggested that any future flagbearer of the party must, as a matter of principle, work collaboratively with the party structures by bringing on board the national and regional executives, polling agents and those at the grassroots to assist in electioneering campaign.

The report is said to have alluded to the fact that the blatant snubbing of the grassroots, including some prominent members of the party during President Dramani Mahama’s reign largely contributed to the NDC’s election loss.

On the issue of corruption, the Botchwey Committee’s report is quoted to have stressed that the then flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, who is the incumbent President, took advantage of his well-received incorruptible descriptive label to the disadvantage of NDC’s flagbearer, former President Mahama, who was perceived to have endorsed corruption in his government.”

Interestingly, however, some aggrieved party supporters have been insisting vehemently that former President Mahama flagrantly turned a blind eye to their concerns over his needless association with ‘electioneering campaign money grabbers’.

The concerned party loyalists have since been decrying the actions and inactions of the numerous fan clubs for Mahama 2016.

As a matter of fact, there were numerous fan clubs for Mahama, among others, ‘Artists for Mahama, ‘Barbers for Mahama, Akua Donkor Ladies for Mahama, Bricklayers for Mahama, Butchers for Mahama, Mahama Ladies, Akpeteshie Sellers for Mahama, Drunkards for Mahama, Macho Men for Mahama, etc.

The aggrieved diehard NDC supporters beef stemmed from the fact that although the vast majority of the Mahama fan clubs members were novices in electioneering campaign, they were entrusted with such a responsibility regardless.

Somehow, former President Mahama’s association with the novices and the poor economic management incensed the vast majority of party faithful, who even threatened to boycott the 2016 general elections.

The NDC faithful, however, maintained that the straw that broke the camel’s back was when President Mahama strangely metamorphosed into ‘Father Christmas’ and unjustifiably gave away large portions of Ghana’s scarce resources to party apologists like Madam Akua Donkor of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), who received two four wheel drive cars and a luxury bungalow (estimated to cost a staggering $470,000) for no work done.

As a result, prior to the 2016 general elections, there were numerous disturbing publications on the rebellious NDC supporters.

“NDC Supporters Threaten To Leave Party Over Preferential Treatment Given To John Dumelo, Mr Beautiful, Tracey Boakye and co” (ghanakasa.com).

Somehow, former President Mahama is refusing to acknowledge the fact that his calamitous errors in judgement amid rampant corruption, untold economic hardships and business crippling dumsor largely contributed to his 2016 humiliating election defeat.

How can Mahama blame everyone else for his rejection by discerning Ghanaians, when his sibling Ibrahim Mahama revoltingly took advantage of his presidency and blatantly refused to pay import taxes to the tune of over GH12 million?

Why must Mahama blame innocent people for his historic defeat when he egregiously gave away 58% of Ghana’s bauxite to his sibling Ibrahim Mahama to the utter disgust of discerning Ghanaians?

How could former President Mahama fecklessly give 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, and then turn around and blame others for his historic election defeat?

Ex-President Mahama thinks Ghanaians still suffer from chronic memory loss and can keep taking everyone else for granted.

K. Badu, UK.

k.badu2011@gmail.com

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

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