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Opinions of Monday, 17 June 2013

Columnist: Kofi Thompson

Why President Mahama will make a formidable opponent in 2016

When it transpired recently that Mr. Randy Abbey had been falsely accused of causing the arrest of the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) Michael Omari Wadie, by the Bureau for National Investigations (BNI), what was lost on those spreading that unpardonable falsehood, was that today, Randy Abbey, a member of the group of journalists known as the "Coffee Shop Mafia", appeared to be viewed by some NPP members as a political turncoat.

It illustrates perfectly, the uniqueness of President Mahama in the world of Ghanaian politics - in his amazing ability to attract the loyalty of independent-minded and apolitical individuals who love Ghana with passion.

It is this special gift the President has, which is the main reason why his political opponents should never underrate him. They do so at their own peril. He is a very formidable opponent to have.

For example, in a conversation with the Honourable AIban Bagbin recently, I was struck by his loyalty to the President - and his determination to help President Mahama succeed.

"I will do whatever I can to make the President succeed. His success is my success - and my success is his success. Who Jah bless, let no one curse!", was the way he put it.

Yet, many would think someone as influential in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as the Hon. Bagbin is, would be resentful of the President, and regard him as a rival.

Incredible though it is, today, there is unity amongst those in the top echelons of the NDC.

Even super-critical former President Rawlings seems to be willing to be open-minded about President Mahama. And that speaks volumes.

And under President Mahama, the party is shying away from the abusive politics of the past - whiles its opponents stay with the old-style politics of never-ending abuse of their political opponents. President Mahama must be the most abused Ghanaian leader in history.

Yet, quietly, and without fanfare, President Mahama is taking actions that few thought was possible in Ghana, a nation in which cynicism about politicians is widespread.

Serious action, including investigations, follow swiftly, once allegations of corruption against even leading NDC members appear in the public domain.

The investigations being carried out to ascertain the veracity or otherwise, of allegations of corruption at the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), are examples.

And at long last, the powerful and wealthy vested interests, behind most of the illegal gold mining going on in Ghana, have their backs against the wall - as nationwide action is taken to halt their egregious gang-rape of the Ghanaian countryside.

And who would have thought that a senior figure in the national security apparatus would be arrested for alleged malfeasance - and the fact made public immediately?

To defeat such a formidable opponent, the NPP would be wise to swiftly rid itself of the party's extremists, whose power-winning-strategy is scorched-earth-politics: in which everything that can contribute to making the country ungovernable and ensure its decline, is covertly given wings.

Many ordinary Ghanaians have taken note of this nation-wrecking agenda, specifically designed to make President Mahama fail - and because of their innate sense of fairness, and the inconvenience it is causing to millions of families across the nation, will take it into account, when the day of reckoning comes around again in December 2016.

In the face of the many challenges confronting his regime whiles his opponents take to abusing him, the President and his administration are working quietly to solve the many problems facing Ghana and its people.

Let his opponents in the NPP beware - they risk being left behind as Ghana inches forward despite its many challenges. If the President were to publicly publish his assets and those of his wife today, he will bury the NPP in December 2016. Even as things stand, he is a very formidable opponent indeed. A word to the wise...