Tue, 02 Apr 2024 Feature Article

Is Mahama really the quintessential alternative to turn around the fortunes of Ghana?

Is Mahama really the quintessential alternative to turn around the fortunes of Ghana?

Whilst some of us wholly appreciate concerned Ghanaians inexpressible apprehension over Mahama’s desperate and questionable attempt to return to the presidency, the NDC loyalists seem oblivious to the dire consequences of Mahama returning to the Jubilee House.

Some observers believe that it would be extremely catastrophic if Mahama was to reclaim the presidency, given the dreadful errors in judgement which led to the business crippling dumsor amid massive economic collapse(dragged 14% economic growth in 2011 to 3.4%, and 15.4% inflation in 2016).

But in all this, the teeming NDC supporters would want discerning Ghanaians to accept that the erstwhile Mahama administration dutifully provided exceptional governance.

Honestly, a clumsy understanding of patriotism exists in the minds of many Ghanaians, whom out of sheer obsequious compliance prefer needless praise singing to defending the national interests.

Unfortunately, however, we, Ghanaians are possessed with kowtowing characteristic of a sordid mind which hates anything quality and rather prefer to worship mediocrity.

Thus, our leaders, having first-hand knowledge of our grovelling deference and hero worshipping gimmicks, continue to take us for granted and provide mediocre leadership and services.

If that was not the case, how on earth would former President John Dramani Mahama consider returning to the presidency given the apparent abysmal performance during his tenure in office?

It is quite ironic to keep hearing and reading the diehard supporters of NDC 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 their 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.

The fact, though, remains that the rot in the erstwhile NDC administration was as pervasive as the odour of garlic, which led to some diehard supporters emitting their displeasure and threatening to boycott the 2016 election.

In Mahama’s time in office, the previously single digit inflation and budget deficit doubled astronomically.

Ghana’s economic growth 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).

Moreover, President Mahama’s administration nauseatingly dragged the economic growth from around 14%in 2011 to around 3.4% as of December 2016.

In addition, 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).

Ex-President Mahama, so to speak, did not pull his weight to improve on the socio-economic living standards of Ghanaians.

Former President Kufuor worked strenuously and quadrupled Ghana’s GDP to a staggering GH28 billion in 2008, and the late Mills inherited oil in commercial quantities and managed to increase the GDP to GH47 billion by 2011.

Regrettably, President Mahama dragged the GDP to an incredible GH40billion as of December 2016.

Ironically, former President Mahama and his NDC administration 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, they reneged on their promise to keep ‘lean’ government, Ghanaians became poorer and poorer, sleazes and corruption escalated to immeasurable proportions, endless borrowings amongst others.

The good people of Ghana, regrettably, witnessed so much balderdash, unbridled corruption, incompetence, and frequent abuse of power in the erstwhile NDC government, and hence the vast majority of Ghanaians have permanently lost trust in the NDC.

But despite the obvious 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’.

Suffice it to stress that the good people of Ghana struggled 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.

Shockingly, the NDC’s ‘Babies with sharp teeth’ (as described by the late President Rawlings) would brashly insult every Ghanaian that would dare complain about their laissez faire style of leadership.

The discourteous NDC brats did not even spare their party founder, the late Rawlings, for voicing his opinion over the rampant bribery and corruption in the NDC administration.

The disrespectful apologists kept upbraiding their founder, the late Rawlings, for expressing his arousing disgust over the rot in his party.

The NDC’s ‘Babies with sharp teeth’ (apologies to the late President Rawlings) disgustingly abused the then flagbearer of the NPP and the current President Nana Akufo-Addo day in and day out.

The brats spewed all sort of wicked lies about the eminent lawyer. The good people of Ghana rightly became fed-up with the needless abuse the NDC apologists were directing towards the unwearied Nana Akufo-Addo.

Ironically, back then, President Mahama claimed to be a humble leader, a very patient leader, a tolerant leader. And yet it was the same President Mahama who lividly told Dr Bawumiah, the NPP’s presidential running mate for 2016 general elections and now the vice president of Ghana to ‘shut up and cease criticising him (Mahama) because he (Bawumiah) had not been a president before’.

Strangely, however, the much touted humble, patient, and tolerant President Mahama was reported to have told the people of Ashanti Region that they are ungrateful and would never be appreciative even if all their roads are constructed with gold.

Consequently, the people of Ashanti Region ineffaceably stencilled such an unfair comment at the back of their minds and waited for an appropriate time to express their arousing disgust. Indeed, the right time was 7th December 2016.

What is more, whenever the good people of Ghana expressed their doubts over the much touted numerous infrastructural projects, the humble, patient and tolerant President Mahama and his vociferous communicators would reply: “It is only those that are blind that do not see the good work of the NDC government.”

As a matter of fact, the good people of Ghana put the needless attacks on their mental sheets and waited for an opportune time to teach the clamorous NDC ‘Babies with sharp teeth’ a great lesson.

During the 2012 general elections, President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks went berserk in their desperation to cling on to power. Thus they broke all conventions. Many government departments spent over and above their allocated budgets.

Unsurprisingly, many observers harbour a strong view that Ghana’s economic meltdown came about as a result of the profligate spending, unbridled bribery and corruption that took place during the Mahama administration.

Regrettably, former President Mahama could not work his socks off but only managed to undo all the excellent performances put in by his predecessors.

Take, for example, Mahama moved 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%.

Prior to the 2012 general elections, Haruna Iddrisu, the then Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, asserted: “If voted into power, the NDC government would have no excuse to keep Ghanaians in dumsor”.

Ironically, however, the dumsor got worse following the NDC’s controversial victory in 2012.

However the dire consequences of the dumsor, President Mahama and his NDC administration could not fix the dumsor. The dumsor continued to cripple thousands of businesses. The dumsor indeed contributed to Ghana’s economic downslide.

Back then, whenever the good people of Ghana expressed their grievances over the never ending harsh economic conditions, President Mahama and his vociferous communicators would go berserk: “aren’t we transforming lives by building roads, hospitals, schools, toilets, water facilities and many other social infrastructural projects?”

Meanwhile, most of the projects were not up to the required standards, albeit the projects were often overpriced. The former Minister of Local Government, Collins Dauda would attest to such assertion. He was alleged to have decried over the NDC’s poorly constructed and overpriced projects.

Somehow, Ex-President Mahama and his vociferous communicators refused to appreciate that exemplary governance is not all about putting up numerous infrastructural projects. But excellence governance goes beyond the provision of social infrastructural and amenities.

As a matter of fact, praiseworthy governance involves continuous improvement of socio-economic standards of living.

There is no gainsaying the fact that despite the absence of the globally diffused corona virus and Ukraine/Russia war, the good people of Ghana experienced economic hardships due to former President Mahama and his NDC administration inability to improve upon Ghana’s economic fortunes.

K. Badu, UK.
[email protected]