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Opinions of Saturday, 3 December 2016

Columnist: Guamah, Tetteh Nathaniel

A vote for mahama is the wisest vote

By Tetteh Nathaniel Guamah

Election periods are strategic times electorate get to hold politicians to ransom, with the politicians having full knowledge as to what is in stall for them if these needs are not met and President Mahama is definitely having his share of the heat.

President Mahama is undoubtedly one of the most criticized leaders Ghana has ever had since independence and perhaps it is so because a certain level of luck and divine favour seems to accompany him, which his detractors cannot deal with. The man gets insulted, vilified and spat on at the least of opportunities when actually, all he has been trying to do is leave a positive indelible mark in Ghana’s history long after he has left office.

John Dramani Mahama has widely been branded as an incompetent leader especially by the opposition, New Patriotic Party, maybe because he has not lived up to their expectations as a party. But let us get into the nitty-gritties of John Mahama’s ascent to the presidency, and then maybe we can begin to appreciate the fact that the relatively young, vibrant President has done a lot in his quest to transform Ghana and change the lives of Ghanaians for the better. How did John Mahama become president?

He got the job upon the sudden demise of his political godfather, the late Prof. Mills, at a point where I believe he (Mahama) still had a lot to learn on the job. This means that he had not much experience as compared to his arch-rival Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo who has openly declared that he has been in politics for well over four decades. Nana Addo even referred to President Mahama recently as a “novice in democracy”.

It therefore is surprising how a political luminary like Nana Addo would lose the elections to a “novice” who had only three months to campaign when he (Nana Addo) had been campaigning for well over one year. If indeed Nana Addo was as competent and experienced as he claims to be, then winning the 2012 general elections should have been a mere walk-over for him and I find it difficult to reconcile that interesting turn of events.

That election victory for President John Mahama was his first demonstration to Nana Addo and his allies, that age does not necessarily predict competence and that the people believed more in John Mahama.

Now fast-forward to the aftermath of that elections, President Mahama has undoubtedly faced certain challenges in the course of his four year administration. Certain wrong decisions have been made and mistakes have been committed as well. Nonetheless, there are still a lot of positive feats achieved under the watch of the president who has faced the most vehement opposition, coupled with strikes, demonstrations and protests in the history of the country.

The man has done well to at least, keep his head above the water, defying all the huge odds that came up against him. The country was bedeviled by the Dumsor pandemic which generally affected all spheres of life from business to the social circles. The situation which was a result of accumulated short sighted energy policies of previous governments was heavily blamed on president Mahama as though he manufactured the situation himself. He paid dearly for the sins of past leaders and yet, he never gave up.

His attempts to fix the problems to relieve Ghanaians of the long suffering were further frustrated by saboteurs within the energy sector who kept giving him false updates, thereby relaying the information to the people in order to be seen as a man who is not of his words (a lying president).

The argument was that the Dumsor situation under president Mahama was more serious and prolonged than that which happened during president Kufuor’s reign, even though we all are aware that our main source of power was the Akosombo dam and the current climate situation had had a heavy toll on rainfall, which was a major raw material for the Akosombo dam. Nonetheless, the ‘incompetent’ Mahama managed to pull through gradually and though I personally believe there is still a lot to be done in that sector, the burden of the frequent power outages has been reduced to barest minimum. But in spite of all this, this man is still ‘incompetent’ right? Okay.

Now to the issue of corruption, the very core fibre of the Ghanaian society is polluted with corruption and politics is perceived by most government appointees as the easiest and fastest way to amass wealth for themselves.

However, the president has been putting in effort to control the situation.

This is evidence in the immediate sacking of Ms. Victoria Hammah, a former deputy minister who had intentions of amassing illegal wealth for herself through government. Several other MMDCEs have been relieved of their duties and others queried, following acts of corruption which they were found to have engaged in. by this show of commitment towards corruption, is it not encouragement the president’s needs, rather than the constant insults and accusations?

The current leadership of the NPP have been accused of syphoning party funds into personal accounts and they are still at post. What moral grounds therefore do such people have to say president Mahama has been incompetent in his fight against corruption? The president has put in on record, that he has never offered nor received a bribe. Till date, no one has been able to come out publicly to refute the fact with concrete evidence.

Detractors of president Mahama are so uncomfortable with his achievements that they would cease every opportunity to punch ho9les into all his achievements. When the newly commissioned Kwame Nkrumah interchange was commissioned, the naysayers said the cost was inflated. Then the presidents paid no head and went on with his good plans.

Then when the project was nearing completion, these same people came out to say that the project was not good enough because the contractors used metal instead of concrete. Such show of deep unfounded opposition of the president. Others have argued that indeed, infrastructural development is going on, but it does not translate to money in our pockets. Great. The economy is not in the best state it can be. But at least there is something positive going on too and that is better than losing on both ends.

My point is quite simple. President John Dramani Mahama has not performed badly at all, considering that he was not half as experienced as Nana Addo at the time he took over the presidency. However, he has achieved a lot which deserves commendation in the form of a second term.

If he could do this much in his first four years when he lacked enough experience, I can surely imagine a spectacle in the next four years, considering the rich pool of experience he has accrued over the last four years. President Mahama’s detractors are just our noisy neighbours. The NDC is surely a party of opportunity. Don’t waste your vote on a certain supposed change. Be a wise voter. Vote John Mahama and the NDC. JM must surely ‘TOASO’.

Writer's e-mail:Teegeenathans@gmail.com