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Opinions of Thursday, 5 October 2017

Columnist: Isaac Kyei Andoh

This is why JM 2020 will leave NDC on the brink of collapse

Former President John Dramani Mahama Former President John Dramani Mahama

Even though the former president has yet to officially announce his desire to contest the NDC flag-bearer position heading into the 2020 elections, you need not be a prophet to know that the ground is being prepared for him to come out at the appropriate time.

With The unity walk, the attack on those who have given signals of their intention to lead the party and the antics of his appointees and his loyalists in the party, you need not be a prophet to know that JM is gunning for a place on the ballot paper again.

In my opinion though, such a decision, will if accepted by delegates of NDC change the political landscape of Ghana with the NPP being the only beneficiary in such an instance.

Below are my reasons

Ghanaians will give NPP the second term

Most electorates believe that 4 years isn’t enough to assess a new government and therefore, since the beginning of the 4th Republic in 1993, every government has seen two terms in office. Even in 2012 when the NDC lost their candidate about seven months to the general elections, the electorate went head to give them the second chance.

With the implementation of progressive Free SHS which will peak in 2019, the rolling out of the one district one factory initiative and other programs, every political analyst will tell you that NDC has very little chance of winning the 2020 elections.

Why is this supposed to be a bad reason for putting Mahama’s image on the ballot paper come 2020?

Read my next point

Mahama can only be president for one more term

Article 66, Clause 2 of the 1992 Constitutions states that: a person shall not be elected to hold office as President of Ghana for more than two terms.
From the above constitutional provision, our former president can only be President for one more term. Taking into consideration the glaring chances of the NPP winning the 2020 elections, it will make no sense bringing Mahama in 2020. Yes, if he loses, he can still be presented in the 2024, a time when the NDC will have a more realistic chance of winning. The question is: is it reasonable to sit out of power for eight years and bring a candidate who can only serve for a term? This is a question for those rooting for JM to answer.

Ghanaians will want to go with a new NDC

For the first time in Ghana’s history, businesses are struggling, people are suffering, fuel prices have increased and yet there is no pressure on the government of the day from the populace. This is because to majority of Ghanaians, Mahama’s government created massive economic problems for the current government to solve. In spite for the appreciable infrastructural contribution of his government, many people feel he could have done more than he did and that he is to blame for the current hardship on Ghanaians and Ghanaian businesses.

The historic defeat to Nana Akufo Addo wasn’t a fluke: it was a clear demonstration of how the good people of Ghana or let me majority wanted change and voted for it.

The lies being told is that Nana lied his way into power and that Ghanaians have regretted voting out JM. That is blatant falsehood only meant to win back the NDC faithful. NDC lost because Ghanaians needed an inspirational leadership and Mahama could not offer that. The goodwill the current government has is largely down to how bad people believed or were made to believe Mahama’s government was.

My Take

What JM should do now is to give at least a part of what the NDC has given him back to the party in appreciation because the NDC has served him better than any single individual associated with the party.

In terms of competence and service to the party, countless people were better placed than him but most of them, led by the then minority leader Alban Bagbin positioned JM and pushed him to the Vice Presidential position. He wasn’t the most popular Northerner, he wasn’t the most competent and wasn’t even interested in the position but for some reason, everyone stood aside to make him rise. I believe it was a decision done for the good of the party and it paid off in 2008. In fact, senior party leaders had to help him secure his Parliamentary seat at Bole in the 2004 elections because his constituents wanted him out but the party had bigger plans of him.

These are plans they knew would cost them or at least delay their own presidential ambitions at a time when they knew they were risking it for someone who hadn’t done much for the party to deserve it ahead of them. JM the President is the result of the benevolence of senior party members who understood that the collective mattered more than their singular ambitions.

The time has come for him to also put aside his ambition in the interest of the party that has given him more than he ever hoped for.

I have always maintained that if he decides to contest the primaries, he is going to win but he will not win the battle in 2020 against the NPP.

This is why it depends more on President Mahama himself to say enough is enough, tell those who think their political future is tied to his return to find a new haven and take his place on the high table of father of the party and support whoever gets to lead the party.

Even without being president again, in spite of the heavy defeat of 2016, he can look back and be proud of the fact that in the 4th Republic, he has had the most significant twenty years by occupying every single political position.

Within 20 years of active politics, he has served as a Member of Parliament for three consecutive terms, Deputy Minister and Ministry of State, Vice President and President.

For someone who needed days of convincing to accept the call to be the running mate of the late Mills, he should be thankful for how far the Lord has brought him.

If there is any time for proper restructuring to take place in the NDC, if there is any time for the party to revisit its ideology and principles, if there is any time for the party to win back the trust of the people of Ghana: this is the time and it begins with a new leader.

NDC needs a candidate who can be presented in 2020 to be ready for 2024 because the 2020 elections is not an election to be won but an opportunity to crawl back some of the four thousand and sixty nine (40690) short of one million difference in vote that went in favour of the NPP and win back some of the lost seats in Parliament.

If they fail to do this and bring back Mahama in 2020, they will have to themselves a candidate who can only go for one term in 2024.

This is why attacking and demonizing those who have given signs of their readiness to take up the challenge of leading the party isn’t a smart idea. With Bagbin and Joshua Alabi known to be interested, JM should sit back and allow the reformation of the NDC take place because if he gets on the ballot paper again, I can bet on the NPP saying thank you beyond 2024.

Join me on

Isaac Kyei Andoh

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