Sometime in 2019, I ventured and predicted somewhat evocatively that former President John Dramani Mahama cannot return to the presidency in 2021, given his calamitous errors in decision-making which disappointingly halted Ghana’s economic upsurge.
My dearest reader please read below how and why I predicted that the 2020 NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, cannot get the 50+1 threshold in the December 2020 general elections.
Upon a carefully considered reflection, I would like to submit that the good people of Ghana made a terrible mistake by voting the NPP government out in 2008 general elections, as Ghana, so to speak, was heading towards the right direction following the eight years of prudent governance by Ex-President Kufuor and his equally dynamic team.
The good people of Ghana, unfortunately, fell for the NDC’s well-executed political stratagem and voted out the NPP government in 2008 despite the NPP government’s pragmatic programmes and policies which put the country in a highly favourable economic position.
Back then, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) communicators, as a matter of fact, displayed sheer complacency and disappointingly failed to counter the NDC’s contemptible propaganda.
In retrospect, former President Kufuor passed on the baton to the late President Mills on 7th January 2009, following his victory in the December 2008 general elections.
The late President Mills was extremely fortunate to have inherited a very good economic foundation laid by the forward-thinking President Kufuor and his equally hard working team.
Take, for example, three years after former President Kufuor’s NPP government had discovered oil in commercial quantities, the late President Mills had the joyous task of turning on the valve at an offshore platform in December 2010 to pump the first commercial oil.
And, lo and behold, Ghana joined the petroleum exporting countries. You may believe it or not, Ghana started to export crude oil and thus boosted the economic growth.
The economy grew auspiciously from around 8.4 per cent to around 14 per cent by 2011, and Ghana thus reached the Lower Middle Income status.
“Ghana has come a long way and is the world's fastest growing economy today-2010.
“Ghana's economy is growing at a blistering 20.15 per cent, says Economy Watch.
“Blessed with rich reserves of natural resources, Ghana has suddenly turned around and is now speeding along the growth path.
“Ghana is oil-rich, has large gold and diamond deposits, and has a booming tourism industry” (Economy Watch 2010).
So, who says that the favourable economic foundation laid by former President Kufuor and his team was not the main contributory factor in the Ghana’s economic upsurge?
Unfortunately, though, things started to fall apart. It went from bad to worse following President Mills sudden and mysterious death in July 2012.
The then vice president, John Dramani Mahama, (the automatic successor to the presidency) and his government officials had a field day leading to the 2012 general elections.
President Mahama and his appointees ignobly went ‘haywire’ in their desperation to cling on to power. Thus they broke all conventions. Many government departments spent over and above their allocated budgets, which brought about double budget deficit amid huge and unmanageable debt stock.
Given the circumstances, it is extremely bizarre to see the NDC loyalists blissfully moving heaven and earth to reclaim power after being voted out by discerning Ghanaians as a result of their dreadful errors in judgement which culminated in massive economic meltdown.
With all due respect with no attached condescension whatsoever, former President Mahama had had an ample opportunity to show discerning Ghanaians his ability to steer the nation to the right direction but woefully failed to do so. So, what can he do at the presidency next time around?
Strangely though, 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 humongous mess left behind by the erstwhile NDC administration.
Perhaps more than anything else, Ex-President Mahama and his loyalists are still holding on to the elusive belief that Ghanaians suffer from memory loss and therefore cannot recollect the revoltingly ugly events which took place under their watch.
Dearest reader, if that was not the case, what would then drive a president who wilfully brought the country to its knees through catastrophic decision-making to persistently accuse his successor who is doing everything humanly possible to undo the massive mess?
But contrary to former President Mahama’s seemingly isolated thinker’s view, discerning Ghanaians have miraculously overcome their memory loss and cannot be taken for granted.
We cannot deny or hide the fact that former President Mahama and the vast majority of the brassbound NDC loyalists have been going through a process analogous to Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief.
We have, unfortunately, been witnessing unbridled reactive emotional responses from the likes of former President Mahama ever since the NDC lost the 2016 election to the NPP.
Given the unpardonable economic mess under his watch, Ex-President Mahama should do the right thing by eating humble pie and apologise to the good people of Ghana for wilfully messing up the once favourable economy.
If former President Mahama cannot see the need to beg discerning Ghanaians for forgiveness for abysmally dragging the 14% economic growth in 2011 to a disappointing 3.4% by December 2016, then what right does he have to come and stand in front of the good people of Ghana to solicit for their votes in 2020?
So does former President Mahama really believe that he owes no one apology for needlessly raising Ghana’s debt from GH9.5 billion in 2009 to an incredible GH122.4 billion by December 2016 with a little to show for?
Honestly, some of us do not suffer from chronic amnesia and can recall vividly that Ghana’s Cedi to US Dollar in December 2011 was GH1.65 to $1. However, due to terrible economic decision-making, within five years the exchange rate took an unbelievable flight and stood at GH4.20 to $1 by December 2016.
Indeed, the good people of Ghana cannot so soon forget and forgive former President Mahama for the business crippling dumsor in the last five years of the erstwhile NDC administration.
