The general consensus among discerning Ghanaians is that President Mahama and his government’s unpardonable decision-making 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.
The former president and the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, holds an unmatched record of being the first incumbent president of Ghana to be voted massively out of power in his first term in office.
It is also an open secret that former President John Dramani Mahama has held a tall list of important positions in Ghanaian political arena.
The former president began his political career, first as an assemblyman, then as a parliamentarian, a deputy minister, a substantive minister, a vice president, as an acted president, as an elected president of Ghana, and now the 2020 flagbearer of NDC.
Interestingly, on 7th December 2016, about 55.6% of the electorates expressed their disappointments in his performance as the first gentleman of the land by showing him the exit; he lost by a huge margin of over one million votes. Indeed, it was the first in the history of Ghanaian politics.
The reflective observers thus find it extremely bizarre to see the former president blissfully moving heaven and earth to reclaim power barely 36 months after being voted out of office by discerning Ghanaians due to his dreadful errors in judgement amid massive economic collapse.
Besides, observers contend that former President Mahama had had enough opportunity to show discerning Ghanaians his ability to steer Ghana to the right direction, but wilfully failed to do so and was rightly rejected by over one million electorates.
The critics would thus quiz puzzlingly: ‘what can Mahama do differently at the presidency next time around’?
What is more bizarre though, is that Ex-President Mahama and his teeming supporters are moving up and down the country and unfairly criticising President Akufo-Addo who is prudently fixing the massive mess left behind by the erstwhile Mahama administration.
The sceptics, therefore, contend that despite the unpardonable mismanagement which brought about his heavy defeat in the 2016 general elections, the former president holds a faint hope that he will bounce back and recapture the power from the NPP in 2020.
The sceptics nonetheless insist that it will rather be easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than NDC returning into power anytime soon with former President Mahama, judging from the unprecedented economic mess he left behind.
Given the circumstances back then, we can confidently conclude that the 55.6% of electorates were not happy with former President Mahama, and hence showing him the exit in the 2016 general elections.
The overarching question then is: what will make the unhappy 55.6% of electorates change their mind and repose their absolute trusts in Mahama in 2020, given the encouraging signs of auspicious economic growth under the Akufo-Addo’s leadership?
Take, for example, not long ago, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) concluded in its country report released on 13 May 2019 that Ex-President John Dramani Mahama will find it extremely difficult to convince discerning Ghanaians into accepting that he is the preferable manager of Ghana’s economy, given the country’s fairly strong economic growth under President Akufo-Addo.
The Economist Intelligence Unit could not have put it any better: Ghana is indeed heading towards a favourable economic growth under the NPP government.
In fact, under Akufo-Addo’s presidency, Ghana’s economic growth has moved from a disappointing 3.4% in December 2016 to a favourable 8.6%.
And, the previously double digit inflation (15.4% in December 2016) has been reduced drastically to around 7.6% as I write.
Given the circumstances, one cannot be far from right for suggesting that the EIU has been extremely charitable to former President Mahama for failing to make it clear that NDC would have stood a better chance in 2020 if the party Delegates had elected a different flagbearer.
Since assuming power on 7th January 2017, the Akufo-Addo’s government has rolled out numerous social intervention programmes and policies to the benefit of all Ghanaians.
There is no denying or ignoring the fact that former President Mahama made catastrophic mistakes during his time in office and therefore could not steer the nation to the right direction.
As a president, Mahama really disappointed the good people of Ghana with his laisser-faire style of leadership and the good people of Ghana rightly voted him out in 2016.
However, we have been witnessing unbridled reactive emotional responses from the diehard supporters of NDC ever since they lost the 2016 general elections to the NPP.
Some of us, as a matter of fact, cannot get our heads around how and why former President Mahama and his teeming supporters would move heaven and earth to reclaim the presidency barely 36 months after being voted out of office by discerning Ghanaians due to his terrible errors in judgement amid massive economic meltdown.
With all due respect, former President Mahama had had enough opportunity to show discerning Ghanaians his ability to steer the nation to the right direction, but woefully failed to do so. So, what else does he want at the presidency?
Perhaps more than anything else, Ex-President Mahama is still holding on to the phantom belief that Ghanaians suffer from memory loss and therefore cannot recollect the revoltingly ugly events which took place under his watch.
