Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress NDC, John Dramani Mahama has described the presidency as “stressful” and a venture he would rather forgo and spend more time with his family if he had his own way.
Speaking at the said Business School of the Oxford University in the UK last Friday at the school’s Distinguished Speaker Seminar in collaboration with African Studies Centre, he said he would rather live a life of less protocol and formality if he never became a President, but the exigencies of the office do not permit so.
Asked why he still wants to become president, he said he tried all his best to rest and continuing serving his country as a statesman but members of his party kept pressurizing him to put himself up for the post.
“No it’s stressful; I’m serious. If you really come to the presidency to work, you don’t get a night’s sleep; my hair was jet black …. I mean; so I’m looking forward to spending time with my family, a more easy life, I’m a very private person, I like my privacy”, he said amid laughter when he was asked about how nice it must be to be president.
On presidential courtesies and other protocol, the former president said, “once you get to office, all the protocol; I don’t like too much protocol; where you must sit, where you must pass, security and all that, it can be a bit stressful”.
“I had hoped that my party will select somebody else, but try as I did, the insistence was that I should run again; I believe in public service; I believe that if you have the talent and you have the ability, you must place your talent at the disposal of your nation and so I didn’t think it was right for me to deprive my party of my services if they really wanted it”, he said in justification of his decision to run for the presidency again.
On the issue of vigilantism and his recent “boot for boot” comment, he admitted that he went overboard and indicated that he would rather have a peaceful election process than to clash with his political opponents.
He accused the government of recruiting party militia into the national security setup, thereby resulting in the eyesore that marred the beauty of the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye election in January this year.