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Opinions of Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Columnist: Eric Bottah

What secret plot lies beyond John Mahama’s second coming?

The opposition National Democratic Congress in the next few days will go through their presidential primary to elect a flagbearer for the 2020 elections. For most avid political watchers, going by the pronouncements of NDC power brokers, the NEC, the NDC MPs in parliament, the general secretary and chairman, and regional executives, etc., it is a foregone rigged election to elect John Dramani Mahama as their 2020 flagbearer. The irony is the stupid tax they would want to draw from the blood and sweat of all other challengers when they the executives have openly declared their support for John Mahama already.

I keep asking myself, what else would make a young man, who at 60years of age, has achieved what most of us would consider as a lifetime of accomplishments comeback again? He has been an MP, deputy minister, minister, vice-president and president.

You would think at this time he has reached the pinnacle of his life and will retire into the exclusive club of former presidents, ready to offer their support and advice to subsequent presidents. After 25 years in politics, we think we know John Mahama, his strengths and weaknesses and what he can offer. He is an old dog with no more tricks up his sleeves.

So why would he want to come back when he has practically nothing new to offer nor unfinished business to complete? Governance is a forward perpetual enterprise, you play your time and exit the stage at predetermined time intervals in the life of a country, as no single president can achieve all their ambitions under the sun. It is impossible. This quixotic line of thinking is why we have in Africa, presidents who have been on the saddle of power for three decades and counting, thinking they are indispensable to their countries.

A lot of us are missing the point on why John Mahama would want to come again. I would give you a hint: Vladimir Putin of Russia.

John Dramani Mahama, by his actions and pronouncements take Ghanaians for fools, that we have short memories and are largely illiterate. What he doesn't get is, some of us can read him through and through like psychics.

John Mahama wants to come back and challenge the constitution as a sitting president on the real interpretation of what is meant by two terms, i.e. two consecutive terms or two stand alone 4-year terms making 8 years in total no matter how they were accumulated?

Given that he has judges on the Supreme Court that he appointed directly, and that Ghana has no limits on how many judges he can pack onto the apex court to secure a favourable outcome, Ghanaians must wake up to the conniving and condescending attitude and trickery of John Mahama’s second coming, as coming to seek another two terms and not one more 4-year term. In his calculations, the constitutional limit of two terms must be construed to mean two consecutive terms, but if you ended one term and lost power and regained it, you cannot be expected to have only one more 4-year term.

To John Mahama the countdown begins afresh or anew. This is what John Mahama and the NDC is about and the main motivation for seeking to come back. Of course, there is the added bonus that as president, he can sit at the decision point of awarding our bauxite and other contracts to his brother and cronies and skim and skew funds to favour his corner of the woods whilst the rest of us sit and rust.

That gray area of two terms in the constitution has never been tested. If we remember, Vladimir Putin did the same thing in Russia. He stepped down for Medvedev after two terms, where they swapped positions as president and prime minister, and then came back to run for president again. He just won another re-election, thusly, extending his rule into four terms.

John Mahama has the same intentions and desires on Ghana. We have to stop him now before it is too late. As soon as he wins the NDC flagbearership, as I expect those unwitting supporters to fall for his wicked plans, we should cut off all his entitlements as ex-president, as he would have entered the ring again to win power. We can't encourage the practice where an individual can be drawing on his emoluments as an ex-president and campaigning to become president again. Those emoluments are for those presidents who have hanged their gloves. I support the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP Bernard Antwi Boasiako, aka Chairman Wontumi’s challenge of Mahama’s eligibility to run for president again. Even more so we should also go to court to seek clear and unambiguous interpretation of what two terms is…. i.e. two standalones four-year terms in total or two consecutive terms, with emphasis on “consecutive”?

John Mahama played the same trick on the people of Ghana back in 2012. Back then he argued and campaigned that he should be given the nod to become president because in his opinion Ghanaians have been giving the NPP and NDC eight years each to rule, hence, he and the NDC deserved 4 more years. Fast forward 2016, he dropped that false logic and started campaigning for a second term. John Mahama is slick, a liar and a thief. Let’s toss him out resoundingly. He has no shame and is corrupt to the bone.

Respectfully submitted,

Eric Bottah