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Opinions of Thursday, 10 July 2014

Columnist: Daily Post

4 Reasons Why Many Ghanaians Still Love And Trust President Mahama

There is no doubt that these are very difficult times for Ghanaians. With the way the energy crises through the fall of the cedi against other currencies to the increase in prices of commodities have bedeviled the economy, one does not need to be a rocket scientist to decipher that times are rough for everybody whether the person is in the upper, middle or lower class of the society.
Nevertheless, a three-day survey conducted by this paper reveals that President Mahama, amidst the storm, remains loved and trusted by many Ghanaians. The survey was carried out in Accra and Tema. Among the reasons why the majority of those sampled still have a soft spot for the President despite the crises is discussed below.


President Mahama was hailed for not choosing Public Relations gimmicks or propaganda rhetorics to whitewash the prevailing economic situation. Being fortright with Ghanaians is the reason some, including Kweku Fori, a storekeeper in Accra, gave for still trusting President Mahama.
“The President has said himself that there are challenges. He has not attempted to deny it. This is not typical of many politicians. I like him for that. It makes me trust him despite the challenges,” he said.
President Mahama’s calm disposition amidst the insults that some Ghanaians mainly from the opposition parties have hurled at him also won him applause among many of the respondents.
“The language some Ghanaians use for President Mahama is just bad. They insult him on their facebook walls, on radio and in newspapers. They try to make the President look stupid. I am sure he has heard or read many of these insults and attacks on him. However, he does not hit back. This is the mark of a good leader. A good leader must be a role model to the youth. He has kept his dignity and the dignity of his office by not hitting back. He often has a smile on his face as if he is telling the Lord to “forgive them, for they do not know what they do. These are economic challenges but I just love him for not descending into the gutters out of frustration,” said Mrs. Edith Benchil, a businesswoman cum cold-store operator in Tema.
Another chorus from those polled was that President Mahama’s ratings remain high in their books because they see him as someone who is working around the clock to solve the poblems.
Samuel Frimpong, a pharmacist in Accra had this to say; “I can never stand a President who seems to be relaxed and is enjoying amidst economic difficulties. That is why I trust President Mahama. The way his hair has quickly gone grey says a lot about him. The man is thinking seriously about the country. And, anytime there is news about him, it is about work, work and work. He is either commissioning a project or cutting sod for another. He is either visiting a company to see how work is going on or working on issues about bringing peace to fellow African countries. This is what I want to see of a President who the people have given their mandate to to govern. Being a President is not about clinking wine glasses often. It is about working for the people.

Also among the reasons many of the respondents cited as still trusting the President is the fact that he has not been personally cited in any corrupt act by even an opposition that loves to make spurious allegations.
“I am happy that the President is clean when it comes to corruption. Allegations may have been made against some of his men but not him personally. He must remain clean. That is all I ask for,” said Mrs. Joyce Narh, a teacher at Tema.

These thoughts and opinions came alongside what the respondents want to see the President doing to reduce the rising cost of living in the country. The four main things they want to see the President doing or tackling are
i) Reshuffling of cabinet: Many of the respondents opine that some of the President’s appointees are simply lazy or not performing. They want to see the President show them the exist from his government.
ii) Automatic Adjustment of fuel price: This was a bother to many. They believe that the frequent increase in price of petroleum using the automatic price adjustment formulae is not the way to go.
iii) VAT on Bank charges: though this has been withdrawn, respondent feel it is not a good policy and so must not be reintroduced.
iv) Labour: Many opine that the President must tackle the concerns of labour more vigrously. They believe more seriousness must be attached to it.
He was commended for measures announced to de-dollarized the economy even though they feel monitoring the measures was poor and this has made it a failure.
The respondents were 200 in number. 85 were NDC supporters, 85 NPP while 6 were the total number of supporters of the other parties; the rest of the respondents do not support any party.