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Opinions of Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Columnist: Statesman Opinion

Take a cue from Mahama: Say good riddance to bad rubbish on Dec. 7

On Saturday, June 7, 2008, in Wa, the Upper West regional capital, Mr John Dramani Mahama, then running mate to Prof John Evans Atta Mills, then flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress said: "Ghanaians should not fear changing any incompetent government."

He was reported by the Ghana News Agency as saying: "if a government is unable to meet the development expectations, needs and aspirations of most Ghanaians, the people should not hesitate to change that government for a better one."
According to GNA, "Mr Mahama said the cost of living in the country is high and the people were finding it difficult to make ends meet and urged Ghanaians to turn to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for salvation."

From the above-quoted pronouncements, three key points stand out; and these are: boldness to change incompetent governments; boldness to change a non-performing government for a better one; and high cost of living and how difficult it is for people to make ends meet.

Now, these pronouncements were made 8years ago, for which NDC was voted into power. And as fate would have it, the then running mate to the late Prof Atta Mills who made these pronouncements had the chance to be the president of the country even before his time was due for the position, following the untimely demise of his boss.

President Mahama is well noted for his open declaration of being the most fortunate vice president on earth, on the account that his boss afforded him the opportunity to perform the duties of the president, most of the time. This, in the estimation of Ghanaians, should have put him in the position to have acquainted himself with the workings of a president, and to have done things much better when the he finally landed the position.

However, his declaration that "God, in His infinite wisdom, has taken the mantle from the old to the youth", to pave way for his ascension to the presidency, rather turned out to be the most disastrous episode in our democratic journey under the fourth republican dispensation.

Acts of naked corruption under the stewardship of Mr Mahama have been legendary, with incompetence breaking the record of notoriety. Accountability has become totally alien, while truth has been supplanted with shameless, insipid propaganda. Decency in public office has been thrown to the dogs, with integrity at the presidency replaced with the naked desire to create the environment for family and friends to make wealth.

The actual workings of government under a responsible presidential stewardship, as expected in well-organized societies, are totally missing in the scheme of affairs of the John Mahama-led NDC administration. And the result has been 4years of sustained energy crisis which has resulted in collapse of many businesses and job losses for hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians. Others even died in our health facilities, either due to lack of power or sudden unannounced outage while patients were on the operating table undergoing surgical operations. Now, the cost of living is excruciatingly unbearable, with many households left with no hope of where the next meal will even come from.

With all these, when Mr Mahama is now described as "INCOMPETENT", he surprisingly throws tantrums and rejects the tag with all vehemence. As a matter of fact, he is on record to have opined that Ghanaians who have not occupied the presidency have no right criticizing him.

So, we at the Daily Statesman, at this stage, would like to know from President John Mahama if he had ever had the opportunity to be president at the time he criticized President Kufuor in 2008, and asked the good people of Ghana to vote against the NPP government because it was "incompetent"?

Now, the verdict out there is that the Mahama-led NDC government is unable to meet the development expectations, needs and aspirations of Ghanaians; cost of living in the country is high and the people are finding it difficult to make ends meet.

And when confronted with such situation, Mr Mahama's advice to Ghanaians is simple: they should not hesitate to change the government for a better one.
We, therefore, urge Ghanaians to take a cue from Mr Mahama and say good riddance to bad rubbish when they go the polls on December 7.