I shivered and sweated profusely when I read recently that former President Mahama will most likely contest the NDC’s 2024 presidential race, Having served as an assemblyman, then as a parliamentarian, a deputy minister, a substantive minister, a vice president, a stand-in president (following the sudden and mysterious death of President Mills), as an elected president of Ghana, and the 2016 and 2020 flagbearer of the opposition NDC.
Apparently, a number of questions popped up upon skimming through the said story. I then soliloquised: “can the NDC’s “Messiah” redeem us from the supposedly bad governance?” And, can the NDC’s “Messiah” take us to the promise land? “What does he want at the presidency after being voted out of power due to his abysmal performance?”
Observers believe that the former president’s intention to contest the 2024 presidential slot gives credence to the notion that he thinks there are no competent presidential candidates other than himself in NDC (see: ‘No competent candidate in NDC-Mahama suggest; dailyguidenetwork.com/ghanaweb.com, 25/05/201).
Take, for example, a few years ago, former President Mahama was interviewed by a certain Nigerian journalist during his presentation at the Oxford University Business School Distinguished Speaker Seminar. When he was asked as to why he wanted to return to office as President, Ex-President Mahama is reported to have retorted: “I had hoped my party (NDC) will select somebody else. But trials as I did, the insistence was that I should run again.”
If you may remember, sometime in 2018, Kofi Adams, the former national organiser of the party, was reported to have opined: “I have said and will continue to say; former President Mahama remains our biggest asset. If he decides to contest or declines to do same, he will still remain our biggest asset. So any member, who loves the NDC and wants us to win political power in 2020, should not do anything that will antagonize or malign him. It will not augur well for the party” (see: ‘Stop antagonising Mahama; he is our greatest asset’-Kofi Adams; rainbowradioonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 15/03/2018).
Perhaps, the likes of Kofi Adams and Mahama, more than anything else, are living in a denial over the latter’s competency to lead Ghana again.
Former President Mahama, so to speak, could not have been entirely correct for suggesting that there are no competent candidates in NDC other than himself.
The crucial question we should be asking then is: is former President Mahama really the most competent candidate in the Umbrella fraternity?
If you may remember, subsequent to former President Mahama’s announcement of his intention to join the NDC’s 2020 flagbearership race, a number of prominent NDC members and well-wishers came out and expressed grave concerns over the ex-president’s somewhat weird decision.
Allegedly, prominent people like Nunoo Mensah, Kojo Yankah, Ambassador Osei, amongst others were said to have suggested to Mahama to rescind his somewhat idiosyncratic decision.
The NDC stalwarts concerns 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.
Besides, the founder of NDC, the late Rawlings, never agreed with the teeming supporters who were gleefully clamouring for the return of the ‘losing horses’.
Take, for instance, prior to the 2016 electioneering campaign, the conspicuously unhappy late Rawlings kept grumbling, shrieking and raising concerns about the rampant sleazes and corruption in the NDC administration led by former President Mahama.
The late Rawlings thus lamented dejectedly: “The principles of June 4 are not alien or has never been alien to mankind. They are no different from the most basic religious or human values. Probity, accountability and social justice would on any day liberate the overwhelming majority of our people from the bondage or difficulties they find themselves in.
“The fight against corruption, greed and avarice has however been at great cost. Noble soldiers have died; noble civilians have died for it and so many of the noble ones have suffered and continue to suffer all kinds of indignities for their principles and convictions.
“I want to remind people that we could not have possibly forgotten that Generals were executed. The greed, corruption and injustice of today is a thousand times more than what these Generals were executed for, and if we are unable to restore a firm measure of integrity into our dealings, then the blood of many would have been shed in vain.
“Not too long ago I thought we heard the jockeys claiming the horses were responsible for this disgraceful failure while one of the horses was bold enough to lay the failure at the doorstep of the jockeys.
“For me, we lost our masses because we betrayed the values of June 4. However if this horse – jockey business cannot be resolved comprehensively, allowing integrity to prevail, then let both of them step aside and allow for fresh leaders with solid integrity to provide the needed leadership” (Rawlings 2017; myjoyonline.com).
In any case, despite the critics irrevocable incertitude over Mahama’s suitability to lead the country again, the NDC Delegates strangely gave Mahama the nod of affirmation to lead the party in the 2020 general elections.
To the reflective critics, it was somewhat baffling to see former President Mahama and his apologists moving heaven and earth to return to the presidency after being voted out of power by discerning Ghanaians for his dreadful errors in judgement which brought about massive economic collapse.
In truth, 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, therefore, a multitude of supporters within the NDC were in solidarity with the concerned presidential aspirants. The concerned supporters dreaded the talk of former President Mahama returning as the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer.
But in spite of the fact that the loyalists of the other presidential aspirants were doubtful about Mahama’s unsuitability for the 2020 flagbearership position, the diehard supporters somehow succeeded in their quest to have him as their presidential candidate.
It would, therefore, appear that the vast majority of the NDC loyalists have been living in a denial about former President Mahama’s unpopularity and hence choosing him over the other presidential aspirants.
Strangely, however, despite Mahama’s unpardonable coarse governance which brought about his humiliating defeats in the 2016 and 2020 general elections, the Mahama loyalists are holding an elusive hope that they can present him and recapture power from NPP in 2024.
I, for one, do not envision former President Mahama’s imminent return to the presidency, judging from the dreadful errors in decision-making which brought about the huge economic collapse.
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 from the mismanagement and the wanton sleazes and corruption perpetrated by the officials of the erstwhile Mahama administration.
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 all-important 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 $40 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 % in 2011 to a squeamish 3.4 % as of December 2016?
Didn’t the much touted economic Messiah drag single digit inflation in 2012 to double figures by 2016(15.8%)?
There are those who hold a view that it would be extremely disastrous if Mahama was to reclaim the presidency, given the calamitous errors in judgement which led to the massive economic meltdown.
The sceptics contend that no true patriot will ever shrill and thrill over the return of a former president who has serious questions to answer over the puzzling corruption scandals such as the STX housing deal, the Brazilian aircrafts, the Ford Expedition Vehicle and the Armajaro saga.
The concerned Ghanaians are dreading the return of a president who can boldly accept a furtive gift of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle worth over $100,000 from a Burkinabe Contractor called Djibril Kanazoe, who he allegedly helped to secure lucrative road contracts.