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General News of Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Source: The Al-Hajj

No 2nd term for John Mahama?

Mr. John Dramani Mahama is on the verge of making history as the only Ghanaian President not to take advantage of the constitutional mandate that allows a sitting president to avail himself for another four year term in office.

The AL-HAJJ can report today that all available signs intensely backed by the actions and or, inactions of the Mahama administration, most especially, the president’s own disposition leads to only one conclusion; that President John Mahama is not desirous of going for a second term.

On the blind side of most Ghanaians some five months ago, President John Mahama may have given the strongest indication yet when he said he is not just ‘another African politician’ hell bent on clinching on to power.

The president gave this hint when he responded to public criticisms from some senior members of his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), amongst whom include; former Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation at the Presidency and now Ghana’s Ambassador to The Netherlands, Dr. Tony Aidoo, former Majority Leader and ex-minister of Health, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin and comments by the NDC party General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketsia.

Reacting to the NDC kingpins and other party members sharing similar sentiments, President Mahama told an orientation Workshop for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives at the Local Government Training Institute in Accra that:

“Recently, a few of my comrades have questioned my commitment to fight corruption. I dare say they don’t know me."

“For those who disagree with me and are anxious to see my back, (they are) not to worry, 2016 is not too far away. I will urge them to be patient and this difficult job; the least one expects is loyalty and comradeship.”

While many Ghanaians could not decipher what exactly the president meant at the time, history has it that this will not be the first time President John Mahama would be disappointing many when his service was needed most; perhaps to prove to the world that he, unlike other politicians, does not believe in grabbing or being in power at-all-cost.

Indeed, in the run-up to the 2004 elections when the whole NDC family including the “almighty” party Founder, Rawlings and wife, Nana Konadu, were ‘shedding’ tears for John Mahama to partner the late Candidate John Mills as his running mate, the then Bole Bamboi MP did the unthinkable which stunned everyone, by turning down the offer in pursuit of academic laurels.

Even though the President is as yet to formally declare his intension whether to seek a second term as guaranteed by the 1992 constitution, his body language and orientation nonetheless, depicts him as someone not afraid to jump ship when his first term comes to an end.

Painstaking examination of the happenings in the Mahama government since the president was sworn into office on January 7, 2012 has provoked some political watchers to be positing that President Mahama may just not be interested in the renewal of his mandate as part of his wider plans.

Perhaps, the President Achilles heel; his eagerness to please all and not good enough to even hurt a fly, are also turning out to be his waterloo.

Recent assertions by his former boss, mentor and the man who unearthed his political career, Jerry John Rawlings, that perhaps Mahama was too “nice a President” for an African country such as Ghana; appears to hold.

Incredibly, party officials and political pundits are yet to come to terms as to why almost halfway into President John Mahama’s four year tenure in office, the president is unable to have the full complements of his government.

This is against the backdrop of the fact that the NDC’s arch-rival and main opposition, the New Patriotic Party, has heated the country’s political skies even when the next presidential election is two years away.

In the last few weeks, President Mahama and his administration have come under intense public censure for their poor handling of a number of issues that could have better been managed not to generate the needless raging public anger which invariably, demoralizes its teeming supporters.

Aside the intrigues, the ongoing high stakes politicking amongst the various political gladiators in the NDC ahead of the party’s national congress to elect national officers, most of the problems diluting the chances of the ruling party under Mahama’s leadership are self-imposed.

The long-overdue ministerial reshuffle expected to reinvigorate government, the frequent upward adjustment in fuel and utility tariffs as a result of so-called automatic adjustment formula and the president’s recently acquired taste for foreign travels even when his backyard is boiling, political pundits have observed are enough pointers to surmise the President may have lost interest going for a second term.

Government’s handling of the yet-to-be enforced 17.5% VAT imposed on some bank services and the confusion in the advertised, but now cancelled introduction of GYEEDA ICT module leaves much to be desired.

Compounding government’s woes was the presidency’s handling of the Ghanaian US-flagged plane sighted in Iran, the SADA/Mango rot and the buffoonery of former SADA CEO.

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