Rather than licking his electoral defeat wounds in 2016 with genuine humility and come out with winnable strategies next time around, ex-President Mahama is shamelessly walking everywhere, telling people his loss stemmed from his strong rejection of “juicy campaign promises” (see: Ghanaweb, The Publisher online). Clearly, Mr. Mahama thinks his electoral trashing was somehow a fluke in that by his brazen Nana Akufo-Addo could not have beaten him to become president today had it not been the NPP leader's empty campaign promises to voters.
The wise had said over and over that every failure/mistake teaches a useful lesson, especially, if the one or those who failed are ready to learn anything productive from that infraction. Particularly, judging from his recent seedy pronouncement at the NDC's so-called Unity Walk in Tarkwa in the Western part of Ghana, it is obvious former President Mahama is still living in the fantasy world after his crushing defeat. Any savvy politician will modestly learn from his/her mistakes; and then make unassuming effort to contextualize the actual circumstances that led to the electoral failure.
But what do we see and hear from Mr. Mahama, lately? Aside him and his die-hard cheerleaders subtly using their over-advertised “NDC Unity Walk” to promote Mr. Mahama's second or third presidential bid, the ex-president is cunningly behaving as if he doesn't really know the basis for his massive electoral rejection by the majority of Ghanaians in 2016. If we were to construct a standard form of deductive argument based on Mr. Mahama's false logic, we may have something like this one:
Empty campaign promises in 2016 won the presidential elections;
Mr. Mahama categorically rejected empty campaign promises;
Therefore, Comrade Mahama did not win the 2016 presidential elections.
Often, the way some African leaders talk and behave in and out of office makes many of us least surprised that our resources-rich continent is still struggling hard to find its “libido” to enable it compete confidently and productively with the rich and powerful continents. Sure, in the above argument the premises—misleadingly—support the conclusion typical of almost all deductive reasoning. Thus, on its face value, ex-President Mahama's argument appears valid, but the same time it is pathetically unsound.
More so, an argument doesn't require true premises or a true conclusion to be valid. On the flip side, a cogent or sound reasoning requires true premises and a genuine conclusion. More importantly, trending toward deductive argument in an unpredictable world of human behavior coupled with raw African politics can only come from unseasoned politicians. Mr. Mahama probably would have been given some form of a pass if elections and political campaigns are mostly based on mathematical analysis. The former president's contention that then candidate Nana Akufo-Addo's presidential victory was the result of “empty promises” dishonestly ignores several significant socioeconomic factors under the Mahama-led government that adversely crystallized in the clear view of Ghanaians prior to the December 2016 general elections.
This is to say there was crystal ball of foreboding events leading to the 2016 general elections that didn't
need anyone to have “supernatural powers” to figure out that then Mr. Mahama's not-so-competent regime was heading toward defeat in the polls. Apparently, ex-president's inability to make an insightfully humble critique of what actually precipitated his government's implosion at the hands of the current president of the republic is symptomatic of his internalized incompetence. Even in the opposition, former President John Mahama is displaying some of the relics of his inept leadership via unguarded quasi-campaign utterances.
It is too early to predict a party's flag bearer; but, the best gift the largest opposition party NDC can ever give the NPP-led government is to choose ex-President Mahama to contest against President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia ticket. In that likely scenario, the NPP presidential pair will laugh all the way to the “electoral bank” to cash their landslide check one more time.
In any event, this is my unsolicited suggestion to ex-President Mahama regarding the consequential reasons behind his humiliating defeat to Nana Akufo-Addo in the presidential election. Again, like almost all reasoning bordering on deductive, their validity may be assured but the same cannot be said about their soundness. Hence, the valid and sound rationalizations Mr. Mahama needs to be telling smart-thinking Ghanaians in sincere fashion are the following line of inductive argument:
I have now realized that most Ghanaians are not politically docile to be taken for granted;
I should have exhibited genuine sensitivity to the plight of ordinary Ghanaians instead of telling
them I'm tone deaf like a “dead goat.”
That, the “dumsor, dumsor” was my Achilles' heels; I could have done much better;
That, constructing flyovers everywhere in the cities cannot fool Ghanaians;
Majority of Ghanaians are dead serious about multiparty democracy taking roots in Ghana;
That, most Ghanaians today have clear understanding that true democracy requires transparency, accountability, and corrupt-free government officials for the system to function well;
That as president I should have shown contrition when an investigative reporter exposed the rotten maggots within the GYEEDA, SADA, and later the Burkinabe's Ford truck presidential gift;
Therefore, taking all these premises into account, I truly understand now why I lost the elections!
Bernard Asubonteng is United States-based writer; send your comments to: [email protected]
By Bernard Asubonteng