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Opinions of Sunday, 20 December 2020

Columnist: Akwasi Afriyie (Rosky), UK

NDC, 2024 and the Mahama conundrum

NDC flag NDC flag

So, the 2020 elections have come and gone, well, almost gone. There are still a few issues to sort out with both the NPP and NDC claiming victory at parliamentary level.

"We have captured Parliament", said one party official, claiming the NDC had won 141 seats.

Out of the 275 seats, the officially certified results stand at 137 -136 for the NPP.

One Independent candidate winner.

The NDC are disputing the results of both presidential and parliamentary races.

A court action may be imminent but they are just dithering at the moment. Just considering their options.

Before anything else, I would like to commend, the EC, the candidates and Ghanaians in general.

We have been able to once again, successfully organise our general elections in a free and fair manner.

Some neutrals and opposition members may say it wasn't free and fair but I think it was as free and fair as it could be.

 Ordinarily, to congratulate ourselves should be seen as a sign inferiority complex, some sort of insult. We are more than capable.

To organise trouble-free elections is no big achievement.

Yes, it may not be a big deal but considering we are part of the so-called developing countries and again, considering the kerfuffle still surrounding the US elections, Ghanaians have every reason to be proud.

Now, to the substantive issues on the table.

Hands up if you genuinely haven't been shocked by the performance of Mahama and the NDC in these elections.

I definitely have been shocked and, you probably have been too.

Thanks to Covid-19 which has ravaged the year 2020, not much campaigning was done, not the usual big rallies anyway.

I am on quite a substantial number of WhatsApp platforms, many of which have placed a ban on partisan politics but as you may have guessed already, we still breach the ban, don't we?

Anyway, the impression I got from these groups, other places and political analysts was an NDC annihilation. A defeat of seismic proportions.

Nana was to win and win massively but he was going to be under pressure. He was the incumbent, everyone seemed to like him. The mother of all policies, FSHS.

Mahama, the former president wasn't to win, he had nothing to lose ,nothing to offer but everything to gain, after all, he was the dead goat.

I personally had predicted something like 53-56%.

On the eve of the elections, I asked some individuals within the government, NPP as a party and in the media. One said 55%, another was like, one-touch.

My own younger brother, Gordon Asare-Bediako of The New Crusading Guide and ABC newspapers had predicted 52%, for Nana. His prediction was almost accurate "(Nana had 51.30%).

Generally, Mahama was definitely on a hiding to nothing.

We were all wrong. No one thought Mahama could get the votes he got. One of my mates even a few days after the declaration by EC still describes Mahama as "unmarketable". I am thinking, if an "unmarketable Mahama" was able to run Nana so close, in fact, too close for comfort, I shudder to think what a "marketable Mahama" could do.

In the end, Nana Addo was the victor with a margin of 514,524 representing 51.30% which is quite huge but in the grand scheme of things, as one of my mates describes it, that victory is almost pyrrhic.

The "Old man" was billed to win, silence and retire John Mahama, the much younger man but JM is still standing.

Speaking of retirement, while the NDC should wipe their tears and feel proud, Mahama's good showing in the Presidential race, albeit, a loss must have presented them with a headache, a quandary, especially those within the party who were against his candidature.

I think the NDC were always going to lose but in a rather perverse way, the easier option would have been for them to lose massively in order to oust Mahama without having to think too much.

In 2012, Mahama delivered a victory for his party but subsequently lost in 2016 by a margin of 1milion votes. He just couldn't defend his titles. 

Like the Terminator, he said he would come back and, indeed, he has come back in quite an impressive fashion, having halved the 1milion deficit.

One question is, did the NDC DO SO WELL BECAUSE OF MR MAHAMA OR IN SPITE OF HIM?

Has John who once delivered success in 2012, now become their "Jonah" who has to be ditched, thrown overboard in order to save a sinking ship or does he still remain their, Jonathan, their Joab, their Moses? 

Has the serpent devoured the dead goat, down to bare bones, in a way that puts paid, his political career?

Is Mr Mahama past his sell-by date?

Like the mythical Phoenix, is the former vice president and former president going to rise out of the ashes to compete again in 2024?

The NDC as a party has a mammoth decision to make as far as 2024 is concerned and they will have to be shrewd like the serpent.

If they did decide to stick with Mr Mahama, he might well face the eloquent, affable, innovative and the ever effervescent Dr Bawumia.

The current Vice-president has more than any other single politician killed the spirits of Mr Mahama. He psychologically has the former president beaten and, I wonder if Mr Mahama would relish battling and matching him boot for boot.

Do you stick or twist?

How does one solve a problem like John Mahama?

Over to you, NDC.

GOD BLESS OUR HOMELAND GHANA