Former President Mahama should stop taking Ghanaians for granted and ask for forgiveness for terribly collapsing the Agricultural sector by reducing the growth from 7.4% in 2012 to a miserable 2.5% in December 2016.
If former President Mahama really wants to lead the country again, then he should explain and render an unqualified apology to the good people of Ghana for shrinking Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion in 2011 to $40billion by December 2016.
And, who says that discerning Ghanaians have forgotten and forgiven former President Mahama for recklessly giving out large portions of Ghana’s scarce resources to parasitic creatures, who, in actual fact, contributed nothing meaningful towards the nation building?
Ex-President Mahama should, as a matter of urgency, apologise to discerning Ghanaians for unjustifiably giving apologists like Madam Akua Donkor of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) two four wheel drive cars and a luxury bungalow (estimated to cost a staggering $470,000) for no work done.
Dearest reader, tell me, why must Ex-President Mahama think he does not owe the good people of Ghana any apology for giving away 58% of Ghana’s bauxite to his sibling Ibrahim Mahama on 29th December 2016, just a little over one week before exiting power?
Former President Mahama should do the honest thing by apologising on behalf of his brother Ibrahim Mahama for egregiously evading import taxes to the tune of GH12 million during his tenure in office.
What is more, former President Mahama should acknowledge the concerns of Ghanaians over the purported GH800 million dubious judgment debt payments, including the GH51.2 million to Woyome, $30 million to the Waterville and $325,000 to Isofoton which resulted in the drastic reduction of capital expenditure and as a consequence, most contractors were not paid by the erstwhile NDC administration.
So is former President Mahama not concerned about the misappropriation of $175 million loan facility secured in 2012 which was meant to provide seven district hospitals, and the NDC hierarchy misapplied on the blind side of Ghanaians?
To be quite honest, some of us would be extremely surprised if Ex-President Mahama failed to beg Ghanaians for forgiveness before 2020 general elections for surreptitiously diverting $6 million of a government loan facility of $175 million meant to provide seven district hospitals into researching the then governing NDC party’s chances of winning the 2016 general elections. How pathetic?
Former President Mahama should not think that Ghanaians still suffer from chronic memory loss, and therefore cannot recollect the over GH200 million SADA funds invested on trees which were reported to have burnt down and the guinea fowls which flew to the nearby Burkina Faso without a trace. How bizarre?
Even though a competent court of jurisdiction has convicted and sentenced two of the numerous NDC officials over the embezzled GYEEDA funds meant to provide suitable employment for the youth of Ghana, former President Mahama must eat humble pie and apologise to Ghanaians for superintending over such mess.
Besides, former President Mahama owes discerning Ghanaians an unconditional apology over the scandalous Bus Branding, the Brazil World Cup, SUBA, NCA, SSNIT and the Ford Expedition Vehicle, amongst others.
Then also, there are those who do not understand how and why Ex-President Mahama could find it somewhat convenient to chastise Akufo-Addo for allegedly implementing the Free SHS policy at the expense of other developmental projects (see: ‘Free SHS crippling other sectors-Mahama, classfmonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 24/02/2018).
Former President Mahama was reported to have poured his heart out during one of the NDC’s 2018 unity health walks: “The problem this government is facing and it is in their own interest, is that, Free Senior High School is absorbing all the fiscal space they have and so almost every money you have, you are having to put it into Free Senior High School. So you can’t pay District Assemblies Common Fund, you can’t pay NHIS (National Health Insurance Scheme), you can’t pay GET Fund (Ghana Education Trust Fund), you can’t pay other salaries and things because all your money is going into Free Senior High School.”
In fact, the seemingly inconsistent remarks have left deserving doubts in the minds of discerning Ghanaians as to whether if voted into power, Mahama will have the will and commitment to maintain the Akufo-Addo’s Free SHS.
Somehow, Mahama prefers “Progressively Free” (whatever that means) to NPP’s Comprehensively Free SHS.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, the good people of Ghana cannot fathom how and why the NDC’s ‘Progressively’ Free SHS which has a budget of GH48 per student is better than the NPP’s GH1844.27 per student a year.
Unquestionably, Ex-President Mahama and his government’s unpardonable incompetence and catastrophic errors in judgement 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 stimulate income-seeking rather than productive activities.
By and large, the successive NDC governments have proven to be worst economic managers who can never improve upon the socio-economic standards of living of Ghanaians.
From the look of things, unless former President Mahama decides to render an unqualified apology, the good people of Ghana will continue to ventilate their arousing disgust over his dreadful errors in decision-making which culminated in harsh socio-economic living standards.
Shockingly, despite the irrevocable coarse governance which brought about their heavy defeat in the 2016 general elections, the NDC faithful hold a faint hope that they will bounce back and recapture the power from the NPP in 2020.
But, some of us, as a matter of fact, do not envisage the NDC returning to power anytime soon with former President Mahama, judging from the unprecedented economic mess under his watch.
K. Badu, UK.