John Dramani Mahama was the immediate past President of the Republic of Ghana. He became a president by default after the sudden Demise of president Mills after a short illness on July 24, 2012. He successfully led the NDC into the 2012 elections. The 2012 NDC campaign was perhaps the most decorated and most festive looking campaign ever.
NDC paraphernalia decorated every street, every corner, almost every vehicle and every home and the chant of EDE BEE KEKE was heard from the lips of even new born babies. That was how far Ghanaians appreciated the good works of LATE PRESIDENT MILLS vis:
* Implementation of SSSS
*Increase of trainees allowances
* Recruitment into the public/civil service etc.
Mills was touted as A KING OF PEACE for his demeanor and humility. This was what Mahama inherited.
Amidst shouts of ede bee keke, sympathy votes, incumbency advantage, John Mahama and the NDC polled a little above 5 million votes beating the NPP by a slim margin of 300, 000 votes.
THE REAL TEST FOR MAHAMA-2013-2016
The then opposition NPP started spreading rumors that the IMF was going to intervene in our economy. Mahama government vehemently denied it. Government organized a workshop at Senchi in which all the economic gurus were assembled to make input concerning the well being of the state. The final paper was dubbed: SENCHI CONSENSUS.
Few months after Senchi Consensus, government went to the the IMF with cup in hand, kneel on the ground and tears flowing uncontrollably and pitifully. We were told the IMF had agreed to OUR OWN DOMESTIC POLICIES (SENCHI CONSENSUS).
Lo and behold, we started hearing freeze on public sector employment, removal of trainees allowances, suspension of LESDEP program and many other irritating news. To make things worse, Ghana was hit with the worst power crisis in our history which lasted almost the entire tenure of Mahama. Finally, when Ghana overcame the power crisis in early 2016, the poor citizen was asked to pay unbearable electricity tariff. Between the power crisis and the high tariffs, it was difficult to choose the lesser evil.
To make matters worse, president Mahama had declared he was “A DEAD GOAT WHO FEARED NO KNIFE” in response to critics who complained about economic difficulties. He danced to YENTIE OBIAA SONG by Lumba as if to say he was not bothered about the plight of the ordinary Ghanaians. He jabbed his critics on a rally organized by the Greater Accra branch of the NDC saying HIS CRITICS HAD NEVER BEEN PRESIDENTS SO THEY COULD NOT ASSESS HIM WELL. He further dared trainees to do their worse since he would never reinstate their allowances.
For once, Mahama’s campaign was occasionally greeted with placards:
WE WONT VOTE
WE WANT OUR ALLOWANCE BACK
REDUCE LIGHT BILLS
WE WANT JOBS
WE ARE SUFFERING etc
Eventually, passionate Mahama reinstated Nursing trainees allowance (amount significantly reduced) and the money was hurriedly paid on table top. Our elders say WHEN YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL.
The end result was a disappointing 44.4 % election results for any sitting president.
SHOULD MAHAMA COMEBACK?
The question is what will he do differently? From my observation so far, the most dangerous attempt by Mahama is to try to lead the NDC as the flagbearer. If Mahama contests, these are possible consequences:
*He will lose respect as a statesman
*He will be denigrated
*His legacy will be destroyed by his own people
*He will not be trusted to do anything differently
*He cannot bring on board supporters who are peeved
*His managers are not remorseful and continue to silence dissenters
*Assuming he wins the primaries, and fails to beat the NPP, will he come again in 2024?
*If he is beaten again and decides not to contest again in 2024, the NDC will be in danger of staying in opposition for 12 to 16 years. That will be the longest since 1992
Finally, the NDC will be more divided if Mahama contests as we are seeing already. Coming events, they say cast their shadows. The best person who could have united the party is Mahama. Unfortunately, he has decided to be a player instead of the referee. I love Mahama and I would have wished he kept his legacy and his image in tact instead of subjecting himself to a needless assessment.
We must all prepare ourselves physically and psychologically for the trials and tribulations ahead of us before and after the NDC primaries.
By PARAMZA KOFI HAMZA
(AN NDC COMMUNICATOR)