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Opinions of Thursday, 11 October 2018

Columnist: Africanus Owusu – Ansah

Mahama, What Again?

“I apologise to the Northern School of Business, Ghana Education Service, … however, I find some of the headlines by the media… disingenious… Northern Region should vote for Mahama like Volta Region did for Rawlings… Northern Region should vote for Mahama like Ashanti Region did for Kufour… Central Region stood by John Mills… and Eastern Region has always been won by Nana Addo…”

Alhassan Suhuyini, MP Tamale North

SOME OF US DO NOT BELONG TO NDC, not because of any personalities found there; nor because of their policies nor their pronouncements. Perhaps it may be right to simply say we are where we are, as a matter of choice-freedom of association.

And who are we to criticize the internal strategies of the NDC? And who are we to criticize Kojo Bonsu for dumping Mahama to present himself as a presidential hopeful? To the extent of presenting himself to the owner of the NDC, and the former president Dr. Dr. Jerry John Rawlings at his Ridge Residence on 28th September; he tweeting; “I received @ KOJOBONSU10 and his team today. I wished him well. He has a determined spirit.”

And who are we to criticize the number of NDC Presidential hopefuls rising to 12, and still counting, when we know a particular party, call it NPP, presented 17 presidential aspirants (whom Asiedu Nketia called “a gang of thieves” going to select “the biggest thief”) in 2007?

Perhaps, we may pick a cue from the bashing Kojo Yankah; the founder of Africa University College of Communications received when he advised John Dramani Mahama to “reconsider” the decision to run again for the NDC presidential primaries. Poor Kojo had written: “HE John Dramani Mahama on my mind. Dear John, I have admired you for a very long time as you know. You are a very affable, intelligent, and courteous person. Your humility and sense of service contributed to your rise to leadership at various levels culminating in God putting you in charge of the helm of affairs in this beautiful country.

You lost an election and you accepted the results and thanked God accordingly. To the best of my knowledge, you performed to the best of your ability with the team, message and strategies you brought on board. From my knowledge of history, no leader of any country had been able to solve all the problems of that country… Jimmy Carter who was in office for only one term, served the world and humanity much better when he was out of office… give a second thought to your decision. If I am too late in coming, or if you have heard my reasoning before, I wish you well. Definitely, you may hear other voices more compelling than mine. May the Good Lord guide your paths.” Did he say these words tongue in cheek?

John pits his strength against such high profile NDC aspirants as Sylvester Mensah, ex CEO of National Health Insurance Authority, Honourable Alban Bagbin MP for Nadowli Kaleo, Professor Joshua Alabi ex – VC of the University for Professional Studies, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, former Minister of Trade and Industry and Kweku Ricketts – Hagan MP for Cape Coast South.

Ohenenana Obonti Krow thinks it is mischievous on the part of poor Kojo Yankah to advise John. It is the right of Ohenenana to advise the adviser, and remind him of Franklin Roosevelt who ran as President of the USA from 1932 till he died in office in 1945; and Stephen Grover Cleveland after being defeated in his second attempt in 1888 was able to beat the incumbent President Harrison to win back the Presidential diadem. Cleveland had stated: “Whatever you do, tell the truth.”

Ohenenana thinks with banks and businesses collapsing; with the cedi falling; with corruption reaching “unprecedented” heights; with nepotism, hunger, disease increasing; with the unemployment rising “astronomically”, John Mahama is the only qualified person in Ghana to fix these. Why begrudge Ohenenana?

John Mahama was born after independence in Ghana, that is, 1958, so that by November this year, he will be only 60. His father Emmanuel Adama Mahama, was a wealthy rice farmer, a teacher who became the MP for West Gonja. John was at Achimota School for his Secondary education, but was taken to Ghana Secondary School at Tamale to take advantage of the free Northern Scholarship.

In 1981, he received a bachelor’s degree in History and post-graduate Diploma in Communication Studies. He worked as the Information Culture and Research Officer at the Embassy of Japan and later at the NGO, Plan International.

He was the MP for Bole-Bamboi between 1997 and 2009, and the Deputy Minister of Communication: he held distinguished positions in the NDC and in Parliament. In January 2009, he became Ghana’s Vice President, serving as Chairman of the National Economic Management Team and also the Armed Forces Council and the Police Council.

On the death of John Atta Mills, Mahama became the President of Ghana in July 2012. In December 2012 election, he beat his closest rival, Nana Akufo Addo, who filed an election petition but was dismissed by Ghana’s Supreme Court.

John Mahama has written his autobiography in a book entitled ‘My First Coup d’Etat’. His life has spanned almost all the facets of social and political life. Lucky Mahama still has much energy in him. He will want to return and do right what he thinks he did wrong in his days as President; to continue where he left off; to set things better than Nana Akufo Addo. The NDC MPs, apparatchiki and the ordinary members long for him.

We have not posed the question: ‘Mahama, what again?’ It was a question by a non-politician: someone who claims to be ‘apolitical’! John may not be a parvenu; neither may he be a nouveau riche. He could be very modest, but is he really unassuming?

John may not desire to fight a losing battle. The soothsayers and the men of God can predict all kinds of futuristic hopes. In Proverbs we read: “Pride cometh before destruction and haughty spirit before a fall.” All these may not refer to John Mahama. After all, Nana Akufo Addo was beaten on two occasions in his bid for the Presidency. If someone says with the soothsayer: “Beware the Ides of March”, in Julius Caesar, the cheer-mongers will say: J.M, Toa so. Who are we to proffer advice; who are we to ask the question: Is John Mahama the only person to…? Or is he the only person from the North capable of…?