Ahead of the December 7, 2020 presidential elections, the major and serious political parties have nominated their candidates for the polls. The battle for the presidency, in December, is taking a definite shape. Unlike past presidential polls, the December election will be a battle of eggheads, technology, monetization, vigilantism and tested politicians. And many of the battles would be fought on various social media platforms.
Both men are familiar faces to the Ghanaian electorates. Both were lawmakers; and same were ministers. It would be the fifth election campaign for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, 76, and third for the main opposition candidate John Dramani Mahama, 61, who was vice president and president.
Interestingly, both men would have each completed the first term of a four-year renewal mandate as presidents.
Strategically, while Nana is asking for four more years to do more, his predecessor, John Mahama, has lit a rescue mission to redirect the path of the country.
For Mahama, ‘the NDC is returning to repair the damage done to the project Ghana. That, the NDC is returning to bring hope to the hopeless, help to the helpless, and job to the jobless. NDC is returning to make the difference. The party is returning to heal the deep wounds of the Nana Addo led administration. NDC is coming to bring ideas and initiatives on the table. NDC is coming to unite Ghanaians’.
But Akufo-Addo view Mahama’s rescue mission as an exercise in futility. NDC has practically nothing meaningful to do in government to campaign for his comeback in 2020. NDC has no political programme to prosecute for Ghanaians that will improve the wellbeing of Ghanaians. What are they coming back to do? What’s the programme of the NDC under the leadership of John Mahama? What was the programme? What is the record they are coming to defend in 2020, Nana Addo asks?
The Ghanaian voter is beginning to draw their personal inferences and come with their diverse theories as regards the nation's polity and leadership. Major actors have started aligning their interests for the role ahead of the next general elections in 2020.
And as an active citizen, I have chronicled and profile them, their achievements, chances and the possible odds against them.
- Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
Ahead of a flagbearer contest slated for April 25, 2020, he has demonstrated his interest in seeking a second term, and the possibility that he will do so cannot be ruled out as his loyalists and political associates have continued to fly that kite enthusiastically and with no contender in sight, he seems to be the sole contender for the flagbearership slot.
President Akufo-Addo is sure he will be reelected on the NPP’s ticket to pursue his second term ambition. It is widely believed that he will utilize the power of incumbency which may perhaps, be among his strengths in the December 7 election.
Nana claimed his “enormous” goodwill remained strong because the Ghanaian people are convinced that he was acting in their best interest.
Political Analysts believe that as an incumbent, the president controls enormous powers which he will certainly use to advance his political cause.
One other key factor that will also work in his favour is the fact that he has the financial wherewithal to pursue his political ambition given the fact that finance remains a critical factor in our nation’s political sphere.
To a very large extent, Nana Addo is expected to count on regional might and support from his NPP Legislators and prominent party members who may stop at nothing to ensure that the party retains the seat of power.
Another key strength of the incumbent president is the contribution of his political appointees and support groups who would work to see him emerges victorious.
Famous among Akufo-Addo’s strength is the outcome of the last general election in which the NPP won the presidential election, clinched One Hundred and Sixty-nine of the two hundred and seventy-five parliamentary seats.
His strongest weak point is the issue of his alleged poor performance which many say may haunt him.
- John Dramani Mahama
Prior to his being elected a Vice President in 2008, John D. Mahama, served as a member of parliament.
John Mahama, 61 years old, is from Bole in the Bole District of Savanah area of Ghana. He is eloquent and commands massive support of his party. He is considered as the most experienced among the candidates having served both in the public office and holding political offices.
Though there are a few cases of re-alignment of interest recorded within the NDC due to the contentious issue of his picking a running mate, political observers are however of the view that the NDC still remains the party to beat , considering Mahama’s stature and coordination at the grassroots.
Without doubt, Mahama’s rescue mission is suffering from half-baked support by persons occupying very important positions who are nursing presidential ambitions.
And there are those who are still bitter about how they were relegated. For those people, it’s nothing but a time to avenge.
Chief factor against Mahama’s chances, is the love of money by people around him.
However, here are some of the factors that will determine the winner of 2020
- Selective Anti-corruption Fight against perceived political enemies while openly celebrating and shielding corrupt elements in his party. Off course it is no longer news that the Anti-corruption War that is being fought by the Nana led Administration is fake and aimed at the opposition party unless proven otherwise. By looking at the scenario, Mr. president is busily celebrating his appointees and says they are innocent.
- Ghanaians would want to know whether there has been accountability, not just for members of the Mahama regime but also for members of NPP government that rode to power on the President’s anti-corruption credentials.
- We shall compare, contrast the infrastructure and job creation records of the two leading contenders.
- We shall evaluate policies by their impact(s). E- Blocks and Free SHS shall be assessed on the strength of the initiative and implementation.
- We shall also pay attention to how democracy and peace has been deepened. What is our present human rights rating?
- We will be willing to know how the Ghanaian Cedi traded with the American Dollar.
- We also compare pump prices of both regimes vis-à-vis the campaign messages.
- In the voice of Dr. Arthur Kennedy, the Ghanaian people will judge the empathy and humility quotient of Nana and Mahama. Empathy and Humility is what binds people to a struggling government. Is the “he understands and cares about people like me” factor”
Admittedly, both men have some achievements to their credit however negligible their impacts.
We can mention construction of hospitals, E-Blocks, building of famous terminal 3, Circle interchange (Ghana’s Dubai) to the credit of John Dramani Mahama, while acknowledging Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the introduction of Free Senior High School, restoration of allowances, the supposed sanitization of the financial sector resulting in the closure of over 400 financial institutions. He choked over 123 radio stations and created six new regions.
Similarly, both men have not met their entire campaign promises to Ghanaians in their first term. There's no need here to detail the many broken campaign promises that have accumulated throughout history. For example, Akufo-Addo promised to give us a lean government, but he ended up with a size of ministers seems almost correlated with the size of his campaign promises.
Isn’t shameful that a party that rose to power on the wings of change in all sectors of governance is now turning around to blame previous governments for its woeful performance. Far more disgraceful is the NPP’s attempt to commit political ‘hara-kiri’ by denying President Akufo’s campaign promises. It is not only dubious but equally fraudulent to suddenly start denying their candidate’s campaign promises after those promises were used to swindle Ghanaians to vote him into office in 2016.
Yet again, it is for Ghanaians to compare and contrast how challenging or otherwise their lives were economically before the advent of this government and what they experience now. It is staring all of us in the face. Interestingly, the situation is incapable of separating the NPP members and the NDC members in the spread of its consequences.
To sum up, if politicians are ever to be able to lead, there will have to be an end at some point to the negative expectancy disconfirmation effect. We must learn to trust again. Great leaders require not only the ability to take bold action, but the willingness of citizens to allow them to try to win without having to make wild and unrealistic promises. On the morning after, it would be nice to wake up and be able to feel that whoever won or lost, the change is one we can truly "believe in."