General News of Tue, 23 Jan 201836

'Mahama's era belongs to history's dustbins' – Lord Hamah

The era of former President John Mahama is over and consigned to the dustbin, a youth activist of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Lord Hamah, has said.

“We need to come to terms with one fact: the JM era now finds its deserved place in the dustbins of history,” Mr Hamah wrote on Facebook.

In his view, Mr Mahama’s presidential career “cannot be resurrected”.

Mr Mahama has not said yet if he will run for the presidency again.

If he decides to, however, Mr Mahama will be facing competition from others within his party who have expressed interest in becoming NDC flagbearer for the 2020 elections.

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They include Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof Joshua Albai; former CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Sylvester Mensah and former Minister of Trade and Industry Ekwow Spio-Garbrah.

So far, Mr Bagbin and Mr Mensah have been vocal against the Mahama era.

Mr Mensah, for instance, is in good company with Mr Hamah’s sentiments. “At the time he [Mahama] burst onto the political scene, he was the best for our party and for this country and he played his role. But we have gotten to a completely new era that requires a completely new set of [leaders],” he said on current affairs programme, The Hard Truth, on the Joy News channel (MultiTV) last week.

Within the same week, Mr Bagbin also said Mr Mahama is responsible for the defeat of the NDC in the 2016 elections, saying: “We gave him [Mr Mahama] the opportunity and we saw the end results – we lost with a record over one million votes.”

Mr Bagbin said Mr Mahama “came out as a good leader to admit that it was his fault because throughout his governance, he kept on reminding us that he was the captain and that the buck stops with him.

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“It’s the same thing – the good things that we did are credited to him, and, so, you don’t just take the assets, you also take the liabilities, so, he is mainly responsible for our loss.

“You lead, we follow, and, so, at the end of the day, when you mislead us, you cannot go and say that it’s somebody who has rather misinformed you to mislead us, no, because you take the decision; that is what leadership is about,” Mr Bagbin told Joy News’ Gifty Andoh Appiah in an interview.

In March 2017, Mr Mahama asked critics within his party to directly hold him responsible for the NDC’s defeat.

“The cause of our loss is multifaceted,” he told his former appointees at a meeting on 28 March, adding that those going on air to blame fellow party members and specific members of his administration for the defeat must redirect those accusations at him, since he led the party into the elections.

“Of course, as the General who led us into battle, I take ultimate responsibility for our losing the election, and so if it will satisfy those people, blame me for the loss,” Mr Mahama said.

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At the same meeting, Mr Mahama said the loss notwithstanding, his government made “monumental” achievements, of which members of the NDC must be proud.

“I believe that you must hold your heads high because that government did a lot for this country and I believe that posterity will be the judge eventually,” Mr Mahama said.

“We did a lot to improve infrastructure of the country and often infrastructure is a thing people take for granted. It is possible to be in the opposition and criticise. We should not feel depressed or ashamed,” he urged the ex-appointees, saying “our service in government was outstanding.”

“We must continue to defend that legacy of that government,” he added, saying there was the need to “regroup, refocus and go back into battle.”

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