I sympathise very strongly with and passionately share the seeming thirst for political change in Ghana today. It may however seem paradoxical that the party in Government remains the best placed to offer Ghana any realistic hope for the desired change, whilst the party in opposition appears adamant that the certifiably corrupt and inept Mahama is Ghana’s best hope for a breakthrough.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) – the Party in Government- should thank her lucky stars that the main hurdle for BREAKING THE EIGHT is to outvote Kwame Dramani Mahama, a twice rejected candidate and once upon a time, investigated by his own boss for corruption. If Kwame Dramani is voted for in 2024, it will be quite a hugely misplaced leap of faith, born out of Despair. Otherwise, why would Ghanaians feel attracted by the prospect of choosing an unquestionably corrupt man. Mahama’s Government would be one that knows how to execute the crime of corruption and now knows for sure that no one is watching out for his quirks and foibles. Ghanaians must not confuse the constitutional issues. The President of Ghana under the current constitution, is omnipotent. Not even Parliament and the Judiciary, as institutions or the two other arms of the State, have any meaningful leverage on the President.
Ghanaians should not forget that for 3 Solid days in December 2016, Kwame Dramani did not want to quit the seat of Government even though the people had delivered a resounding victory to Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo. In 2020, he went to court after he had lost with a reduced margin of loss. In 2028 he has no elections to contest and will have no one to impress from 2024 to 2028 unless he felt motivated to leave a Legacy. Surely, in 2020, Ghanaians were offered the opportunity to choose 1 of 2 leaders, both of whom were perceived as having previously run corrupt Governments; perception is as good as reality, it is said.
In 2024, unless the NPP gets her knickers in a twist, it should take a miracle for them to confront Mahama with a weaker candidate. NPP even has two more vital years left of her second term in office. The Imani President, Franklin Kudgo says that 2024 is not a done deal for either party and NPP can yet win but only with hard work and vigilance. Nevertheless, Ghanaians need change and NPP cannot offer them a choice of leadership with the same robes. So ruffled they are desperately asking for reshuffle of Cabinet. I may be living in the wrong country but I have neither read nor heard a people clamouring for reshuffling. It seems the people are behind this Government, but they do think that they can play a much stronger team on the pitch. Attention NPP Delegates! Give Ghanaians a choice.
In Hilary Clinton’s Book entitled ‘Hard Choices’, Hilary said: 'Life is about making choices and how we manage them shape the people we become'. In my view, our choices make us what we are today and invariably determine whether we prosper or not. It is not just about voting for the highest bidder or the most charismatic. For a country that desperately needs to progress the last choice we desire is a ceremonial style leader, one who just decorates the highest office without any vitality for rigorous decision making.
NPP has two vital years to go for her second term in office. The Imani President, Franklin Kudgo says that 2024 is not a done deal for either party and NPP can yet win but only with hard work and vigilance. Ghanaians need change and we cannot offer them a choice with the same robes. Let us give them a real choice as against the NDC’s misfortune brought on by financial impecuniosity!
It will however be an act of enormous despondency for a country to evict a President for reasons of corruption and incompetence and then in the next breath vote him back as credible on the same bases. The people of Ghana will only prosper on the bases of a principled and consistent approach to the choice of a leader. In 2024, anyone against Mahama will be perceived as a good boy unless the NPP’s delegates get their knickers into a twist.
Ghanaians will be digging a Mass Grave for themselves to look to former President John Dramani Mahama to rebuild the Nation. He was rejected by his own boss, Professor Knows it All and subsequently, by the people. We all know now why the Professor could only DO LITTLE, he was not only unwell but under some sort of threat, obviously, his life unfortunately had lost its vitality and was now under the direction and control of another mortal man. Despite his many admirable feats, the NPP’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo has undoubtedly been a disappointment in some respects even to his own party, but the Country will be cutting off her nose to spite her face to vote Kwame Dramani Mahama; he cannot be a sensible option. Kwame has already shown Ghanaians he has a voracious appetite for amassing wealth illicitly. In the 6.5 years that he was handed the reins of power on a silver platter he and his cohorts of politically corrupt adjutants launched a crusade against our prospects of prospering as a Nation.
NDC members appear to have an unblinking obsession for Dramani Mahama, perhaps because of the wealth he has already amassed from his 6.5 years in Government, during which he really disappointed Ghanaians with his gaffes and his superintendence over a raft of kleptomaniacs in Government. The NDC constitution, like that of other parties, do not have any clauses which enable parties to exercise any control over their respective Presidents nor does the National constitution grant any party any measure of control over a President who emanates from their respective party. In the second/last term for a President who no longer needs to renew his mandate after his 4-year term, the country is stuffed; What a massive reward to Mahama and indeed, for what?
The attempt by the NDC to foist their rejected candidate on the Republic is imponderable, given Mahama’s gargantuan failings; he was resoundingly rejected in December 2016 by a majority of one million votes. Ghanaians are quite savvy and sensitive now and will be very pained, if Mahama wins and stays true to type. A vote for Mahama will be a U-turn of gigantic proportions. Some say the strength of Nana Addo’s incorruptibility may have been exaggerated prior to 2016 but Mahama’s unsuitability and corruptible disposition remains unchanged. Why does anyone think Ghanaians would want a one term President under the current constitution? It will be suicidal. NPP has 101 candidates capable of running for two terms and can indeed outperform Mahama in the incorruptibility stakes. A repeat of Mahama will defeat the purpose of the public outcry for Nana Addo to reshuffle his cabinet today.
It’s quite disconcerting that the opposition party in Ghana has no one else to present other than John Dramani Mahama as candidate for election 2024; The facts are indisputable, the evidence, cast iron; the excessive powers of the Presidency means that the choice of the Person to occupy Jubilee House is an overwhelming issue in determining what can make Ghana better from 2024 onwards. In the Last 4 years, Nana Addo was more in power than the NPP and so was Mahama more in Power than the NDC in the preceding 6.5 years. It was within the hands of the NDC to try on fresh hands at the Presidency, but they refused to act. They are the very people crying out to Nana Addo to reshuffle his cabinet.
Whilst the NPP’s performance in the last two terms has left much to be desired, it is largely because of her failure to deal fully with their own promises, the targets they set themselves and the expectations people had of them. It is a good idea, both party and voters should remonstrate but the reasonable reaction cannot be to replace the NPP with a Government with a worse record of Governance and unwilling to give Ghana a taste of the variety of talents they have and increase the possibility of handing the reins of power to a man of better integrity than Kwame Dramani.
All parties now understand that Governments should now advance beyond infrastructure. Mahama says infrastructure politics is mediocre politics. Bawumia ridicules bricks and mortar as well as interchanges. We need to be looking at the Ghanaian society at its fundamentals, building an elite police force, a Judiciary of impeccable integrity, a Parliament populated by smart and skilful legislators, possessing integrity and intellectually capable of holding the Executive to account; challenging corruption more impactfully, building a society that frowns on ill-gotten gains and exalts integrity over wealth although needless to say, this will amount to such a deep seated revolution that is only possible if it arises from within
By: Kwame Ohene Asare