‘Forward ever, backward never’, the Convention People’s Party(CPP) motto, a self-evident truth, a slogan used frequently by Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, has indeed gained currency through long use over time.
The moral lesson we can glean from the aforesaid CPP’s motto, is, as a people, we should endeavour to forge ahead, march on, and never look back, because past is full of melancholy, rancour, and as bitter as being kept in darkness for well over four years.
As election 2024 draws closer, discerning Ghanaians should take solace in the fairly stable electricity supply and rest assured that in so far as the Supreme Being is in control, we are not merely to rest in His divine providence, but to briskly exhibit His character in the choices we make as people.
So it was quite ironic when Ex-President Mahama’s ponderously asserted that it was God who made him lose to Akufo-Addo in the 2016 general elections in order for Ghanaians to differentiate between ‘water and alcohol’.
Truly, the isolated thinker’s notion of Supreme Being’s divine control in a system which depends solely on universal adult suffrage (the will of the people) raises tough questions, so to speak.
Yes, political leaders may emerge under the providence of the Supreme Being. But in so far as we gleefully pick them, we will be held responsible for whether they meet with His approval or not.
Well, whether Mahama is right or not, Ghanaians are the best judges of Mahama’s ‘dumsor’ and Akufo-Addo ‘sor dum sor’.
What is much more interesting though is that Mahama is not contesting Akufo-Addo in the election 2024, but it’s rather Bawumia and the likes of Madam Akua Donkor.
While it is true that Mahama had had the opportunity to steer the country to the right direction as a president but failed to do so, Bawumia has never been president before, a fact acknowledged by Mahama in 2016.
My dear reader, if you may remember, prior to the 2016 general elections, former President Mahama openly admonished the then NPP running mate Dr Bawumia to cease criticising him(Mahama) because he(Bawumia) has never been president before(emphasis mine).
Mahama indeed stated the obvious: Bawumia has never been president before, he is the vice president.
The former president and the NDC’s 2024 flagbearer, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, holds an unmatched record of being the first incumbent president of Ghana to be voted out of power in his first term in office.
Indeed, former President John Dramani Mahama has held a panorama of important positions in Ghanaian politics.
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 the 2016 and 2020 flagbearer of NDC.
Interestingly, however, 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.
Former President Mahama and his NDC administration regrettably failed to end the dumsor, failed to implement the one-time NHIS premium, jobs were not readily available for the jobless, the economy sunk deeper and deeper into the mire, Ghanaians became poorer and poorer, sleazes and corruption escalated to immeasurable proportions, amongst others.
But despite the conspicuous economic meltdown back then, President Mahama and his apologists ridiculously kept trumpeting their vague rhetoric , political insobrieties and meaningless slogans-‘Mahama Tuaso’; ‘We care for you’; ‘people matter, you matter’; ‘we are transforming lives’.
Meanwhile the good people of Ghana were struggling endlessly to pay their utility bills and could not even afford their children school fees.
Incredibly, back then, whenever the suffering Ghanaians complained about the economic hardships, former President Mahama and his vociferous communicators would ungraciously chastise the same people who gave them the electoral mandate for expressing their grievances.
Former President Mahama, regrettably, could not pull his weight but only managed to undo all the excellent performances put in by his predecessors.
Take, for example, Mahama dragged the economic growth from 14% to 3.4%, GDP of GH47 Billion was reversed to GH40 billion, Agricultural growth of 7.5% was dragged to 2.5%, and single digit inflation was moved to 15.4% in the absence of the ecumenically diffused coronavirus and Russia/Ukraine protracted conflict.
The reflective observers thus found it extremely bizarre when the former president decided to wrestle powering 2020.
The sceptics would thus quiz in amazement: ‘what can Mahama do differently at the presidency next time around’?
Despite the unpardonable mismanagement which brought about his heavy defeat in the 2016 and 2020 general elections, the former president holds a faint hope that he will bounce back and recapture power in 2024.
The overarching question then is: what will make the unhappy 55.6% and 51.2% of electorates change their mind and repose their absolute trusts in Mahama in 2024, given the economic mess during his time in office?
It is quite ironic to keep hearing and reading the NDC loyalists flimsy excuses that the loyalists of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) maliciously lied about NDC’s incompetence and corrupt practices and deceptively pledged juicy, albeit unachievable Manifesto promises which led to their 2016 and 2020 landslide victories.
With all due respect with no hidden condescension whatsoever, the teeming supporters of NDC must engage in a carefully considered reflection and accept the painful fact that Mahama’s dreadful errors in judgement which unfortunately sent Ghana’s economy deeper and deeper into the mire to some large extent, cost them the 2016 and 2020 elections and not the supposedly ‘wicked’ lies put out by their opponents.
In Mahama’s time in office, Ghana’s economic growth regrettably slowed for the fourth consecutive year to an estimated 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014 as energy rationing (dumsor), high inflation, and ongoing fiscal consolidation weighed on economic activity (World Bank, 2016).
Besides, the high inflation rate remain elevated at 18.5% in February 2016 compared to 17.7% in February 2015, even after the Central Bank’s 500 bps policy rate hikes (the inflation stood at 15.4%as of October 2016).
Given the bizarre circumstances, we can understand how and why some concerned Ghanaians, including some supporters within the NDC have been expressing their arousing disgust over former President Mahama’s desperation to return to the presidency after being voted against massively in 2016 and 2020.
K. Badu, UK.