You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2019 10 10Article 787702

Opinions of Thursday, 10 October 2019

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

The NDC delegates had picked Mahama, but are the rest of Ghanaians ready for him?

The critics have been arguing consistently that Ex-President John Dramani Mahama did not expect to be the president of Ghana so soon, and therefore never prepared for the highly important position.

The sceptics may have a valid point after all, but it could also be true that the then vice president, Mahama, had an ambition to ascend the throne one day.

The critical observers are of the view that Ex-President Mahama was only compelled by the Ghana’s 1992 Constitution to ascend the throne he never prepared for following the sudden and mysterious death of President Mills, and, therefore had no burning desire, or had little interest to move the country to the right direction.

If you may recall, it was the late Mills who hand-picked John Dramani Mahama as his running mate for the 2008 election.

Although the late President Mills met with stiff resistance on his decision to select John Dramani Mahama as his running mate for the 2008 election, the indefatigable Mills defied the fierce opposition, stood by his then running mate John Dramani Mahama, worked synergistically and emerged victorious in the 2008 election.

It was, therefore, not surprising that Ex-President Mahama’s official announcement on Thursday 23rd August 2018 to contest the NDC’s 2019 flagbearership race received mixed reactions from Ghanaians.

While the Mahama loyalists were jumping for joy, the Mahama thoughtful critics, many of whom are inside and outside NDC, shrieked, grumbled and nagged over his anticipated comeback.

Some of us, in fact, share in the sentiments of the sceptics, considering the harsh socio-economic standards of living under his watch.

Therefore it was not the least surprising that even some concerned supporters within the NDC were expressing their arousing disgust over former President Mahama’s desperate decision to join the NDC’s 2019 flagbearership race.

The sceptics fears stemmed from the fact that Ghana under the erstwhile Mahama administration underwent throes of economic collapse amid harsh socio-economic standards of living.

But in spite of the critics irreversible incertitude over Mahama’s suitability to lead the country again, the NDC Delegates overwhelmingly gave Mahama the nod of affirmation to lead the party in the 2020 general elections.

Dearest reader, take my word for it, never before had we witnessed so much scheming guiles, sleazes, corruption and unobjectionable incompetence by an elected government.

With all due respect, it would be boundlessly unreasonable for anyone to suggest that to err is human and therefore Ex-President Mahama must be given another chance so soon to come and handle the economy.

If you may remember, somewhere in 2017, the Economic Advisor to the Vice President (Dr Bawumia), Gideon Boako, revealed that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has no moral right cautioning the NPP administration against leveraging Ghana’s natural resources, specifically bauxite through its partnership with China, since the Mahama’s administration gave away over 58 percent of Ghana’s bauxite concession to a company affiliated to Ibrahim Mahama, the sibling of former President Mahama (See: NDC sold 58% of bauxite concession to Ibrahim Mahama – Gideon Boako; citifmonline.com, 29/06/2017).

In as much as some of us remain unrepentant sceptics of bilateral agreements in the area of natural resources, the NPP government’s leverage of bauxite is indeed a well-thought through agreement, notwithstanding the fact that Mahama is said to have presented over 58% of Ghana’s bauxite to his sibling on a silver platter. How pathetic?

Dearest reader, how do we advance as a nation when the siblings of an elected president, out of greediness, choose to scramble for the resources of the nation as if tomorrow will never come?

In the times past, there were numerous allegations levelled against Ibrahim Mahama. The most telling of such allegations was the 30 years bauxite mining lease which was issued by the Ghana Mineral Commission to Ibrahim Mahama and his partners on 29th December 2016, just a little over one week for his brother’s government to exit power. How bizarre?

Unsurprisingly, therefore, many discerning Ghanaians fretted thy souls with curses and condemnations. And rightly so, the vast majority of Ghanaians contended that such a venture was nepotistic and must not and cannot be allowed to proceed without challenging its authenticity.

Consequently, the multi-billion cedi bauxite concession granted to the company allegedly affiliated to Mr Ibrahim Mahama was revoked in September 2017 after the former Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, had contended vehemently that the contract to Exton Cubic was invalid.

According to Mr. Amewu, “The Company was supposed to provide an Exploration Operating Permit for the year 2017, an Exploration Operating Plan to the Minerals Commission. None of the above was fulfilled (dailyguideafrica.com, 24/11/2017).”

The credit, must, however, be given to discerning Ghanaians for rightly voting out the licentious Mahama government during the 7th December 2016 election and instead reposing absolute trust in the NPP government.

Dearest reader, I have always maintained that if discerning Ghanaians had not voted the phlegmatic NDC government out of office, Ghana would have been wiped out of the world map without a trace.

Let us, however, be true to ourselves, we cannot and must not allow the insensitive siblings of elected presidents to roam carelessly on the corridors of power and take over Ghana’s scarce resources to the detriment of the poor and the disadvantaged Ghanaians.

Trust me, dearest reader, the vast majority of Ghanaians were not much enthused with the GH12 million import tax evasion allegations levelled against the sibling of former President Mahama, Ibrahim Mahama.

Indeed, but for the Honourable Agyapong’s whistling blowing prowess, Ghana would have been GH12 million worse off.

Dearest reader, if you may recall, following the NDC’s humiliating 2016 election defeat, the Honourable Kennedy Agyapong came out and told Ghanaians that former President Mahama’s brother, Ibrahim Mahama, had been evading import taxes over the past few years.

The Honourable Agyapong was however rebuked, scoffed at, and queried repeatedly about the veracity of the seeming chilling revelation. But alas, he was proved right by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Consequently, the EOCO ordered Ibrahim Mahama to pay GH12 million as all his previous 44 cheques were dishonoured by the respective banks. How bizarre?

I will venture to stress that in order for our governance system to be fair and equitable, all political appointments and contracts offers must be based on merits, but not through vague coloration, nepotism and cronyism.

In fact, the concern being raised by the thoughtful sceptics in respect of the likely exigencies in our efforts to developing Ghana beyond aid is in order.

We should, therefore, take solace in the fact that other countries have done it. So why can’t we do it? Of course we can.

In the grand scheme of things, we have to block the sources of bribery and corruption and cease measuring our achievements according to the amount of grants and loans facilities we manage to secure from the same countries we started life with.

Dearest reader, whichever way you may view the topic under discussion, it is indeed worrying and somewhat bizarre that after sixty-two years of independence, Ghana continues to lag behind the rest of the pack in respect of economic advancement.

Certainly, we need a true leadership with vision and ideas, altruistic leadership devoid of corruption, greed, Incompetence and capable of transforming us into an industrialized and robust economy.

K. Badu, UK.

k.badu2011@gmail.com