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Opinions of Monday, 30 November 2020

Columnist: Waterz Yidana

John Mahama or Nana Akufo Addo?

A cartoon depiction of President Akufo-Addo and former President John Mahama preaching peace A cartoon depiction of President Akufo-Addo and former President John Mahama preaching peace

Put tribal and sentimental politics aside. Who do you sincerely think deserves to be given another four years to lead this beautiful country on 7th December, 2020? All discerning people I believe by now know who and what politicians are all over the world. I came across a quote that said…"Who would water the plants in the rain, if we didn't have politicians?”

This quotation means or suggests that politicians are not honest people. However, there are a few of them that we can still boast of, of being less corrupt and put their countries first no matter whatever goodies or freebies they keep to themselves as well.

In the 1950s and 60s, into the 70s and early 80s, Africa had a certain crop of leaders who were genuinely passionate about the development of Africa and went the extra-mile to even sacrifice their lives just for the cause. Great leaders like Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Amilcar Cabral of Guinea-Bissau, Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Steve Biko of South Africa, Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, and a few more, did a lot of extraordinary things for their individual countries and the whole of Africa for that matter.

Then came another crop of brutal military leaders of which some of them became heads of state in the 1990s and 2000s who stole and killed so many people. General Sani Abacha of Nigeria is an example of such leaders, Blaise Compoare of Burkina Faso who killed Thomas Sankara in 1987 is also another one, even in the 70s, we had Iddi Amin of Uganda, Mobutu Sese Seko of Congo in the mid 60s, Felix Houphouet-Boigny of Ivory Coast and some other good for nothing leaders who engaged in massive corruption and nepotism and collapsed or almost collapsed their countries.

In 2020, we can still boast of leaders who are relatively good on the African continent, though just a few of them. An example is Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Julius Malema of South Africa, John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, John Magufuli of Tanzania and a few others. You may want to know why many African youths think these men are good, but it is very simple, they are development driven and passionate pan-Africanists.
Take Rwanda for instance, a country that recently experienced war, all of a sudden recovered and is now one of the most beautiful countries in Africa and credit goes to President Paul Kagame. President John Magufuli’s policies and his way of doing things shows clearly that he has his country at heart.

President John Dramani Mahama built for his country, Ghana, so much infrastructure and only Dr. Kwame Nkrumah the first President of Ghana beat him to it. President Mahama built numerous ultra-modern hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, airports, interchanges and markets for the people of Ghana, if only he was allowed to continue, I am very sure that by now Ghana would've been a different place comparable to some of the developed countries we crave to be like.

It is not too late, the Ghanaian people still have the opportunity to bring back this development oriented President who seeks to change the face of Ghana, and make us number one on the continent. I remember how many Nigerian celebrities who came to Ghana extolled the Kotoka International Airport and compared it to airports in Europe and America, after it was upgraded by President John Mahama.

As a developing country, what we need to grow is not freebies or free things. We need to build solid infrastructure in all areas of the economy. We need to create good jobs for our people by building more industries. We need to get rid of corruption with all our heart and might; that's the only way we can move forward. If a man is gainfully employed, he can take care of his bills. I prefer progressively free education or whatever, with quality to just anything, because we want to win political power.

Many objective people who had lost trust in John Mahama last four years have regained his trust, because now there is something you can compare his achievements to and the difference is very great. Apart from the physical infrastructural development he built, he was also very tolerant as a President. He gave the press total freedom and anybody at all could openly criticise him. Even me, as a writer, I criticised his government anytime there was the need to do so.

Hmm! But in Africa or Ghana, our political choices are mostly influenced by tribal and religious sentiments. We are overly religious and tribalistic and would do anything to protect our faith or tribe, hence our inability to make excellent choices during elections. Well, as a people, let us not lose hope yet, a time will come where we shall elect or vote for our political leaders based on their competence, but not which village or town they hail from.
Let me use this opportunity to call on both NDC and NPP supporters and sympathisers to comport themselves during and after these 2020 general elections. We should support whoever we want to support with decorum.

And I also call on the two main presidential candidates, former President John Dramani Mahama and President Nana Akufo Addo to make things very easy for the electoral commissioner by accepting the outcome of the elections whether it goes in their favour or not. Of course, the EC must make sure that the elections are free and fair.