You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2008 05 16Article 143889

Opinions of Friday, 16 May 2008

Columnist: Ato Kwamena Dadzie/Daily Dispatch

THE OUTSIDER: Dr. Mahama's humble choice

I’ve always thought that Dr. Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention was a one of those stubborn guys who will never follow if they are not leading. I couldn’t understand why after running for the presidency in 1996, 2000 and 2004 and losing so miserably in each race he still wanted to run again this year.

I believe that even members of his party are very much aware that the chances of Edward Mahama winning a presidential election in this country are slimmer than Ghana sending astronauts to Mars. You may say that he is not the sort of person who gives up easily. But there is a point when the wisest thing to do is to give up and I’m happy that Dr. Edward Mahama has come to this realisation too.

That should explain his sudden decision to take the PNC into an ‘alliance’ with the Convention People’s Party. Had it not been for Dr. Mahama’s own ambitions, this alliance should have been formed more than a year ago. The two parties were in talks for months. Since they both believe in the ideology and vision of our nation’s founding president, Kwame Nkrumah, it was only natural that they joined forces. On this they agreed. But the talks were often stalled by inconsequential things like whether or not the merged party’s symbol should be a cockerel or a coconut tree. That’s why they couldn’t come to an agreement earlier.

But, I think, Dr. Mahama went to bed one night and decided that the time has come for him to be honest with himself and realise that there is no way he was going to ever win the presidency with his coconut tree. Yeah, he’s a nice, smart guy and all. I believe that he’s a sincere man and, for me, he’s one of the few politicians in this country who truly care about the welfare of the people. I am sure that Dr. Mahama cares about one of the issues which I think should be at the top of our national priorities list: health care. If he had ever been elected president, I have no doubt that he would have built a lot of well-equipped hospitals. As a health professional, he has on several occasions seen people die needlessly of diseases that could have been easily cured if only the most basic of diagnostic equipment had been available.

His problem, though, was that he was in party which lacked organisation and resources. Moreover in Ghana, it’s either the NPP or the NDC. Period. That is why a small party like the PNC and their coconut-loving members can never win an election.

And so it is imperative for people who truly believe they can make a difference and take us away from the ‘tit-for-tat’ politics of the NDC and NPP to pool resources and launch a joint campaign. I regret it took Dr. Mahama quite a while to come to this realisation. But, like they say, “it’s better late than never.”

Just a couple of days ago, the announcement was made that Dr. Mahama has humbly agreed to take his PNC into an ‘alliance’ with the CPP. Under the arrangement, Dr. Mahama will be Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom’s running mate for the December polls. The two parties have also agreed that the coconut tree will be cut down and all the money that was being wasted in fertilising it will now be used to buy nutritious corn-feed for the struggling cockerel. It’s a brave decision Dr. Mahama has taken. And I congratulate him for that.

It’s not easy to allow your dreams to be subsumed by another man’s. But that’s exactly what Dr. Mahama has done. I think it’s the wisest political decision he’s taken in a long time. It’s for his own good and it’s also in the best interest of the Nkrumahists.

Moves like this should make Ghanaians sit up and take Dr. Nduom serious when he confidently says: “I am in this to win.” That is not to say that Dr. Mahama is the one to help win the elections for the CPP. It will take a lot of hard work to get the CPP to Flagstaff House. But clearly, it shows that Dr. Nduom’s CPP is not the CPP of George Aggudey. It’s a refreshingly different CPP. And that might have been one of the considerations that influenced Dr. Mahama’s decision to suspend his presidential ambitions and enter into this alliance with the CPP.

But a loose alliance is not good enough. The last time two parties formed an alliance of this sort and won an election, the president pounced on his vice and beat the hell out of him just a few months after they had been sworn into office. I don’t see Dr. Nduom tearing up Dr. Mahama’s ‘fugu’ in case the two of them come to power on the wings of this new alliance. But to be on the safe side, I think things need to be firmed up a bit more. The alliance is a good first step but ultimately, the CPP and the PNC should merge and become one Nkrumahist party. Why is that so difficult for two parties that profess the same ideology?

For now though, the Nkrumahists should be rejoicing in the hopes that they will do much better this year than they did four years ago. Who knows? It might be the surprise Dr. Nduom promises.