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03.08.2019 Feature Article

Election 2020: The Running Mate Factor Counts The National Democratic Congress

John Mahama
LISTEN AUG 3, 2019

Fellow Ghanaians, whether you have been following latest news of our political experimentation or not, the rumour mill of our political space continues to heat up internally within the National Democratic Congress. And so far, the rumour mill has been agog and saddled with wild speculations in respect of who would run with the most vilified political persona in our recent political history, former president John Dramani Mahama.

An adage of the Yoruba says that the man who has used the toilet can easily forget but the one who has cleaned up the mess will always remember.

It may take centuries for Ghanaians to forget the unkind effects of the mismanagement of the New Patriotic Party, NPP government under President Akufo Addo. The old man is simply entired from all indications. And to him, having a gigantic size government is the solution to the incessant borrowing and daily shylock leadership.

So far, names of potential running mates of former president Mahama that have popped up in the media landscape according to include: Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast and former Education Minister, Marrietta Appiah-Opong Brew, a former Attorney-General, Kwesi Ahwoi, Ghana’s former Agric Minister and High Commissioner to South Africa, Dr Johnson Asiama, a former Bank of Ghana Deputy Governor; Mr Julius Debrah, a former Minister and the immediate-past Chief of Staff and Hannah S. Tetteh, a former Foreign Minister now U.N top Diplomat.

These are all influential political capos and bigwigs of the party, and eminently qualified for the herculean job ahead if the former President decides to settle on anyone of them.

However, I am of the humble opinion that due to the gutter nature of our political ambience that all these people have had some level of experience for their direct or indirect participation in governance, it will be fantastic if someone very innocent of such a dog-eat-dog politics could easily be identified and made to partner with the former president. So that, such a candidate can seize the bull by the horns at once without fear of any anticipating consequences, so as to "naively" work with the president.

Ghanaians need a different set of mindset and innovative thinkers far from the status quo or at least, ready to change it. Someone who will not be afraid of any eventuality and as a result can test new waters in tackling our myriad of problems.

That partner of president Mahama must be ebullient, enigmatic, and indomitable enough to arrest unforseen situations generated by his actions in the course of his duties.

Looking at how the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Kwesi Obiri Danso, was able to comport himself and the maturity of leadership he showcased during the "planned impasse" of KNUST, I think he will be a perfect vice presidential material to the former president Mahama if he is interested to run with him.

With Prof. K.O Danso's disarming smiles and unquenchable hunger to fix everything mess, if combined with his scientific background, he can support former president Mahama and the NDC to easily industrialize the country within two years (I would have to come back in another epistle to chronicle what that flag of leadership has done in KNUST as a Vice Chancellor of that intellectual shrine in less than three years to merit the running mate slot of the NDC. Prof. K.O Danso is simply one of Ghana's biggest assets the country can boast of)

Few months ago I did a political acid test on the former president and his chances of ousting the Akufo Addo's most nepotistic government when Buhari was alleged to have stolen his second mandate back to power. In that article, I pondered and wondered how a "dead goat" could be resurrected after four good years.

But unbeknownst and unaware to many Ghanaians and the ruling party itself, it is possible that a certain "Lazarus" may be capable of resurrecting if he gets a supporting Jesus Christ. I believe Prof. Kwesi Obiri Danso stands tall, cleaned, brand new, and capable of rescuing Ghana with the former president from the current Godforsaken government.

You may say what you want, but nobody can wake up a man who is not sleeping. And former president Mahama can bounce back as he deems fit if he makes his choice of running mate carefully.

The endless slideshow of financial malfeasances, avoidable scandals regarding fraudulent deals, and the continuous misleading of the upper echelon of the government that have hit the NPP government is an eloquent testimony to the cluelessness of the Akufo Addo led administration. And for me, that's a flash of hope for president Mahama. Because, after all, president Akufo Addo and his unjustifiable largest government has in less than three years become the most create-loot-and-share kind of government Ghana has ever witnessed.

It has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the Mahama administration was better and Ghanaians must not miss the golden opportunity to bring back the "devil" they know than allow a nepotistic angel to feed fat on them.

Fellow Ghanaians if governance is all about borrowing money to restore nurses and trainees allowances, who can't be a president by promising payment of allowances to all citizens and even denizens in this country?

If competent management of economy is about borrowing money like there's no tomorrow to stabilize an economy that will soon collapse like a pack of cards in an attempt to pay the huge debt, who can't manage an economy of a country?

You see, a "goat" that died in order to escape and resist the carving knife of so-called party elders, is capable of resurrecting at a will. And nobody should dismiss former President John Dramani Mahama's bouncing back after watching the most abysmal performance by the Akufo Addo government that has been confused and perplexed in the muddy waters of fraudulent deals.

What majority of Ghanaians don't realize is that nothing is impossible in our political clime. Political miracles abound and real and anything can happen in the Ghanaian political landscape.

The voter apathy former president John Mahama suffered in the Volta Region is going to haunt and hunt the NPP in the Ashanti Region come 2020.

The good people of Ashanti Region have been shortchanged by the party they laboured to bring to power. Almost three years of Akyims' government and nepotism never dreamt of in our history, president Akufo Addo can't boast of anything he has done for that region except declaring war against their livelihood in the mining sector without alternative livelihood for them.

And as if their tormentor president Akufo Addo is not ready to relieve them of their torment, the government has in the most incompetent way truncated their Cocoa roads contracts signed and kicked started under the Mahama administration.