If that was not the case, what would then drive a president who brought the country to its knees through catastrophic decision-making to relentlessly accuse his successor who is doing everything possible to undo the massive mess?
Apparently, contending schools of thought maintain that NDC lost the 2016 election largely due to gargantuan corruption scandals (Bus branding, SADA, SUBA, GYEEDA, SSNIT, STS Housing deal, the Brazilian aircraft deal, Mahama’s Ford Expedition Vehicle, amongst others).
As a matter of fact, Ghana under the erstwhile Mahama administration went into economic meltdown which regrettably brought to pass the harsh socio-economic standards of living.
It is, therefore, quite bizarre that the NDC loyalists, who are currently enjoying uninterrupted electricity, low inflation, tax reductions, favourable economic growth, gargantuan savings on free SHS amongst others, are gleefully clamouring for the return of Ex-President Mahama and their beloved NDC.
“If you would look deeper, history is broad yet deep that binds the core existence of the world. Hence, history keeps the records of events that happened in the past.
“History is a lesson in the past but can also be the greatest regret of the future. Yet the reason why there is history is because of the events that were created by man (Hughes 2010).”
We could, therefore, argue that the diehard supporters of Mahama are living in a denial about former President Mahama’s popularity and competency.
It is absolutely true that during his calamitous administration, 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.
But despite the harsh socio-economic standards of living back then, President Mahama and his vociferous apologists kept trumpeting their vague rhetoric , political insobrieties 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 the NDC administration over the dubious judgement debt payment of GH51.2 million to Woyome and other corrupt practices.
The boisterous NDC communicators could not have solicited votes from Ghanaians who were extremely aggrieved about President Mahama’s freebies to all sort of people, including 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.
Verily, no one would have listened to the NDC’s electioneering campaigners when no meaningful efforts were put in place to stop the numerous bribery and corruption.
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 in 2020, when his administration woefully shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion to $40 billion in five years.
How would the Mahama supporters expect discerning Ghanaians to give Mahama another chance at the presidency in 2020 when his government terribly dragged an economic growth of around 14 per cent in 2011 to a nauseating 3.4 per cent as of December 2016?
The Mahama loyalists must accept the fact that discerning Ghanaians could not have forgotten the terrible errors in judgement which culminated in economic hardships amid the unbridled business crippling ‘dumsor’ for well over four years.
By and large, the reflective observers are of the view that the successive NDC governments have proven to be worst economic managers who can never improve upon the socio-economic standards of living of Ghanaians.
But despite their unpardonable coarse governance which brought about their heavy defeat in the 2016 general elections, the NDC faithful hold a faint hope that they will soon bounce back and recapture the power from the NPP in 2020.
Nevertheless, some of us, as a matter of conviction, do not envision the NDC returning to power anytime soon with former President Mahama, judging from the unprecedented economic mess he left behind.
Dearest reader, trust me, the unbridled corruption, the arrogance of power and the unobjectionable incompetence which culminated in economic hardships are still fresh in the memories of discerning Ghanaians.
Unfortunately though, politics has ceased being the noble profession it used to be. Needless to stress that politics these days has been dominated by wolves in sheep’s clothing.
It would, therefore, seem that the vast majority of the modern day politicians ostensible preoccupation is to manipulate their way to power and pursue their vested interests.
The question one may ask the brassbound Mahama loyalist again is: where is the justification about former President Mahama’s competence when a GH9.5 billion debt former President Kufuor left in 2009 rocketed to an incredible GH122.4 billion in just eight years with a little to show for?
How can the diehard supporters convince some of us about former President Mahama’s ability to lead Ghana again when he woefully shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion to $40 billion in five years?
How could the gleeful 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 3.4 per cent as of December 2016?
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 dumsor which brought about harsh economic conditions.
K. Badu, UK.
Badu, K. (2017), ‘NDC’s Facts Finding Committee: Don’t Look beyond Mahama’, (online). Available: www.ghanaweb.com
Badu, K. (2017), ‘Presentiment: NDC’s Ongoing Bickering Presages a Split within Sixteen Months’ (online). Available: www.ghanaweb.com