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Opinions of Monday, 3 April 2017

Columnist: Ntow, Lawrence

John Mahama 2020 - The biggest mistake for NDC

By: Lawrence Ntow

Since the opposition NDC lost power last December, the party has witnessed massive tensions within its rank and file.

Some have called it post elections defeat syndrome. Others say it is the awakening from the delusion of grandeur. You can call it what you may. But I tell you something: There is still an almost incurable delusion on the minds of many of the people who just left office - they wish to remain in their comfort zones.

In recent weeks, the tensions have escalated. Why? Because President John Dramani Mahama who led the NDC into an historic humiliating electoral defeat is nursing a day dream, goaded on by his patently sycophantic and self-seeking ill-advisors, to run again as President in 2020 at the behest of the NDC - against all odds including the grand interest of the NDC.

The thought of it alone has angered so many people including even members of the many groups that swamped around John Mahama in the last election including but not limited to the iChooseJM group within the NDC.
John Mahama himself and his surrogates have sent mixed signals about his future political plans.

Not too long after his infamous brother Ibrahim Mahama announced publicly that the former president wasn’t going to run in 2020, some key party leaders including the treacherous national organiser and former campaign coordinator Kofi Adams and others have come out to say that JM is the most viable candidate (what ever that means) for the NDC in 2020.

This has been followed up by botched attempts to organise rallies to celebrate John Mahama. There is now talk of a national campaign tour disguis ed as a ‘thank you tour’ by the same John Mahama praise-singers.

Whiles in Kenya recently, John Mahama delivered a speech that was titled, ‘Bow out when the applause is loud’. This speech was widely viewed by political watchers as a goodbye speech to Ghanaian political office.

However, not long after that, his hatchet men including the most disdained Stan Dogbe have rubbished suggestions through social media, that the former President’s speech in Kenya applies to himself personally.

A movement called JM sanfofa 2020 has subsequently emerged, trying to hoodwink everyone into thinking that NDC can return to power in 2020 only with John Mahama as its Presidential candidate.

Their reasons: JM is the most marketed candidate of the party, plus, his legacy and achievements will form the basis for any future NDC campaign.

Some of us have stated categorically that these lame reasons can definitely not convince the least intelligent member of the NDC let alone Ghanaians. It is simply a day dream, if not a wet one. In fact, a big mistake.

First of all, it is very easy to notice that the only people calling for the return of John Mahama are the same people who worked for him in his 2016 failed campaign. They have managed to convince themselves that they did not fail, and can prove it if given another opportunity - in their dreams.

They also lamely argue that JM didn’t loose the elections because of lack of achievements, but because the NPP lied their way into power. I don’t think even the fishes in the marines will buy these discredited tales. Ghanaians cannot be deceived.

These shameless self-seeking sycophants rooting for the return of JM must be reminded that John Mahama is currently the most unpopular Ghanaian politician. His unprecedented loss by 44.4% is an irredeemable political cru shing. The anger of the grassroots of the party is the burden of John Mahama who has made it worse by his remorseless posturing ever since he took the NDC into opposition.

Not even a single statement of remorse from the former President has been made to the grieving NDC folks whose spirits have crushed humiliatingly after putting their hope in John Mahama as a leader.

To make matters worse, John Mahama has sponsored some rented NDC press including the Daily Post newspaper to put out accusations against party executives - claiming that he lost the elections because these people took money from him for campaign but failed to apply it for that purpose. The discredited tabloid even threatened that John Mahama was going to name and shame those party officers that he accuses.

This publication has further angered many party leaders who have been reacting by throwing salvos on the airwaves - all pointing fingers to a family and friends campaign failure from John Mahama.

Let’s assume that John Mahama did achieve somethings worth the while of Ghanaians, these so-called achievements were overlooked in 2016. The arrogance of power, the perception of his unwillingness to fight corruption, economic hardships etc were more important to Ghanaians than school blocks and bridges. That is why they voted for Nana Akuffo Addo instead of John Mahama.

And by 2020, those things we call achievements by John Mahama will be totally forgotten. What Ghanaians will not forget is the arrogance of power that surrounded John Mahama because the same arrogant faces will still be around the man. Besides, if so-called achievements were capable of winning elections, the NPP and Nana Addo would not have won the 2016 elections because they did not campaign on achievements but on the promises of hope, a less corrupt government and a better economy.

Thos e clamouring for the return of John Mahama in 2020 should also be reminded that the special prosecutor’s office set up by the NPP government of Nana Akuffo Addo intend to go after John Mahama and his brothers, friends, close associates, and possibly his wife for corruption. By the time we are ready for elections in 2020, Only a different NDC Presidential candidate will make the NDC fly because John Mahama would have been totally shot down by the NPP.

It is also important to remind those who want to remain in their comfort zone with John Mahama that, the people in the Volta region whose boycott of voting contributed massively to the NDC’s defeat will not change their minds in 2020 with John Mahama as the candidate. only a new candidate will give them renewed hope.

It is important to think NDC first in proposing Presidential candidates for the future. It must be a candidate who can win elections and keep NDC in power beyond four years. John Mahama has already served four years as President and can only serve for another four years, not more. So that if we are thinking about the interest of the NDC and its future, we should be thinking about a new candidate in 2020 and beyond.

Four years is too short a time for Ghanaians to forget about all the ‘sins’ of the John Mahama government against the people with the same face leading the NDC into the next election. And four years is too short for the NDC grassroots to come out of their apathy towards John Mahama and his government’s neglect of party grassroots and sympathisers. Without an invigorated party machinery to ignite grassroots enthusiasm, there is no way on God’s earth the NDC can return to power in the near future. And that is why a John Mahama ticket for the NDC in 2020 is a day dream, if not a wet one and a big mistake.

NDC must go for a new candidate with renewed hope and no bag gage or forget about power in 2020.