Worse is the government's plans to mortgage the people of Ashanti's bauxite for a Chinese loan to feed Akufo Addo's underperforming "plenty" ministers made up of mainly his friends and family members.

One doesn't need to possess any clairvoyant abilities to realize that the government's projects, like Mahama's projects they demonized in opposition in the eyes of Ghanaians, are gradually turning to an insult to the citizens.

The dugouts purported to be dams dug around in some villages by the government remains a financial loss to the state dams that a flamingo's legs won't entirely wet if filled with water! They are simply mirages.

The Free SHS has become a Californian Gold for the president's kitchen cabinet. Meanwhile, for students who have been squeezed and packed like sardines in classrooms and dormitories, 2020 is their year of revenge.

Likewise, the planting for food and jobs initiative has become a source of tribal superiority. Today, if you are not a Mamprusi by ethnicity, you can't even get a cupful of Ammonia fertilizer from government to apply in your farm in the North. The list is endless detailing a flat failure of the family and friends government of President Akufo Addo, and sooner rather than later, the biased "elephant" would capsize if a "neutral" person partners with president Mahama.

Moreover, I saw a shameless demonstration of moral prostitution and righteous indignation, and nearly threw a punch in the air after reading paragraphs 65, 75, 85, 86, 83, 39 (who fixed Dumsor), 55, 63, and 80 of the 2019 midyear budget review presented by the Minister for finance in the House of Parliament.

In fact, I appreciated article 61 that reflects in article 94 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana walking through those paragraphs in the reviewed budget statement. I saw a fraudulent competence flying in the face of reason and the most wicked and worst form of propaganda reading the said paragraphs of the financial statement.

And if what the Finance Minister chronicled and perused before the Honorable Members of the House is the government's promised competence in economic management, then for God sake, accursed is such a competence! Because that budget was a clear case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

What I mean is that our political system has become quite unpredictable than the leadership style of Professor K.O Danso, the Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST: the iconic and ebullient leader but a hidden treasure of our beloved country. I never could anticipate NPP's marketplace weakness of leadership like this.

The New Patriotic Party has outlived its usefulness within the shortest possible time in government. President Akufo Addo is a counterfeit Messiah. Ghanaians deserve real leadership that is empathetic.

I mean, who would have thought the governing party under the nepotistic watch of President Akufo Addo could have wasted their hard won goodwill in eight years on jejune in such a jiffy, and soiled and saddled itself with the present fraudulent deals and absolutely fed up leadership they are boasting of?

I mean, a party accused of only boasting of suspected drug barons in the build up to 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections, could eventually gain the trust of the people on the back of "anti-borrowing" sentiments, has actually borrowed more than twice the amount their predecessors they lambasted borrowed, is quite mind-numbing.

The country's debt profile has hit two hundred and four (204) billion cedis; an increase of over eighty-two (82) billion cedis in less than three years. Such is the competence of Akufo Addo's leadership: enlarging government with one's family and friends and borrowing money in the name of all Ghanaians to feed these family members and friends.

But you see, our elders say if God does not create you as an owner of sandals, dogs take it if you ever own one on your own.

The propaganda Vice President Dr. Bawumia, the NPP's genuine genius engaged in in the last election successfully catapulted the frank administration of former president Mahama out of political power. Today, the same exchange rate spoken about continues to expose the phantom economic growth that only the family and friends of president Akufo Addo feel. Kudos to the well oiled propaganda machinery of His Excellency, Vice President Dr. Bawumia.

The question now is, would history repeat itself in the upcoming general elections if the NDC also focuses on the "running mate factor"?

Indeed, many distant political observers think the National Democratic Congress, NDC, needed a brand new leadership in order to rebrand the party during the party's flagbeareship contest. They might have not been far from truth.

However, former president John Mahama's bouncing back has only happened due to the super incompetent leadership displayed by His Excellency president Akufo Addo, who cluelessly and visionlessly implemented free SHS without foreseeing the impending too congested classrooms and dormitories. The economics Messiah himself couldn't foresee the double track coming either.

Therefore, who will also run with the able former president John Mahama is what will decide the fortunes of the NDC in the upcoming 2020 general elections.

If the former vice president Amisah Arthur of blessed memory were to be alive today, he must have still run with his boss, former president Mahama. Because, the current government is made up of flip-flopping economic mangers who backtrack on thoughtless economic policies previously advised by the NDC not to take.

For me, the economists have been disappointing as witnessed in the present administration that only relies on borrowing to grow "their economy.

I believe it's time to go by the Deng Xiaoping's Four Modernizations development agenda way, that focused on Science and Technology, Agriculture, National Defense, and Industry which catapulted China out of economic misery of third world into first world.

Professor Kwasi Obiri Danso is a member of the academia with celebrated excellent leadership and technocratic pedigree, and if he is interested as a patriotic citizen, let him avail himself to run with former president John Mahama to help rescue Ghana from a savaging and rampaging foe who only knows how to set poisonous traps for perceived and real enemies, and blows his own horn fraudulently!

I Shall Return... God Bless Ghana. The Writer, Iddrisu Abdul Hakeem, is a MasterCard Foundation Scholar (Alumnus) at KNUST.

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Iddrisu ABDUL HAKEEM, © 2019

The author has 47 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: IddrisuABDULHAKEEM

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