Before the 2000 elections, Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, then presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), offered the vice presidential candidate position to Dr. Edward Mahama, leader of the People's National Convention (PNC), but he turned it down.
After winning the elections President Kufuor made yet another bid to lure the medical doctor into his government by proposing to him the position of Health Minister and for the second time he rejected the gesture.
Dr. Mahama, who made these revelations in an interview with The Chronicle over the weekend, said when Mr. Kufour approached him he asked him about the status of his party (PNC) because they held different ideological philosophies.
“The PNC has been left wing and the NPP, right wing; how could the two work together?” he asked but he said Mr. Kufuor replied that they would talk about that later.
The PNC leader said he told President Kufour that he did not believe in the right wing policies of the NPP and therefore would not accept the offer just because he wanted to be a vice president.
He also rejected the offer of Minister of Health because, “I wanted to be president of the nation, not a minister.”
The PNC leader's ambition of becoming president has not waned one bit ever since. He is on record of having indicated his intention of making a third bid by putting himself forward for election as his party's flagbearer for the December presidential poll.
Having refused the offer of Health Minister, Dr. Mahama said he recommended to President Kufuor, Dr. E. N. Jadell, then Upper West regional medical director, whom he believed could perform even more efficiently than him.
According him President Kufuor interviewed Dr. Jadell but refused to appoint him and instead picked Mr. Moses Dani Baah as the Deputy Health Minister “just to add colour to the so-called all-inclusive government.”
Dr. Mahama said he felt vindicated by not accepting the vice presidency of President Kufuor on the basis of their ideological differences.
“Ghanaians are witnesses to the policies of the NPP government on the various sectors of the economy; the cost of education is at its highest level in the history of this country, the increase in the petroleum products by 300% is the highest any government in this country has done and the 200% increase of utility tariffs is unacceptable.
“The Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) came to kill but the NPP government will let Ghanaians die on their own by their killer policies,” he declared.
He said Ghanaians had tried PNDC/NDC for 19 years and NPP for four years and all could attest to the bad policies of these governments, which had brought this country to its knees.
Dr. Mahama said the PNC had in store for Ghanaians a better future and advised voters: “hwe wo daakye na to aba pa” (look into your future and vote wisely).
He said a PNC government would give priority to education making it free and compulsory from primary one to SS3 and that one million jobs would be created in the first three months of assuming power.