On the 7thof December this year, the largest Ghana’s opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, will be heading to a National Special Delegates conference to elect its presidential aspirant for the crucial Presidential elections in 2020. Many political commentators and observers have underscored that the stage is now evidently set for this crucial political exercise designed to elect the party’s presidential flag bearer as twelve(12) others are ready to battle the former president who is still the people’s man within the rank and file of the party.
Nearly all the others, jostling to clinch the party’s presidential ticket, were all appointees of the former President and have so far failed abysmally in demonstrating their seriousness and willingness to lead the party into the 2020 showdown. This has made it a ceremonial battle, because the only person standing unmatched is the former president. He is only being accompanied to the battle field by his former appointees and nothing else. The question many are asking is as former appointees, what did they think they were at the time that they are (or aren’t) now to make them better options than him? And what is their track record to warrant their being preferred?
Even non political watchers, understand that Mr Mahama is unmatched in this race and will sustain no bruise after December 7. It’s a done deal contest for him and he will win with not less than eighty percent (80%) of the delegates’ votes. Yes, it’s a done deal and going for the primaries is a mere ceremonial democratic exercise. This, therefore, has made the former president greatly dreaded by the ruling New Patriotic Party, NPP.
So the government led by President Akufo-Addo and his Vice president, Dr Alhaji Mahumadu Bawumia have for the past weeks demonstrated their naked fear of the former president’s return and have started throwing lots of black mud at him. The governing NPP has also let loose of its communicators to roast Mr Mahama without clemency. This was initiated after he wrote to his party declaring his intent to contest the flagbearership slot and immediately hitting the grounds with fierce campaigns nationwide.
The government’s fear is manifestly borne out of the belief and rightly too that out of the band of contenders pushing to clinch the presidential ticket of the NDC, Mr Mahama is highly positioned to wrestle power successfully from any Presidential candidate the NPP will put forward in the 2020 elections as the current president and leader of the party, Nana Akufo-Addo has revealed that he hasn’t decided on running again or not.
The reasons for the NPP’s fears over the return of the former president are obvious and not far-fetched. Mr Mahama’s achievements as a one-term president of Ghana are legendary, unprecedented and profound. Apart from his 200 E Block Senior Secondary Schools across Ghana which saw to the building and completion of over 70 ultra modern SHS schools and the establishment of new Public universities in the Volta Region (UHAS), the Brong Ahafo Region and the Eastern Region by the President Mahama administration would forever be remembered by objective minded Ghanaians as invaluable contributions to Ghana’s tertiary education landscape. The much wider coverage of the school feeding program under President Mahama and the NDC is also a positive landmark worthy of mention among others in education and definitely worth celebrating by Ghanaians.
Besides, his massive accomplishments in educational sector, his infrastructural development across the length and breadth of the country are verifiable, insightful and unsurpassed. Perhaps, Dr Kwame Nkrumah of blessed reminiscence and former president Jerry John Rawlings also left such unparalleled legacies. In the Roads and Highways sector for instance, Ghana saw massive roads and highways construction across all of Ghana during President Mahama’s short period as president. It must however, be acknowledged that he inherited some of these mouth-watering projects from his former boss, late former president John Evans Atta-Mills and did well to complete them.
In this regard, the Fufulso Sawla road (147km) in the Northern part of Ghana, the Eastern corridor road project that cuts across the Volta Region and has been abandoned by the NPP government, the beautiful construction of significant portions of the Accra to Kumasi Road, construction of major components of the gang four roads in Accra (ie Tetteh Quashie to Adenta Highway, Achimota to Ofankor Highway etc which were just at 20% construction stage when the NDC took over government in 2009, the Sofoline Interchange in Kumasi are unmatched and a threat to the current government.
In Accra, staring in the scared eyes of the ruling government are the highways constructed by the former President Mahama’s government such as the fantastic and high tech Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange, the Burma Camp/Giffard Road Highway that has transformed La and its environs, the numerous new roads that have been constructed in various neighbourhoods in Accra at East Legon, Dansoman, Teshie, Awoshie etc., not forgetting the modern interchange under construction at Kasoa. Seen? But let’s move on a bit!
Coming to the health sector, former president Mahama’s legacies of major infrastructural projects that are undoubtedly enhancing the health status of Ghanaians are not just scary but also intimidating. Mention can be made of the massive and modern Ridge Hospital, the massive and modern Police Hospital, the modern teaching hospital completed at the University of Ghana Legon, the modern hospital at Bekwai, and numerous other health facilities. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) also witnessed better administrative structures and management during his era. The numerous CHPS compounds scattered across the various communities in the country are also a threat to the government that is struggling to deliver on its key promises.
When one turns to the transport sector, massive infrastructural projects at the ports of Tema and Takoradi, the Kotoka International Airport, Tamale Airport, and Kumasi Airports have been strategically pursued by the former President who was described as the ‘incompetent’ one in his bid to position Ghana as commercial hub of West Africa, to name a few of the project initiatives in this sector. The Terminal 3 of the Kotoka International Airport which was recently opened to passenger traffic on September 15, 2018, after successful tests and simulation exercises. The iconic opening of the terminal three saw hundreds of passengers in both arrival and departures departments of the terminal go through what many describe as a smooth and stress-free procedure is another legacy of the former president.
I am not an economist but I can safely say that on the area of managing the economy, Mr Mahama did his best though, under very harsh world economic environment, depressed prices for Ghana’s major export products (oil brought in 50% of project revenues) increased public expenditure largely arising from the implementation of the single spine salary policy. Besides, Ghana’s attainment of lower middle income economy status ushered the country into an era of economic management that calls for difficult but necessary measures in Ghana’s economic management which President Mahama is was vigorously pursuing. These and others are just few of the achievements of the former president who is staging a comeback to battle a government that promised honey and milk and has so far forcefully fed Ghanaians with raw grounded garlic and onions.
Another truth is that Mr Mahama can boast of larger than life political showing and followership that encompass and vibrate in the international stage and locally than the current president of the Republic of Ghana. He is loved by incredible hordes of people particularly the ordinary people who one way or the other are regretting for the terribly mistake they made in the 2016 elections for electing such clueless hungry group of politicians to come and put us on a reverse gear. A backwards forever government where looting and sharing of the taxpayers money is unprecedentedly remarkable.
Ghanaians, at any given opportunity, stop at nothing demonstrating their passion and support for him. This explains why the grassroots base of the NDC is on an unbelievable rise across every part of the country after 2016 elections. It is in this realisation that the NPP’s led government’s dread of the former president’s comeback is apparently located and they will stop at nothing at working hard to dent his image before the 2020 general elections.
The truth state of the NPP’s government after Mr Mahama started his campaign for the flagbearership race is trepidation and panic. You can simply put it, to the NPP government; the fear of the former president’s presidential ambition is the beginning of political wisdom in Ghana now. So if they must hold onto power, they have to expose him to all manner of erroneous but tissue of false allegations bandied about in the media which are obviously baseless. But this, they have started with the speed of lightning and thunder. And they will do this to the extreme with no shame and embarrassment.
The NPP have all of a sudden developed itchy tongues and are now restless. The government’s propaganda machinery will find very beautiful ways of twisting stories to suit their nefarious activities to run down the image of the Mr John Mahama at the least opportunity. My fears too are, how are the communicators of the opposition party and that of the former president prepared to counter the war of naked lies waging from the ruling party? My fears and indisputable fears! I shall be back
The writer is a practicing Journalist, Managing Editor of The National Tribute newspaper and an activist of the National Democratic Congress, NDC. Email; [email protected] or 0249726262.