Opinions of Fri, 24 Aug 201892
On Mahama’s second coming: Why he can never be president again
The official announcement by Ex-President Mahama on Thursday 23rd August 2018 to contest the NDC’s forthcoming flagbearership race has received mixed reactions from Ghanaians.
While the Mahama loyalists are jumping for joy, the Mahama thoughtful critics, many of whom are inside and outside NDC, have been shrieking, grumbling and nagging over his anticipated comeback.
Well, given the harsh socio-economic standards of living under his watch, I am not least surprised that even some concerned supporters within the NDC are expressing their arousing disgust over former President Mahama’s decision to join the NDC’s 2020 flagbearership race.
Ghana under the erstwhile Mahama administration, as a matter of fact, went into throes of economic collapse amid harsh socio-economic standards of living.
Let us be true to ourselves, never before had we witnessed so much scheming guiles, sleazes, corruption and unobjectionable incompetence by an elected government.
With all due respect, it would be boundlessly unconscionable for anybody to suggest that to err is human and therefore the insensitive Ex-President Mahama must be given another chance so soon to come and mess up the economy.
It is, therefore, quite bizarre that the Mahama loyalists who are currently enjoying uninterrupted electricity, low inflation, tax and utility tariffs reductions, favourable economic growth, gargantuan savings on free SHS amongst others, are squeamishly clamouring for the return of Ex-President Mahama and their beloved NDC, who wilfully brought irrevocable miseries upon the people of Ghana.
Interestingly, however, the other potential presidential aspirants of the NDC’s 2020 flagbearership race and their teeming supporters have been emitting somewhat vehemently that former President Mahama was the main reason why NDC lost the 2016 election.
Somehow, multitude of concerned and cogitative supporters within the NDC are in solidarity with the aspiring flagbearers. They have been ventilating their illimitable indignation over the anticipated comeback of former President Mahama.
Bizarrely, however, while the reflective sceptics are insisting that Mahama was not up to the task during his tenure in office and must thus be replaced with a capable flagbearer, the Mahama loyalists are moving heaven and earth to have him back as the party’s next presidential candidate.
To be quite honest, I am struggling to get my head around how and why anyone could aim accusing fingers at the level-headed sceptics for insisting that Mahama kept his eyes off the prize, and therefore does not warrant another chance at the presidency.
Indeed, some disengaged brassbound NDC followers do not wish to see Mahama as their next flagbearer.
If you may recall, the courageous George Boateng was ready to unseat Ex-President Mahama during the 2016 NDC’s flagbearership’s contest. However, the party apparatchiks controversially blocked George Boateng’s presidential ambitions.
But despite the undemocratic and somewhat unfair disqualification of the unwearied George Boateng, his loyal supporters and the other disgruntled NDC delegates went ahead and voted against Ex-President Mahama, who bizarrely failed to convince nearly 6% of the delegates. As a matter of fact, the unhappy 6% of the delegates voted for “MR Zero”. How bizarre?
Apparently, the aggrieved NDC Party supporters action did not end at the presidential race, but they rather took their protest to the 2016 general elections.
More disturbingly, the unhappy NDC supporters uncharacteristically withdrew their support for Mahama, which resulted in the humiliating defeat in the 2016 general elections.
Given the circumstances, I would like to believe that it is going to be extremely difficult for the disengaged NDC Party supporters to forgive Ex-President Mahama over his catastrophic errors in judgement.
The fact of the matter is that not every single Ghanaian was oblivious to the happenings in the country prior to the 2016 general elections. Let us however 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.
We could, therefore, argue that the diehard supporters of Mahama 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.
And, despite the apparent harsh socio-economic standards of living back then, President Mahama and his vociferous apologists kept trumpeting their vague rhetoric , political gimmicks and meaningless slogans: ‘Mahama Tuaso’; ‘We care for you’; ‘people matter, you matter’; ‘we are transforming lives’.
Given the circumstances back then, I do not want to believe that anyone could have convinced the disappointed Ghanaians to forgive Mahama’s government over the dubious judgement debt payment of GH51.2 million to Woyome and other corrupt practices.
Indeed, the NDC clamorous communicators could not have solicited votes from Ghanaians who were extremely aggrieved about President Mahama’s freebies to Madam Akua Donkor of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) of two four wheel drive cars and a luxury bungalow (estimated to cost a staggering $470,000) for no work done.
Let us admit, though, no one would have listened to the NDC’s electioneering campaigners when no meaningful efforts were put in place to retrieve the monies in the following scandalous corruption cases:
• The dubious Embraer 190 aircrafts deal which prompted former President Mills to set up a Committee to investigate the then Vice President Mahama.
• The $300 million bill we incurred on the unsuccessful STS housing deal which was spearheaded by the then Vice President John Dramani Mahama.
• The bizarre GH800 million judgement debt payments over the last eight years.
• The inexplicable $30 million judgement debt payment to Waterville which the Supreme Court of Ghana ruled as unconstitutional and ordered the NDC government to retrieve, but to no avail.
• The wrongful $25 million judgement debt payment to ISOFOTON, which the NDC government has failed to retrieve despite the Supreme Court’s order.
• The scandal (create, loot and share) at the National Service Secretariat which cost Ghana millions of Ghana Cedis.
• The SADA scandal which deprived the people of the Northern Region millions of Cedis meant for development.
• The SUBA scandal which cost Ghana millions of Cedis meant for the improvement of the economy.
• The GYEEDA corruption scandal which deprived the youth of Ghana millions of Cedis meant for the creation of jobs.
• The amount of $250 million from the Euro bond which was meant for infrastructural development but lodged surreptitiously in an unauthorised bank account.
• Inflated costs of infrastructural projects (the former Minister for Local Government, Collins Dauda raised concerns).
Well, the crucial question one may ask the Mahama faithful is: how is former President Mahama going to persuade the aggrieved Ghanaians in 2020 to change their mind over the GH9.5 billion debt former President Kufuor left in 2009 and Mahama abysmally raised it to an incredible GH122.4 billion with a little to show for?
Trust me, it will be easier for ‘a camel to go through the eye of a needle’ than for Mahama to convince unhappy Ghanaians to forgive him, when his administration woefully shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion to $37 billion in five years.
How would the Mahama supporters expect discerning Ghanaians to give Mahama another chance at the presidency when his government terribly dragged an economic growth of around 14 per cent in 2011 to a nauseating 3.7 per cent as of December 2016?
The Mahama loyalists must accept the fact that discerning Ghanaians could not have forgotten the dreadful errors in judgement which culminated in economic hardships amid the unbridled business crippling ‘dumsor’.
In ending, the Mahama faithful should take a deep introspection and accept the fact that the vast majority of aggrieved Ghanaians voted against the NDC in the 2016 election due to the incompetence, the unbridle corruption and the unresolved business crippling dumsor which brought about harsh economic conditions.
K. Badu, UK.