John Mahama largely unknown as a vice president jumped into stardom when he became the president after Mills passed away in very suspicious circumstances. It was generally believed that some gurus of the NDC, who believed that the worsening health of Atta Mills would not guarantee them power, hastened his death. They needed a young man to win power for NDC. Mahama who wants to have a second chance to become president of Ghana refused an autopsy for the dead president. Ghanaians have not forgotten!
During the 2016 elections, many Ghanaians remembered the corruption, wastefulness, total loss of control over electricity power and the arrogance of Mahama so he had a heavy electoral fall against Akufo-Addo. I will explain why Mahama should not have dared to run again for re-election. The most unfortunate part which makes it unreasonable and selfish for him to stand for re-election is because he can only run for one term. The constitution allows a person to run for only two terms. Mahama has done one term already so why won't the NDC select a candidate who can run for only one term?
Mahama is a wrong choice and will never be able to win the 2020 elections for NDC due to all the reasons I will be listing in this article. Undeniably Mahama is the richest person in the NDC party. He was able to pay his way through to become the presidential candidate. None of the candidates could match him in terms of giving out monies to the delegates to motivate them to vote for him. Why John Mahama, when they are all aware that he can only stand for one term? If the NDC party does not come to power, the blame will be laid squarely on the greed of the delegates for selecting Mahama as the presidential candidate.
Training Colleges and Nursing schools were established when Kwame Nkrumah became the first president of Ghana. Free allowances were paid to the students. This which was very much appreciated since it made it possible for poor families to send their children to those institutions. All the governments that came after Nkrumah continued with the policy because they knew it was good and helpful to the students. Interestingly and surprisingly, Ghanaians woke up one day to hear from John Mahama that he was cancelling all allowances to nursing and teacher training students. He added that even if the measure would cost him the 2016 elections, he would never restore the allowances. Indeed they voted massively against Mahama and the NDC. Akufo-Addo restored the nurses and teachers allowances as soon as he came to power. The no allowance policy of Mahama has left a scar in the minds of the students and they will still vote against him in order to prevent a change in the allowance policy.
Throughout his period as a president of Ghana, he never stopped exposing his weakness and arrogance. Kumasi Airport needed renovation, so Mahama decided to raise it to an international level. When the project was completed, only the tarmac was widened and prolonged. Nothing was done to the building, the luggage conveyor belt remained the same, the arrival and departure halls also remained the same. The only remarkable changes were strong lights that were fixed at several places on the tarmac to direct the planes. After inspecting the airport, he jubilated with a short dance with the Asantehene, Nana Osei Tutu II. Mahama declared the airport, Kumasi International Airport before a teeming, disapproving crowd who felt the airport comes nowhere near an international airport. Listen to Mahama's arrogant reply to citizens of Kumasi: As for you people of Kumasi, if I 'tar' the streets of Kumasi with gold, you will still not be satisfied. Asantehene heard it and no action was taken. If Mahama still wants to contest for presidency, he should forget Ashanti votes in 2020.
If it was not for pecuniary motives, the delegates should have considered voting for someone else instead of Mahama. Mahama's past rule, deeds and corruption will cause them a heavy loss in 2020. When Mahama had the opportunity to rule Ghana, he placed Ghana in total darkness, sometimes off and on, giving rise to the term dumsor. This term has entered google and Oxford dictionary. Since Mahama's name is linked to dumsor, the electorate will be careful not to vote for Mahama for fear that he will return dumsor when voted into power. All these make him a wrong choice for the NDC.
The various contracts awarded by former president Mahama to the Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe in June 2016 angered Ghanaians. Contracts that could easily have been given to a Ghanaian contractor at a relatively cheaper cost were dubiously granted to a Burkinabe businessman. The contract was to build a mere fence wall around the Ghana embassy in Ouagadougou. The contract was awarded to the Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe. When the fence wall was completed, the Foreign Affairs ministry had to pay him a whoping 650,000USD to the contractor. As a thank you to his friend John Mahama, he decorated his office with photos of Mahama and photos he took with Mahama. He topped it with a brand new car ''gift'' to the former president. Ghanaians yelled and considered the gift as bribe. Djibril Kanazoe went further and became the only African contractor to win part of the contract on the eastern corridor project, one of the biggest road projects in Ghana. Why should Mahama do this to Ghanaian contractors?
Since the corruption, bribery and the grievous crimes committed by John Mahama are still fresh in the minds of Ghanaians, the NDC delegates will realise in 2020 that they made a wrong choice. During his term of office, Mahama contributed a lot to infrastructure in terms of school buildings, hospitals and roads. He destroyed the prestige and the praises he had through double costing and over-pricing. The difference in the amount used for the project is pocketed and shared. Ghanaians still remember the scandal of bus branding and over-pricing which caused the dismissal of the Minister who caused the mess of over-pricing. Ghanaians have not forgotten how Mahama's government spilled millions of dollars in the North in a wasteful venture of rearing guinea fowls which were rumoured to have flown to Burkina Faso. The tree planting project was a waste of money and efforts.
Mahama's term in office brought pain and anger to Ghanaians as they helplessly watched Mahama and his government pile up debts from the IMF whose policy forbade employment among graduates and school leavers. So why should the NDC choose Mahama to be their presidential candidate when the same factors that sent him sprawling on the ground, giving Akufo-Addo a landslide victory, are still in the minds of Ghanaians?
Columnist: Stephen Atta Owusu
Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads
Email: [email protected]